The need to divide assets and debts in a divorce typically gets a lot of attention by the spouses involved and those around them. This often leads to concerns about losses and how each person may support themselves in the future, send kids to college and even how they may fund their retirement.
The challenges associated with this aspect of a divorce may be exacerbated when one spouse hides assets or debts.
Financial infidelity on the rise
As explained by NPR, some studies indicate that over 40% of people overtly admit to some sort of sneaking or lying about finances with their partners. Millennials may be among the group most likely to engage in these behaviors.
Financial infidelity may relate to debts or assets. One spouse, for example, may run up debt that they fail to disclose to their spouse. Another person may open a separate bank account that they never tell their partner about.
Divorce and financial infidelity
A divorcing person who suspects their spouse may have hidden assets may want to uncover any missing items to ensure their property division settlement appropriately reflects all assets.
According to NBC News, when secret debt is uncovered during a divorce, issues about the legal liability for that debt may surface. A person unaware of a debt may want to eliminate their responsibility to repay the debt regardless of their marital status at the time the debt was incurred. Issues like this may complicate negotiations and draw out the divorce process until both parties agree on how to address their full marital estate.