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Financial secrets could have serious consequences in divorce

Posted on October 23, 2013 in the Property Division category.

In even the best marriages, there are some couples that keep secrets from each other. Of course, they may be benign secrets that a spouse may not care to know about (i.e. bathroom habits). But when they deal with financial secrets, such as secret bank accounts or clandestine shopping sprees, these secrets can lead to the breakdown of a marriage. Moreover, they can pose some serious problems in divorce.

With regard to secret bank accounts, these can be problematic because they are the epitome of financial distrust (especially for couples who are dealing with financial issues). The discovery of a hidden account can raise a myriad of questions about a spouse’s secret life, including what the money is being used for, who (or what) it is being spent on, and how far does the spouse’s infidelity go.

In the same vein, secret spending sprees can lead to the same discord. The irony is by hiding purchases out of fear of being confronted by an angry spouse, the discovery of such purchases will most likely lead to the same result.

For those going through a divorce, the legal implications of hiding accounts (or assets) could be severe. A party could be seen as concealing marital assets, which could lead to a party being held in contempt of court, as well as losing the possibility of having an equitable distribution of marital assets.

If you suspect that your spouse has a secret account, or is going on secret spending sprees, an experienced family law attorney can help.

Source:, “Secret credit card spending and divorce linked in survey“, October 14, 2013