Money Talks: Can Financial Dishonesty Lead to Dissolution?

There are many things that can lead a couple to decide to separate. Sometimes a couple separates because one of them was unfaithful. In other instances, a couple may choose to divorce simply because they grew apart.

Recently, the results of an online survey by Harris Interactive were released showing that more couples are not being completely honest with one another in regards to finances. This type of financial infidelity can lead sometimes even lead to dissolution of a marriage.

Surprisingly, a high number of people reported being untruthful with their partners about their finances. The research also showed how financial dishonesty can affect a couple's relationship:

  • Divorce - 16 percent of couples affected by finances chose this route
  • Separation - 11 percent of couples split partly due to financial problems
  • Fights - 67 percent of couples reported arguments
  • Distrust - 42 percent of couples experienced a decrease of trust in the relationship

According to the research, over half of the people surveyed admitted to hiding cash or hiding evidence of purchases. People surveyed also admitted to hiding bills, lying about debt or wages, and even having secret bank accounts.

This type of "infidelity" is becoming more common. As evidenced above, it can affect relationships. Many of the people surveyed reported that in some cases they were aware that they were being lied to about their partner's financial situation.

When finances lead to separation, couples have a lot to consider. Dissolution of a marriage involves not only the couple, but also children if there are any. The couple also has to decide how property will be divided and how child support and custody will be handled.

Source: Reuters online, "Three in 10 Americans commit financial infidelity," Daniel Trotta, 13 January 2011

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