In recent years, much has been said and written about emotional infidelity. An emotional affair is a relationship, not necessarily physical, that is considered cheating due to the level of intimacy shared with a non-significant other. However, there is another, less intimate, form of infidelity—financial.
Financial infidelity is any type of behavior in which one spouse keeps spending habits or assets hidden from the other spouse. According to CNN Money, this type of behavior is extremely common: one in five Americans report having hidden a purchase of $500 or more from their significant other. Additionally, more than 7 million Americans report having a bank account or credit card of which their spouse is not aware.
There are several ways in which a person may commit financial infidelity, but they do not all involve one partner’s financial irresponsibility. One type of financial infidelity is the proclivity to save money privately. Psychologists suggest that this act may stem from a person’s insecurity about a relationship itself. Another type of financial infidelity is lying about one’s debt, or, conversely, one’s paycheck.
Not only are the emotional implications of this type of behavior dangerous for committed relationships, the financial consequences can also be destructive. Budgeting and paying the bills can become quite difficult when a couple is not on the same page about finances. It can can also lead a drop in one’s credit score, or—worse—bankruptcy. Knowing how much money is coming in and how much is being spent is essential for a couple’s budget. Moreover, if a spouse discovers that assets are being hidden, he or she may worry that other “things” are being hidden as well.
If you or someone you know is considering divorce because of financial infidelity, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney today.