Addressing financial information gaps when divorcing

Posted by Lauren S. CohenAug 04, 20150 Comments

Most married individuals generally feel they know a great deal about their spouse. But does this knowledge extend to financial matters as well as personal matters? A recent study by Fidelity Investments indicates that couples may not always be the best informed when it comes to the financial details and actions of one another.

One of the things the study found was that, of the 1,051 studied couples, over 40 percent didn't correctly know what their partner's earning level was. Given that this is rather basic financial information, this raises the possibility that many married individuals may not know a great deal off-hand about what is going on financially with their partner.

Such an information disconnect can lead to some particularly big concerns when just one of the individuals in a marriage handles most financial matters in the marriage. It could lead to a situation in which the other member of the couple really doesn't have much information readily at hand regarding what is happening when it comes to marital finances and what assets (such as retirement assets) the couple actually has.

Such an information gap regarding marital finances could pose a significant potential problem for an individual if they decide to divorce their spouse. Not having a good picture of the financial state and details of a marriage during a divorce could lead to a person making big mistakes in matters regarding property division or alimony. It could also create real difficulties in planning for their financial future.

Thus, when a person is getting divorced, it can be very important for them to close any information gap regarding marital finances they have in relation to their spouse and get full picture of the financial situation of the marital estate. Attorneys can help divorcing individuals with gathering and analyzing financial information regarding the marital estate and information on the financial state of their soon-to be ex-spouse so they can be properly informed when making big finance-related decisions in the divorce.

Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: How Much Do You Know About Your Husband's Retirement?,” Jeff Landers, July 29, 2015