More than one-third of American adults say they routinely hide away money from their romantic partners. The survey, which was commissioned by the online resale company StockX, found that those responding admitted to stashing an average of $2,006 in cash.
What led them to hide these funds? Most said worries over debt were the main reason, followed by concerns that they or their spouse spend too much money. Regardless of why, 83% of those surveyed believed it was important to have honest conversations with their partner about money.
Where did the cash go?
The survey also looked at what those siphoning marital funds did with the money. Nearly half said they spent it on collectible items for themselves. The top five are:
- Watches – 21%
- Shoes – 19%
- Handbags – 17%
- Comic books – 16%
- Trading cards – 16%
More than 80% said when shopping for themselves, they were more likely to buy items that fit within their collection.
Lack of trust and divorce
While couples end their marriages for many reasons, one of the most common grounds is mistrust. When trust is broken, it’s conceivable that one spouse may be hiding assets from the other. There are four typical ways they do this:
- Denying that the asset exists
- Claiming the asset was lost
- Creating false debt
- Transferring an asset to a third party
Hiding marital assets can be challenging. However, it’s not impossible for high-net-worth individuals whose assets may include a business, complex investments or even offshore accounts.
Finding hidden property
In many cases, a paper trail exists leading to these assets. An experienced divorce attorney understands how scrutinizing tax returns can identify property and income that spouses neglect to mention on their financial disclosure. Knowledgeable lawyers also work with forensic accountants.
Before filing for divorce, it’s crucial to talk to an attorney and take an inventory of all financial documents in your spouse’s name, your name or both. Once a divorce is on the table, it’s not uncommon for assets to disappear before the process gets underway.