Once upon a time, many women hid money from their husbands - it was often the only way that non-working wives obtained an emergency fund, a nest egg or "fun money" to buy her or the family's extras. But in today's culture of two working parent households, are women or men still hiding assets from their mates? The answer is yes, and the reasons are not always as innocent as in years past.
According to a British Internet survey, 75 percent of women and 53 percent of men admitted to hiding money from their spouses. Thus, one could argue that hiding money is prevalent in many marriages. But why do it? Some women believe that if theirs husbands knew about the money they were hiding, the husbands would want to spend it, and not necessarily on the little extras that they spend it on. Anthony Fava, a tax accountant, calls these types of secret accounts the innocent ones, according to his statement to MSN Money.
According to Fava and many divorce lawyers, the accounts a spouse should be worried about are the war chest accounts. A war chest account is one being concealed by a spouse who is anticipating a divorce or separation. The spouse is hiding this money either to flee the marriage or to prevent the other spouse from getting his or her fair share. If a spouse suspects or finds a secret account like this, he or she should consult with a professional such as a lawyer, a private investigator or an accountant to discuss his or her options.
Here are some of the signs that a spouse is hiding money:
- Changes in spending habits: a spouse is either spending large sums of money or is constantly short of cash
- Changes in your tax returns or tax debts
- Sudden refusals to discuss finances or a rush to get you to sign financial documents
- Mail no longer being received at home
If a spouse has a small amount of secret money set aside to purchase designer shoes or the latest electronic gadget, then generally there is no cause to be concerned. However, if a spouse is building a war chest, then the other spouse may want to start asking some questions.