Whether your husband has always been fairly secretive about finances, or seems to be more secretive as of late—you may be wondering if there is something he is keeping hidden from you.
What is important to remember is that there are a number of reasons why your husband may be secretive about your finances. For example, his reasoning could be fairly harmless and that as the primary breadwinner, it is his job to take care of you by managing the family finances. On the other hand, his secrecy could be due to less honorable scenarios, such as that he is having an affair, or that he is hiding money from you.
What Should You Do?
If your husbands secrecy is making you uneasy (and it should), consult a female divorce attorney. Just because you are consulting a female divorce attorney, it does not mean that divorce or separation are on the table, but that you are taking an all-important step towards protecting your financial security. You simply need an impartial professional who can guide you through the next steps to take, and to help you understand your financial situation once your husband answers some of your preliminary questions.
What Should You Ask Your Husband?
If your husband is willing to having a frank discussion about finances, you may not be sure what questions need to be asked. The questions below are an excellent way to get the conversation started, and are likely to lead to more financial and family-related questions.
- Start by inquiring about all of the monthly and ongoing bills. While you are likely aware of many of the monthly household bills, you may not be aware of them all. On top of what monthly bills exist, inquire about how much each bill costs. This includes bills such as:
- Property Tax
- Cell Phones
- Gym Memberships
- Car Payments
- Insurance—home, health, car, life, accident, ect.
- Ask about what will happen in the event of his death, or in the event of serious injury or accident. Inquire about what type of insurance policies are in place, as well as who his beneficiaries are, and who receives the funds from his bank accounts upon death?
- Ask about his plans for retirement. When does he plan to retire? What type of retirement investments have been made?
- Ask about non-retirement savings accounts—rainy day fund, vacations, college funds, and emergency spending.
- Ask about what sort of debt the two of you have.
- Ask to see copies of mortgage statements, tax assessments, deeds, car payment statements, tax returns, W-2s, IRA’s, bank statements.
- Ask if there is anything you can take off his plate—such as renegotiating utilities, shopping around for a new cell phone provider, or even contributing a bit more to the family savings and/or retirement plan.
If there are documents he shows you that you do not understand, ask to take them to an accountant to explain them to you.
Many of these questions may be uncomfortable to ask, especially when speaking of death, accident, or injury. However, having these uncomfortable conversation now can save tremendous time, stress, and money in the event of an emergency.
Protecting Your Financial Future
If your husband is unwilling to have this discussion, then you need to contact a lawyer right away. You may not be thinking about a divorce, but need to consultation with someone who understands legal rights and responsibilities about your finances. The last thing you want is to find out at some point down the road that your husband has not managed your family’s finances properly—and that you are severely in debt or unable to retire comfortably. If you are contemplating a separation or divorce, then these issues are even more important.
If you live in the Roanoke area and are in need of a trusted female divorce attorney, reach out to Nanda Davis today at 540.400.6889.