Why You Need to Be Fully Aware of Your Spouse’s Financial Position
Although much of American life and culture is dominated by the almighty dollar, money often remains a taboo conversation topic. People get uncomfortable if the subject gets brought up, and it turns out that this hesitance to talk about money even extends to spouses.
Only 60 percent of women and 52 percent of men inform their significant others of what they make, according to a survey by California financial firm Aspiration. And if they do decide to have a “money talk,” it tends to happen only when the relationship is about to hit a milestone: 45 percent have the talk when they move in together, 15 percent wait until they are engaged and 10 percent wait until after marriage.
As New York divorce lawyers, we often find that clients come to us having no idea how much their spouse makes. Others say their husband or wife handles the finances so they don’t know anything about the bills or where their checks go. While we understand not wanting to talk about finances early in a relationship’s dating phase, we strongly encourage married couples to put it all on the table. Being honest about money can prevent problems down the road and maybe even help you remain married.
Sometimes the money issue goes deeper than simply not wanting or knowing how to talk about it. We’ve often seen marriages where one or both spouses were outright secretive or dishonest about finances. This is called financial infidelity and it comes with several warning signs. Here’s what financial experts say you should watch for:
- Take note of your mail. Do you notice that it does not include financial statements, investment information, credit card bills or credit card solicitations?
- Watch for behavior changes. Is your spouse suddenly giving you a lot of gifts? Or maybe they’re insisting that you account for every dollar you spend.
- Look for unusual cash withdrawals, checks made out to cash or a pattern of withdrawals that doesn’t seem to make sense.
Financial issues are consistently among the top five causes of divorce in the United States and a lot of the time it’s because couples simply don’t talk enough about money. That can breed mistrust and resentment, which in turn can contribute to marital breakdown.
If your marriage is at its end, whether because of financial issues or something else, make sure you have a strong legal team on your side. The Long Island divorce lawyers of Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. have extensive experience in cases involving financial infidelity and hidden assets. Call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our office is located in Melville and we serve all of Long Island.