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Financial infidelity in gray divorces

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | Divorce |

Like many other states, Pennsylvania is seeing a rise in gray divorces. This demographic trend describes the divorce or separation of older couples who have been married for many years. The term “gray divorce” refers to the hair color of the people going through the divorce. While statistics show a decline in the divorce rate in the U.S., gray divorces have been on the rise for about two decades.

Gray divorce and finances

Finances can be difficult, especially when one or both spouses have difficulty managing money. It is increasingly common for couples who deal with major debt or who are constantly in conflict about money to divorce.

Other financial issues stem from a perception of financial inequity. For example, if one of the partners is the primary or sole breadwinner, they may be the one who makes all of the money decisions. This can lead to frustration, especially when the partner who makes the decisions overspends or mismanages money.

The impact of financial infidelity

Financial infidelity goes beyond fighting over how money gets spent. It describes a purposeful, deceitful act of spending money, hiding money, borrowing money or doing something that incurs debt without informing the other spouse. Financial infidelity includes unilateral decisions that put a financial burden on both spouses or negatively affect the financial planning in a relationship. The sense of betrayal created by this form of infidelity may cause one or both partners to seek a divorce.

More than 85% of individuals surveyed said that financial deception negatively impacted their relationships. More than 50% of people said that they believe financial deception is worse than physical infidelity in a marriage.

Financial infidelity can cause economic damage and emotional upheaval, lead to financial insecurity and shorten the amount of time a couple has to recoup lost wealth or grow their income. Although discussing issues related to money can be challenging, having open communication about financial issues and being willing to work through them may lead to greater success in marriage.