Every married couple manages their finances differently. In some marriages, both spouses play an active role in managing their money and both have a good sense of the assets and debts that make up their marital estate. And, just as importantly, they both have a good understanding as to how they came to acquire those assets and debts.
In other marriages, though, one spouse may have more knowledge about these issues than the other spouse. That may be entirely by design, too. The spouse with less knowledge may be perfectly content to let their spouse handle the family’s finances. As a trade-off, maybe that spouse is responsible for another household task. There is no right or wrong way to do it. There are no “marriage rules” after all.
But, when divorce happens, the latter scenario can cause some problems. The uninformed spouse may feel the need to suddenly educate themselves about the finances – understandably so. They (or their lawyer) may want to comb over months (and even years?) worth of bank statements and credit card statements. They may suddenly question every single transaction. They may even accuse the spouse who handled the finances of mismanaging marital money, perhaps forgetting that they were more than happy to hand this obligation off to their spouse during the marriage.
In fact, when there is an imbalance of knowledge regarding the family finances, these scenarios are quite common. The uninformed spouse begins accusing the other spouse of plotting against them. More often than not, though, there is a perfectly legitimate explanation as to how the money was spent. Despite the fears of the uninformed spouse, the money-managing spouse has usually not been scheming against their spouse in order to disadvantage them should a divorce ever occur.
When this imbalance of financial knowledge presents itself, the spouse who managed the money during the marriage can become easily frustrated. He/she may feel like they are wasting time and money to now educate their spouse and opposing counsel on potentially years’ worth of financial transactions. In the end, not much can be done about it. Hopefully, the uninformed spouse will feel that their spouse is providing credible explanations, and will not feel the need to question every single transaction.
Contact Beyer & Simonson
If you are facing divorce and any of the divorce-related issues such as spousal maintenance, child support, child custody, property division, or domestic abuse matters, you need our experienced Minneapolis divorce attorneys to help you. Contact Beyer & Simonson in Edina, Minnesota today at (952) 303-6007.