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Identifying Financial Infidelity

man sitting in front of a laptop and pulling hundred dollar bills out of a wallet
by Kristen Hilty

When we think of infidelity, our minds go directly to a spouse who has started a romantic relationship with someone else. The emotional devastation of divorce, even when there is no romantic infidelity, can distract us from noticing another potentially devastating type of infidelity that can show itself in various ways:

1. You Haven’t Had Access to Bank Statements/Financial Documents in Years

A healthy marriage should include both spouses going over budgets, balance sheets, and financial goals. If you haven’t been working as a team on your finances…Start IMMEDIATELY! If your spouse gets nervous about that conversation, defensive, or procrastinates starting this new process…this is a major red flag!

2. Extreme Mood Changes

When you bring up topics that concern money, does your spouse act disproportionately angry or defensive? Money can be a stressful topic for couples, but extreme emotion can be a big red flag.

3. Your Lifestyle Isn’t Consistent with Earnings

Your spouse is a highly paid professional, but you haven’t had a vacation in years. You are on an allowance, but your spouse is not. You need to ask permission for every purchase you make. You have a Bentley income but drive a 10 year old Honda with 100,000 miles on it. Listen…I get some people are just frugal, but if you’re forbidden from ever enjoying the fruits of your frugalness…it’s another red flag.

4. Car Insurance Rates Increase

If you see a letter from your car insurance carrier informing you that your rates are increasing due to a change in your rating, it could be an indicator that credit cards haven’t been paid on time, or there could be credit cards in your name you are not even aware of.

5. Decrease in Mail

Have you noticed that you haven’t seen particular credit card statements showing up in the mail pile for a few months, or that any online passwords to financial institutions no longer work? Red flag. Of course you should ask first! Could be the cards were paid off or there’s a reason for a password change; however, it’s common in financial infidelity that your spouse could be having bills re-routed to their office or another location.

It’s a terrifying to thing to even think about, but I have seen dishonesty with money ruin too many marriages. Have a conversation with your spouse today and be sure you’re on the same page.

If you feel you’re heading for divorce and are not clear on how it will affect you financially, call Better Divorce Solutions for a strategy session so we can set you in the right direction.

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