Survey Finds Financial Honesty Is Hard to Come By in American Couples

40 percent of Americans in committed relationships say honesty about finances is more important than honesty about fidelity, new Lawyers.com survey shows

NEW YORK, May 4, 2011 - A new national survey finds discrepancies in financial candor and spending habits among Americans aged 25-55 in committed relationships. Of these Americans, four in ten (40 percent) agree that honesty about finances is more important than honesty about fidelity (compared to 2005 in which 24 percent agreed with this sentiment), yet nearly three in ten (29 percent) admit that they have withheld information from their spouse or partner regarding their spending on discretionary items, such as apparel, accessories, electronics and entertainment.
The survey also shows that nearly all Americans in committed relationships (91 percent) agree that it is important to discuss their partner's financial history before marriage, yet more than one quarter (26 percent) admit they tend to avoid talking about finances.
Findings from the 2011 Lawyers.comSM Couples & Money Survey, as well as legal tips and resources on how to protect oneself from the financial infidelity of a spouse or partner, are available at Lawyers.com - the leading online legal website for consumers and small business owners. The online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive in April 2011 among 949 U.S. adults ages 25-55 in committed relationships. The survey updates findings from a 2005 Lawyers.com study that tracked financial honesty and spending habits among American couples, and also includes new data from this year.
"There appears to be a disconnect between the beliefs and actions of a large number of American couples when it comes to disclosure of finances and spending habits between partners," said David Palmieri, vice president and managing director of the Marketing and Consumer Solutions team at LexisNexis. "We encourage people to visit Lawyers.com to learn more about resources - including cohabitation agreements, prenuptial agreements and other legal documents - they can use to protect themselves and, if necessary, to find a good lawyer in their area who specializes in family law."
Turn Back Time, Different Choices

The survey also found that a majority of Americans in committed relationships (85 percent) say they would do one of the listed activities differently to manage their financial situation if they had the opportunity to go back in time.
Additionally, one in five Americans in committed relationships (21 percent) would discuss financial goals/expectations earlier in their relationship and one in ten (10 percent) would be more honest with their spouse or partner about their spending if they could go back in time.
Other Survey Findings

About the survey
The 2011 Lawyers.comSM Couples & Money Survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of LexisNexis between April 8 and 12, 2011 among 1,510 U.S. adults ages 25 - 55 of which 949 are in a committed relationship (that is, they are currently married, engaged or living with a partner). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
The 2005 Lawyers.comSM Couples & Money Survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of LexisNexis between July 29 and August 11, 2005 among 1,796 U.S. adults ages 25 - 55 who are married, engaged, or living with a partner. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
For a complete survey methodology for both surveys, including weighting variables, please reach out to one of the media contacts associated with this announcement.
About Lawyers.comSM
Lawyers.com, a LexisNexis® service, is the leading legal destination on the Web, providing consumers and small business professionals the information they need to learn about specific legal issues, understand their legal options, and find the right lawyer for their needs. Lawyers.com provides a free database of more than one million attorneys and law firms nationwide and helps site visitors make a fast, informed decision when researching legal matters and choosing a lawyer. More than twenty-two million consumers and small business owners visited Lawyers.com last year to find legal information and the right legal representation for their needs.
About LexisNexis
LexisNexis® is a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting and academic markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE: ENL; NYSE: RUK] (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100 countries with 15,000 employees worldwide.
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