Attorney Katherine Kraus

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How can financial infidelity affect an Arizona divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2023 | Divorce

There are at least three different acknowledged kinds of infidelity. Physical or sexual infidelity occurs when someone becomes intimate with a person other than their spouse. Emotional infidelity occurs when someone begins confiding in someone other than their spouse, often at the expense of their marital relationship.

Finally, financial infidelity occurs when one spouse intentionally lies about their financial circumstances. Financial infidelity might involve someone misrepresenting their spending habits. It could also entail one spouse hiding a portion of their income or some of their assets from their spouse.

What impact could financial infidelity potentially have on Arizona divorce proceedings?

Financial infidelity can cause divorce

Perhaps the most noticeable impact financial infidelity will have on a marriage is the damage that it causes to the marital relationship. One spouse who discovers that the other has accrued a massive amount of debt or lied about their income for years may lose their trust in their spouse. Financial infidelity can become the reason that one person decides a marriage is no longer worth maintaining.

Financial misconduct can affect property division

Community property rules in Arizona require disclosures about personal holdings and often an even split of the assets acquired during marriage. When there are suspicions of financial infidelity, property division can be a much more challenging process.

In a situation involving hidden income or assets, the other spouse may need professional assistance tracking down resources. They may need to bring in a forensic accountant to locate hidden bank accounts and resources purchased with marital income that are not kept in the marital home.

Other times, financial infidelity might lead to significant debts. Typically, debts are divisible as part of the marital estate. However, scenarios involving one spouse lying to the other could lead to unusual outcomes during property division. The courts might exclude hidden debts from the marital estate even though someone took them on during the marriage.

Typically, someone divorcing because of financial infidelity will need to be extra careful during the financial discovery process and when presenting their side of the case in family court. Discovering financial infidelity and responding to it appropriately with the assistance of a skilled lawyer may help someone achieve a reasonable outcome during their divorce proceedings.


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