What is financial infidelity?

Whether you and your spouse share all of your income equally or you retain separate accounts, money may contribute to some challenges in your marriage. For some people, hiding money can be one problem that leads to the breakdown of a marriage.

When one spouse fails to be fully honest and transparent about money matters, financial infidelity may develop.

Different reasons for secrecy about money

When it comes to not disclosing something about money to a spouse, intent matters. For example, when one person wants to surprise the other with a special gift, he or she may stash a little extra money for a while to ensure the surprise element. That, however, is quite different than financial infidelity.

As explained by NBC News, financial infidelity often arises when one spouse wants to hide financial information or assets for malicious or self-serving reasons.

Hiding assets

One form of financial infidelity involves hiding money or other assets from a spouse. Some people may do this in anticipation of a divorce, hoping to keep some assets outside of the divorce proceedings.

Racking up debt

Another form of financial infidelity involves amassing joint debt without a spouse’s knowledge. One spouse might open a credit card and charge significant amounts to that account, leaving the other person on the hook for repayment. Taking money out against a home’s equity is another way of increasing debt.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in California an overview of financial infidelity, the reasons it may occur and some clues to watch for that may indicate potential issues.