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How shared financial accounts may cause harm to a marriage

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2021 | Firm News

Couples often share their bank accounts and credit cards without considering how it might affect their relationship. When one spouse takes control of the finances, subtle or not-so-subtle signs of manipulation may lead an aggrieved spouse to consider divorce.

Open communication regarding a shared household budget could help resolve many financial issues. Certain signs might, however, cause a spouse to become concerned. According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, red flags of an unhealthy relationship may include a spouse hiding his or her purchases.

Overly aggressive financial control

Some non-working individuals may become aggressive in an effort to keep a spouse away from his or her earnings. In some cases, it may go as far as attempting to sabotage a working spouse’s career or job prospects.

If an individual needs to ask for money, a spouse may have ulterior motives to prevent accessing a shared account. The motive may include taking control of a working spouse’s finances to spend it as he or she wishes. By not complying, the working spouse may end up in a financially dangerous situation such as a forced frivolous purchase when a mortgage becomes due.

Shared-account liabilities

Individuals who recognize subtle signs of financial coercion or mistreatment may take steps to protect themselves. As reported by CNBC, separating joint accounts may avoid shared liabilities and help preserve a credit score.

By ordering a credit report, an individual may see which joint accounts require closing. When an account lists a spouse as an “authorized user,” the account owner may request his or her removal to prevent further spending.

Minnesota’s divorce laws follow the equitable distribution rule, which means couples must divide their assets and debts fairly. If an individual displays aggression toward a couple’s shared financial accounts, payment of outstanding balances may require negotiation as part of a divorce settlement.