Statistics released by The Money Advice Service revealed that one in ten people have an ‘escape fund’ in case they decide to leave their partner. Research also suggested that men were more likely than women to have a secret escape fund in the event they decided to leave their partner following the breakdown of a relationship. Of the two thousand participants asked eleven percent of men admitted they had secret savings in comparison to eight percent of women.
Finances can often be a key source of contention between spouses, with money troubles placing a great deal of stress on a relationship that may already be strained. Even in happy or longstanding relationships, for one reason or another, one partner may chose not to be entirely open with regard to their finances, perhaps feeling the need to protect themselves or their assets.
The study would appear to highlight the level of secrecy inherent within relationships. Whilst many would argue that honesty is a keystone to married life, evidently it would appear that this is not always the case. Just under a fifth of those asked confirmed that they had a financial secret such as hidden savings or debts that their partner was not aware of.
The threat of financial insecurity is often a key cause of concern for those contemplating leaving a partner, especially in relationships where one spouse is financially dependent upon the other. Entering into a pre-nuptial agreement can offer some security by way of providing clarity of what the parties intend to do in the unfortunate event of separation.Although the courts are not strictly bound to the terms set out in any such agreement, provided it has been fairly entered in to, judges are increasingly taking premarital agreements in to account in considering the division of assets.
When a marriage does break down, the court expects and imposes a duty on each partner to provide a full and frank disclosure of their relevant financial circumstances. Failure to comply can potentially result in heavy penalties, applied at the judge’s discretion, both in relation to the division of assets and being ordered to pay the other party’s legal costs.