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Financial infidelity in Alpharetta happens in more households and in more marriages than most people are willing to admit and includes keeping expenses, spending, liabilities, assets, and all other things money, hidden from your spouse or partner. In general, anytime someone is withholding information or there isn’t full transparency between the two spouses over finances, it’s going to be problematic in the event of a divorce. For many couples, the challenge lies in maintaining financial independence while having full transparency with each other at the same time.

Understanding the Dynamic of Financial Abuse

The dominant income earner in the household tends to think that they should be in control of the money and not have to share everything they do with the finances because they make more income. The lesser-earning spouse may be left feeling financially abused and only spend money behind their spouse’s back to avoid confrontation about finances.

The breadwinner may justify buying themselves expensive things, while the other spouse who makes less money is made to believe that they shouldn’t get to spend more. It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy because the person who’s been controlled or manipulated to not spend will end up going behind the back of the dominant money-making spouse to spend more money.

Divorce law considers wages earned during the marriage as marital income, regardless of who earned it. Whether you take care of the children or work a nine-to-five job, it is marital income, and everybody has to account for it. The same goes for the debt. Any debt incurred by either spouse during the court of their marriage would be considered part of the marital estate to be divided upon divorce.

Signs of Financial Infidelity

Many couples do not share the same financial goals, and those goals don’t get listed on paper to be planned for in a realistic way. A good example is one spouse wanting their kids to go through private school, while the other wants them to go through public school. We all have different values regarding money and what we should do with it, so when couples don’t have open and honest communication about their goals and finances, it can create issues later down the line, especially in the event of a divorce.

It’s not the big things, but the small micro things in a couple’s budget that can cause the greatest tension. For example, maybe one spouse likes to gamble and believes they should be able to spend $300 a month to gamble money away, or another spouse sees purchases for more shoes and more clothes on every credit card statement. Those small micro battles are what cause a lot of conflict at home.

An Alpharetta attorney can offer insight on how a local court might view such spending habits in your particular circumstances. Evidence of financial abuse could sway a judge’s opinion in was couple’s might not expect, making it advisable to consult with a local lawyer about your case.

Being Transparent while Maintaining Financial Independence

For a lot of modern couples, both spouses earn good income and decide to go with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to their finances, keeping separate accounts for individual paychecks with one shared account for the shared, household expenses. This approach works for some but not for everybody.

Shared joint accounts could include funds for everything a couples agrees to pay together, like the mortgage, electricity or gas bill, etc. Keeping other funds in separate accounts allows people to maintain their financial independence, but there’s also transparency about what’s going into those accounts. However, you decide it as a family, it’s fair and equal.

This approach is a great way to minimize and eliminate financial infidelity in your marriage so it doesn’t become a serious issue in the event of a future divorce in Alpharetta. If you do find yourself in a divorce with a financially abusive spouse, call our firm and schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team.

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