Can you hold your spouse accountable for financial infidelity?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | High Asset Divorce |

When you marry someone, you give them a lot of control over your life and access to your most personal spaces. They will likely know about any medical issues you experience and will have access to your income and assets, as well as an interest in your shared marital property.

Not every spouse lives up to the trust that they receive when they get married. There are some people who will hide things from their spouses or intentionally misrepresent their circumstances. Financial infidelity is a term that refers to one spouse lying about their circumstances.

Hiding income or lying about how much credit card debt someone carries are both examples of financial infidelity. People in any situation can lie about their debts and resources, but high-income households often make it easier for someone to create a secret bank account or build up a huge amount of hidden debt. Can you hold someone accountable for that misrepresentation during a Colorado divorce?

Yes, financial infidelity can influence property division

The more proof you have of your spouse’s financial misconduct and misrepresentation, the easier it will be for you to hold them accountable for their behavior. Financial records and confessions from one spouse can play a major role in negotiations and even mediation sessions.

Actual financial records, including proof of hidden bank accounts or secret credit cards, could also influence property division matters if you go to court. Equitable distribution rules require a fair outcome, and it would be unfair to let one spouse lie to the other without any consequences. A judge may hold one spouse solely responsible for debts they accrued without telling the other, especially if those debts were for personal purposes and not for the support of the marital family.

Financial separation can be the most important protection

A timely divorce filing followed by a very careful and assertive attempt to separate your finances, including mutual debts, will be the best way to protect yourself when your spouse has shown a propensity to lie about money.

When you know that financial fraud on the part of your spouse is one of the factors contributing to your divorce, it is important to share that information with your lawyer so that you can adjust your strategy in court or during negotiations accordingly. More about what you can expect during property division proceedings will help you secure the fresh start you need in your upcoming high-asset divorce.