Financial infidelity occurs whenever one partner is dishonest with the other about money. This could include everything from spending without the other partner’s knowledge to having a secret credit card or properties.
The issue is serious and is one of the top causes of divorce in North America.
Although the numbers show that this is a serious issue, the data is just one part of the story. Each of these data points represent an actual couple going through a legal proceeding. Although the numbers are helpful, the emotional side is also an important part of the divorce.
How do we account for the emotional side of divorce?
Some may benefit from seeking counseling. This could prove valuable for couples who initially discover or suspect financial infidelity and may result in tools needed to save the marriage. If not, some may find it beneficial to continue or seek counseling during and after divorce. These efforts can help ease the transition into post-divorce life.
How does financial infidelity impact divorce?
This type of infidelity does more than just erode trust, it can also lead to difficulties with the logistics of the divorce. This is because an important part of the divorce process is the division of assets.
A failure to fully disclose assets can prolong the divorce process. This can lead to additional expense and frustration for all involved.
How does the property division portion of the divorce work?
The answer varies depending on state law and the assets. Florida uses the legal theory of equitable distribution when the court divides marital assets. This basically means the court begins with a presumption of an equal distribution of assets between the parties. There are factors that can result in an unequal distribution. These can include the contributions of each party to the marriage, the economic circumstances, and the intentional dissipation or waste of assets prior to the divorce — so it can be possible for the court to financially punish one spouse for misuse of assets.
Unfortunately, the court can only do its job if it has the information. It is crucial to gather evidence about all assets during the divorce to make sure you get it right the first time.