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Secret credit card use a factor in many divorces, study finds

Have you ever used a credit card you share with your spouse to purchase something that you knew your spouse would disapprove of? Maybe you really wanted that new pair of shoes, or maybe you went ahead and bought a few expensive items at the grocery store that you normally wouldn't, thinking your spouse wouldn't notice. While a swipe here and there without permission from a spouse may seem harmless, a recent study found that it could have serious consequences for your relationship.

A recent survey conducted by Moneysupermarket.com found that 10 percent of a group of 1,000 men and women said secretly using a credit card was a factor in their separation or divorce.

While women kept credit card use a secret from their partners more often, the study found that men generally spent more. Most people who were surveyed said they tried to keep the purchases secret from their spouses because they knew their spouse would either disapprove or be angry. 

It is no secret that financial issues can cause problems in a marriage. For some couples in Georgia, secret use of a credit card may prompt discussions about a budget. For others, it may cause a betrayal of trust that is difficult to bounce back from, leading to talks of divorce or separation. 

Next time you head out for a day of shopping or are considering spending a little extra without talking to a spouse, it may be worthwhile to think twice and exercise a little restraint. 

Source: Huffington Post, "Secret Credit Card Spending And Divorce Linked In New Survey," Oct. 14, 2013

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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