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Secret spending linked to financial disagreements, divorce

It’s fairly commonly known that financial disputes are a leading reason for the dissolution of a marriage cited in divorce filings in the United States. Finances are a difficult topic for many couples because how we manage our money often goes to the core of what we think is important. For example, if one spouse thinks its important to allocate funds to go out to dinner once a week and the other finds that to be a waste of money that they could be saving or using on home repairs, that may represent a fundamental difference in priorities. 

Sometimes in order to avoid these difficult conversations, spouses will do some of their spending in private to shield the decision from their spouse if they think it could cause an argument. This might seem like a good solution, but a recent study found that in the long term, secret purchases were a factor in one in 10 divorces.

Secret purchases disclosed by respondents to the survey included leisure items like shoes or clothing along with necessities like utility bills, rent, or food.

When money is an issue that is causing someone to consider a divorce, they should take careful stock of the information that they have prior to the divorce so that they have a full an accurate picture of household finances. Having a full understanding of you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s debt, income, and assets can be incredibly helpful when it comes time to negotiate spousal support, asset division, or child support agreements.

Source: Huffington Post, "Secret Credit Card Spending And Divorce Linked In New Survey," Oct. 14, 2013

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