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Is financial infidelity affecting divorce rates?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2019 | Divorce

Financial problems are a well-known cause of divorce among couples across the country. Several studies confirm that the more couples worry about finances, the higher the chances are that the marriage will end in divorce.

However, many recent studies reveal a new—and worrisome—financial issue that couples face, which could be contributing to divorce.

More than 40% of Americans hide finances from their spouse

Advanced technology and online banking make it much easier to manage our finances. However, managing accounts online also makes them easier to hide. And it seems that this is precisely what many couples are doing.

NBC News reported that a study found that one in five individuals hide financial matters from their spouse or partner, including:

  • Individual purchases
  • Serious debts and loans
  • Extravagant spending habits
  • Savings accounts
  • Credit card accounts

And this concerning trend of “financial infidelity” is only increasing.

Why are couples hiding money from each other?

One of the main reasons that couples worry or argue about financial issues is when they have conflicting priorities surrounding money. For example, a frugal saver might worry more about finances if their spouse buys big-ticket items impulsively.

And if the couple argues more about finances, then the spending spouse might start hiding purchases from their frugal partner. 

On the other hand, someone might also hide significant debts because they feel ashamed, or they do not want their spouse to worry about money more than they already do.

Regardless of why individuals hide money from their spouse, many experts believe that financial infidelity often indicates much larger problems in the relationship.

Is the high rate of financial infidelity really affecting the divorce rate?

The studies finding the rise of financial infidelity are still relatively recent. So, there is no comprehensive evidence of how financial infidelity impacts the rate of divorce yet. But the NBC News articles cite several individual cases that claim it led to the end of the marriage.

That could be because many of these studies report that financial infidelity is equal to—or perhaps even worse than—marital infidelity. 

Any kind of infidelity has a severe impact on trust in a relationship. And since trust is an important factor in both a long-term partnership as well as in a shared financial relationship, it is no wonder why financial infidelity could cause a marriage to dissolve. 

Hidden assets and broken trust can make marriage challenging, but it can make divorce even more so. If you have questions about moving forward with a divorce, you can contact the experienced divorce attorneys at Bowen Ten Long & Bal, PC, to secure the guidance you need.