McNamee Mediations is a successful small business in California. One of the marketing measures they use to promote the company online is posting videos about their services on social media sites. This article is a transcript of Colleen McNamee’s interview at Money Matters.
Interesting Facts about Financial Infidelity
So colleen, I guess I can’t help it. I need to ask you about some of the shadier stuff. What are the shadier things that spouses do?
So we’ve talked about practical things that are really common – about having separate bank accounts or having one spouse be in-charge of the financial payments while the other spouse is the breadwinner. But you also do come across situations where spouses have maybe a side business that the wife doesn’t know about or the other party doesn’t know about. And so they’ve got some cash coming in and they just sort of keep that off to the side and the other party has no idea that there’s that additional income. There’s the infamous off-shore accounts that we all hear about and see in the movies. And those actually do exist in real life as well. Opening secret credit cards. I think you addressed that in your opening statement and that is something very common and on the rise. And then also another common one is parties who receive bonuses. So it’s not their standard paycheck that they have coming in to the joint account that their spouse is used to seeing. And they get bonuses and don’t have them deposited to that joint checking account, and just kind of keep it to the side.
The old bonus trick, huh?
Let’s go into the shocking little facts. I know you got a bunch of them here, so what are those?
Yeah, let’s see. So one of the things that I found in doing research for this show is that there were results from the national survey that found 1 in 5 married couples have spent over 500 dollars per year without their partner’s knowledge. I in 5!
I’m going to stop you right there That’s 500 bucks. I mean, I don’t tell my wife every time I buy something, right? And I’m sure she doesn’t tell me if a kitchen appliance costs 120 bucks, she’s not going to tell me. If she went shopping and spent 300 bucks, she’s just not going to tell me. But 500 is not that much. I will point, do you create more issues with that?
Well, I think 500 was an example of an average. And for some people, 500 could be a lot.
I mean, it could be a matter of them ending up in debt at the end of each month.
With that extra 500 being spent. And it could be, for someone who makes more money, it’s actually 5000 that’s being spent that they don’t know about. So I think this is just kind of an example and what we should take from it, really, is that 1 in 5 married couples are spending money their spouse doesn’t know about each year.
And let’s see. Our next little juice tidbit is secret spending and hiding money is 50% more common among men, but times have changed. Women are now more independent with their finances than ever before. So secret spending and hiding money is on the rise with women. Part of this article, actually the source of it, was quoted as saying, “younger women are a little bit more independent and think differently these days. They think more, in my opinion, of themselves as a separate entity from their partner.” Which is interesting because that’s not traditional at all.
Sure. So let me ask you, in your practice, do you have a particular age group that dominates over the others?
I guess I would probably say 40s and 50s. Probably at least 60% of my clients are in the age range of 40 through 50.
And how long would you say those people on the average have been married before the divorce?
Anywhere between 8 to 30 years. And some of them in their 50s maybe this is even their 2nd marriage.
For the couple that has been for, let’s call it, 18, 20 plus years, is it typically the man or the woman who wants to divorce at that point?
You know it really varies. But just after the holidays, these holidays, it’s been women that are filing.
And would you say that’s typically because they’re hanging around until the kids are done or self-sufficient or they don’t think it’s going to bother them as much, and then they finally call it at that point?
I used to see a lot more of that. A lot of people just staying together for the sake of the kids, and waiting until they went off to college. But I think that’s becoming less and less the case, because there’s more and more studies that are being released that showed that that actually has a negative impact on the children to stay married and be in an unhealthy marriage rather than divorcing when you feel like the time’s right instead of waiting for the kids to be grown. So I think there’s a decoy in that train of thought.