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Is your spouse hiding or lying about money?

Too many people don't find out that their spouse has been less than honest about financial matters until they're going through a divorce and that information has to be disclosed. Even then, there are ways for people to hide assets. If there's a suspicion that a person is keeping assets a secret to avoid having to split them, family law attorneys may recommend bringing in a forensic accountant to uncover them.

Whether you're considering divorce or not, if your spouse is lying about money (whether it involves assets or debts), it can be the sign of some type of problem. Following are some signs to be on the lookout for:

-- Sudden or significant changes to joint bank accounts (including password changes made without your knowledge).

-- A bank account that you didn't know about.

-- A refusal to have any joint accounts. While many couples choose to have individual accounts, it's generally a good idea to have at least one joint account from which to pay household expenses and cover things like vacations and major purchases.

-- Unusual or expensive purchases on credit card bills or large withdrawals from bank accounts. A common money problem among couples is one person spending money on things they don't need or can't afford.

-- Stashing away cash. One common indication of this is getting a significant amount of cash back every time he or she makes a debit card purchase.

Certainly, none of these signs necessarily means that your spouse has taken a lover, developed a gambling problem or is stowing away money in preparation for asking for a divorce. However, all should prompt an open discussion.

While people don't stop being individuals when they get married, secrets and lies about money, even if it's your own, generally aren't healthy. They can lead to serious problems down the road, whether you remain together into your twilight or go your separate ways.

Source: GO Banking Rates, "Signs Your Significant Other Is Lying About Money," Sabah Karimi, Sep. 20, 2016

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