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Financial infidelity can affect Tennessee's property division

In a household, the hiding of purchases or expenses between spouses occurs more often than Tennessee residents may have anticipated. When couples decide to divorce, these hidden assets and debts can become a big issue in property division. A 2012 survey conducted by Today.com and Self.com reports that about 50 percent of married people admit they kept money without the knowledge of their partners.

According to the survey, 56 percent of women and 37 percent of men lied to their partner about money. Also, 32 percent of women said they kept purchases hidden from their spouses while 17 percent of men confess the same. The survey also reported that 70 percent of women and 63 percent of men believe that being honest about finances is akin to being sexually faithful.

Thus, the survey suggests that hiding money or purchases from your spouses can be considered financial infidelity. This kind of infidelity may have the possibility to devastate marriages because it amounts to secrets and dishonesty between spouses.

On the other hand, financial infidelity can be prevented if both spouses are fully informed about each other's expenditures and debts. Experts recommend that both partners can solve these issues by having separate accounts for their individual spending that are only funded after all monthly bills and savings are settled.

Knowing the finances of the household can be beneficial if the couple decides to divorce. This knowledge may aid spouses in identifying whether their partner is hiding assets or properties from divorce property divisions. Such information may also be valuable to recognize hidden debts that should be equally divided in divorce.

With property division, financial infidelity can be problematic in a process that requires both spouses to disclose all their assets, properties and even debts. Full disclosure is required in order for spouses to achieve an equitable share. If one spouse fails to disclose other assets, this may subject the divorce settlement to later modifications. Such an occurrence could make resolutions more favorable to one partner or the other.

Source: USA Today, "Financial infidelity has its costs," Jere Downs, Dec. 31, 2012

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