You thought that you and your spouse shared most everything. Through the years, the two of you have had plenty of discussions about serious topics, abided by unwritten and intuitive agreements and had few secrets. But cracks in your relationship slowly surface.
Petty arguments escalated as the two of you spend more and more time away from each other. The dominos in your partnership seem to topple, and, then, you discover that your spouse has been hiding money from you. Lots of it. This is not openness and honesty.
Poll: 37% hide money from partners
A recent poll of 2,000 Americans who were either married or in romantic partnerships disclosed that 37% of the respondents kept a secret stash of money hidden from their spouse or partner. And within this group, the respondents typically hid an average of more than $2,000. According to the survey, the main disagreements between partners is related to debt (31%) and whether they or their partner spend an excessive amount of money (23%).
In some situations, couples counseling may help the two you of attempt to overcome your differing views on money. However, in extreme cases where most trust has been irretrievably broken, you must attempt to uncover these hidden assets – and not just money. Here is what you can do:
- Conduct a thorough search of your home. Keep a lookout for safes, financial documents and banking records. Surprisingly, you may find cash stashed in strange places such as a freezer, the ceiling and books.
- Tax returns reveal a great amount of information about household assets, including hidden assets. Review itemized deductions, which may reveal hidden real estate properties. Through these documents, you also may uncover rental properties, business-related purchases and interest earnings from mutual fund dividends and bonds that have been sold.
In an ideal world, you can just ask your spouse or partner whether they have money that you do not know about. But this may not be the route to take if trust in your marriage has eroded.