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Study shows financial infidelity is a predictor of divorce

Financial incompatibility has long been the most prevalent reason for divorce in Maryland and across the United States. A new study has found that a surprising amount of people have been using deceptive measures to hide their financial infidelity, even though they risk the end of a marriage if they are caught.

Married people use a number of strategies to hide their financial transactions from their spouses. Some of the techniques include setting up a personal bank account, withdrawing cash in small increments to use for large purchases later and opening separate credit card accounts. The study even found that 20 percent of couples believe it's acceptable to spend up to $500 without informing their spouse.

Although hiding spending from a spouse who might be a financial bully could prevent an argument temporarily, it often does more harm than good in the long term. Credit counseling to help the couple learn how to talk about financial matters might be a better way to deal with financial bullying in a marriage than hiding purchases. According to another study conducted by researchers at Kansas State University, the likelihood of divorce is higher for couples who have disagreements about money near the beginning of their marriage.

When financial infidelity leads to the demise of a marriage, it's important for each spouse to have separate legal representation. Property division is often one of the most contentious divorce legal issues, and it can be made more difficult if one of the parties has been hiding assets or been otherwise less than forthcoming about financial matters. In some cases, it may be necessary for one of the spouses to also obtain the assistance of a forensic accountant.

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