For many people, marriage is meant to be a complete sharing of everything: home, vehicles, responsibilities, and even money. But not everyone agrees with this approach. Some think that money is something that each person in a relationship should have on their own.
Although it is common for people to hide assets in their marriages and other committed relationships, this can cause serious problems in a relationship.
A Growing Trend
According to a recent article in CNN Money, instances of hiding money in marriages and other relationships are increasing. In the Millennial cohort, for instance, 31% admit to hiding assets in their marriages, whereas only 24% of the Generation X and 17% of the Baby Boomer generation are hiding assets.
It is clear that hiding money is a growing trend in our nation.
How Are Assets Hidden?
Generally, people hiding assets will use separate bank accounts, bitcoin and even places around the house with hidden cash. When couples look at their money together, no one is getting a clear picture, and depending on how hidden money is being used, it could pose other, more significant problems like increased debt and gambling losses.
What Are the Problems With Hidden Assets?
As mentioned above, hidden assets can cause major debt problems. Further, without both parties in a relationship having visibility into the shared financial situation, mistakes can be made in budgeting and other errors can occur.
Finally, and most importantly, relationships are supposed to be built on trust and open communication. If one party is hiding money from the other, it creates serious problems in the very foundations on which a successful relationship is built. According to the CNN article, “For 31% of people in the study, cheating financially was worse than cheating physically.”
Hidden Assets in Divorce
Ironically, financial dishonesty causes the kinds of problems that frequently lead to divorce, it is also a major challenge in the divorce process itself. When the court looks to divide assets, it can only divide the assets it can see. So when one of the partners is hiding assets, it can create an inequitable distribution in favor of the person hiding the assets.
It takes the knowledge and tenacity of an experienced attorney to search for and uncover hidden assets and protect your financial interests.
Even if you don’t expect that your partner is hiding assets, it’s important to work with an experienced lawyer who can find out for sure and make sure you get the best outcome possible.