What is Financial Infidelity?
When the word infidelity is heard in connection to a marriage, the obvious and understandable conclusion is that one or both spouses are engaged in an affair of some sort with another individual. There is another type of marital infidelity that does not involve a romance or intimate relationship of some sort between a spouse and a third party. This is known as financial infidelity.
The full definition of financial infidelity is presented in a moment. As mentioned, financial marital infidelity can be a free-standing issue between spouses. With that said, there can be circumstances when intimate marital infidelity and sexual or intimate infidelity occur in conjunction with one another.Definition of Financial Infidelity
Financial marital infidelity is defined as a spouse engaging in certain types of monetary activities with the intent of concealing those actions or pursuits from the other party to a marriage. Financial marital infidelity can present itself in a variety of different ways. Indeed, in many cases, a financial “cheating spouse” may engage in multiple types of concealed conduct. Examples of this type of marital infidelity include:
- Spending a notable amount of money without the knowledge of the other spouse
- Possession and use of secret credit or debit cards
- Maintenance of secret financial accounts
- Obtaining secret debt
- Stashing cash without knowledge of the other spouse
- Making financial decisions that impact the fiscal health of the couple or family without involvement of the other spouse
One of the most common underlying causes of a New Jersey divorce is financial conflict. In some instances, money issues that lead to divorce involve financial marital infidelity.
Financial marital infidelity can prove to be a major issue in a divorce proceeding:
- First, property acquired during the course of a marriage typically is deemed to be a marital asset. A spouse who is the victim of financial marital infidelity would be entitled to a share of assets being hidden by the “cheating spouse.”
- Second, under the doctrine of marital property, the victim of this type of infidelity potentially could be held partially responsible for debt secretly accumulated by the “cheating spouse.”
A skilled, experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer can assert the rights of a victim of financial marital infidelity during the course of a marriage dissolution case in the Garden State.Seven Signs of Financial Marital Infidelity
Financial marital infidelity can exhibit itself in a number of different ways. Seven signs of this type of “cheating” include:
- Spouse opens a post office box without a clearly identifiable purpose or reason
- Spouse becomes defensive when money or finances are discussed
- Spouse insists on collecting the mail and looks through it before allowing it to be seen
- Statements begin to arrive for financial accounts that a possible victim of this type of infidelity did not know exist
- Missing money from accounts
- Unusually high number of unexplained ATM withdrawals
- Spouse appears to be spending an inordinate amount of money
The reality is that in many cases involving financial marital infidelity, more than one of these signs will be exhibited by the “cheating spouse.” These signs tend to accumulate and even become more pronounced or obvious over time. As a general rule, if a person sincerely suspects his or her marital partner of this type of infidelity, prompt action is advised to ensure that a victimized spouse’s legal interests are appropriately protected.Protect Your Legal Rights in a New Jersey Divorce
If you fear that you are the victim of financial marital infidelity, you may have questions about your legal rights. You may have reached a juncture at which you wonder whether a divorce might be an appropriate course for you to pursue.
There may be other reasons why you are in need of more information about the New Jersey divorce process. In the alternative, perhaps your spouse has started a divorce case against you.
No matter the situation, you can schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced, dedicated New Jersey divorce attorney by contacting the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen. You can reach out to the law firm by calling (201) 845-7400.