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How financial 'cheating' may affect a divorce process - Part I

It is a well-known fact that finances tend to cause tension between American spouses. Oftentimes, disagreements about finances can lead to divorce. While marital disagreements about money may stay largely hidden from public view, the divorce process compels spouses to lay their financial realities out on the table. When instances of financial “cheating” come to light, they may ultimately end up influencing the divorce process in significant ways.

It is important to understand that hiding assets, debts, accounts, real estate and other financial matters from the divorce process can be a crime. If a judge discovers that you have hidden financial information from the court, you could be charged with contempt, charged with other criminal wrongdoing and even sued by your spouse. Even if you have financially “cheated” on your spouse in the past, it is imperative that you come clean during the divorce process.

What exactly is financial cheating? For the purposes of this post, please think of financial cheating as any time you have lied to your spouse about any significant financial matter or any time you have hidden a significant financial matter from your spouse. It goes without saying that if your spouse has hidden or lied about any significant financial matter that this behavior can be considered financial cheating as well.

Please check back in next week, as we will be continuing this important discussion of financial cheating in an upcoming post. Specifically, we will discuss how instances of financial cheating can be dealt with during the process and how they may impact the process in ways other than those we have mentioned so far.

Source: TIME, “7 Ways Couples Cheat on Each Other — Financially,” Molly Triffin, May 19, 2015

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