Financial Infidelity: Can Cheating on Your Bank Account Cause Divorce? (Pt. 1)

Has your spouse been hiding money from you? Do they have credit cards you didn’t know about?


If someone said the word “infidelity” to you, you’d probably think about a husband sneaking around behind his wife’s back with his assistant. Or a wife having an affair with her neighbor. What you probably wouldn’t think about is someone sneaking off on secret shopping trips without telling their spouse. And yet financial infidelity is actually an issue for many married couples. And believe it or not, it can lead to divorce!


Current statistics show that about 15 million people hide credit cards from their spouses, or have secret bank accounts that they don’t tell their partners about. According to a USA today article, the generation most likely to stash the cash are millennials. So far, stats say that 9 million people have come clean to their spouses about their secret accounts, although whether that saved their marriages or doomed them, we don’t know.


Finances are a major source of stress for married couples.


This may seem like a strange subject to talk about from a divorce standpoint, but money (along with sex) is one of the biggest relationship issues today. Ask a couple why they’re getting divorced and chances are their reasons will come back to loss of intimacy, unmet expectations, and yup, you guessed it – money!


Another interesting statistic is how many people think that hiding money is a ‘divorceable offense.’ A full 31% of married people believe that hiding money, credit cards or bank accounts from your spouse is worse than having a sexual affair! It’s a very difficult decision to make, deciding to keep a little something tucked away for a rainy day. Why? Because the results could be great. Or they could be terrible.


And then there are the legal issues…


Here’s something else to think about: If your spouse accrues debt during the marriage that was either hidden, or that you don’t agree with, there’s still a chance that you could wind up splitting that debt in the divorce, depending on what the money was spent on.


Michigan does recognize a theory of “marital waste,” where if a spouse is wasting marital funds on things like gambling, or buying gifts for an affair partner, the court will likely recognize that as debt belonging only to one spouse. On the other hand, if the debt was accrued to buy groceries, pay bills, or perhaps buy items for the kids, chances are that debt will be considered a marital debt.


Financial issues can sometimes lead to bitter divorces


If you or a loved one are considering divorce, whether it’s because your spouse held out on you, or you’re the one who made questionable financial choices, call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245. Our experienced divorce lawyers can help you navigate this difficult period in life, and work towards whatever is the best outcome for your future. We’re available 24/7, including nights, weekends, and holidays.