Hazards of Financial Infidelity

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Freya’s Financial Facts Regarding Divorce

 West Coast Woman

Published May 2006

 What are the Hazards of Financial Infidelity?

Financial infidelity is the hiding or redirecting of funds during a marriage, without informing the other spouse. There are different kinds of financial infidelity. The Retaliator personality feels powerless in the financial relationship. Maybe the other spouse controls all the money and this person feels the only way to have any control is to spend out of control when they do have access to any spending. This is the passive aggressive approach to spending.

The Addictive personality may have developed bad spending habits over the years. Often time the Addictive spender has self esteem issues related to their spending. They feel like they can’t control themselves (just like other addictions) and/or it makes them feel better to buy, even if it is something they don’t need.

Then there is the Power personality that feels they have the right to spend. After all they deserve it, because they earned it, and by golly they are going to keep control of it so no one else can spend it.

We all have emotional connections to our finances. Some of us live in scarcity, saving every penny and being so tight that it drives our mate crazy. Others live in abundance and know that there will always be more around the corner, which the universe will provide for; while their mate is worrying if there will be enough to make the payments at the end of the month.

If the State of Florida views everything a couple earns during their marriage to be shared equitably, which they do, then how is a couple to determine who gets to spend what? This is a problem which tends to drive some couples to the brink of divorce.

We know this can be a tough subject to discuss with your spouse, but the sooner you begin to deal with financial issues the sooner you and your spouse can stop arguing about money.

In every relationship both parties need to have some autonomy. To be able to have your own “stash” that you can spend or save as you see fit allows you live out your own financial preferences and habits. That in and of itself will help your marriage flourish because you as an individual are not feeling oppressed when it come to the spending of “your own money”.

With that said, “your own money” is not all of the money that you earn. If one spouse earns $75,000 and the other spouse earns $25,000 it is important to reach an agreement on who spends how much. In terms of the “stash money” as a couple you can come up with an amount that you each put aside, even in a separate checking account.

It is also a good idea to have an agreed upon amount that neither of you will spend, whether it is incremental or cumulative regarding regular monthly purchases out of the main checking account or any joint checking account. Some couples may be comfortable agreeing to not spend more $100 on a single item without first getting agreement from the other spouse or maybe instead they agree to set a monthly limit not to exceed a certain amount, say $250 or $500. The amount will vary depending on your own budget.

If you would like help working out a solution to your spending issues, feel free to call us for a consultation. As part of our services we will help you develop a budget and system that works for you as a couple. Relationships can be challenging to maneuver in especially when there are no ground rules or the ground rules were set by one person.

We can help couples put into place financial agreements in advance of marrying to establish what will happen in the event of divorce and or death. It is much easier to discuss these issues in the beginning, but if you haven’t it is not too late.

We can help you with creative options regarding your specific concerns. We spend the time necessary to understand your situation and what your goals are for your future.

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