What is financial infidelity?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2020 | Divorce

When you hear the word infidelity, you probably think of affairs, emotional or physical, that leave a marriage in ruins. Unfortunately, this is not the only way that your spouse may lose your trust. Another reason that you may decide you can no longer move forward in your marriage is financial infidelity. 

In the state of Washington, you do not need a specific reason beyond irretrievable breakdown of the marriage to file for divorce. You can divorce a spouse for any reason that makes the marriage unworkable for you. More and more, financial infidelity is one of the reasons that partners chose to separate. 

What are common forms of financial infidelity?  

Financial infidelity occurs when one spouse lies about or hides significant financial information from the other. Usually, these decisions have horrible consequences for your shared marital budget, your credit or your savings. 

Financial infidelity can look like: 

  • Running up credit card debt without a partner’s knowledge 
  • Making large purchases without a partner’s involvement 
  • Pressuring a spouse to give up part of her or his income or wages 
  • Funneling income into a separate account 

Most importantly, your partner must have malicious intent for bad financial decisions to bloom into financial infidelity. 

Will you still have responsibility for your spouse’s financial decision after divorce? 

Divorcing Washington couples must divide assets and debts “fairly and equitably”. While you may not split marital property and debts exactly in half, each partner will receive a fair share of the shared assets and obligations. 

Depending on your financial situation, the court may decide that your partner’s monetary decisions make her or him solely responsible for certain debts incurred during the marriage. Especially for credit cards or a mortgage solely in your partner’s name, you may not carry that debt post-divorce. 

No matter how the asset division works out, deciding to separate from a financially untrustworthy partner safeguards your future financial choices.