#275 Till Bank Accounts Do Us Part w/ Tracy Coenen

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This week on the Wealthy Wellthy Podcast I tackle an uncomfortable, yet important topic. To be sure, no one really wants to talk about financial infidelity – until it happens to them. And then, it can become life-consuming. 

This week’s guest on the Wealthy Wellthy Podcast is Tracy Coenen, a forensic account and fraud investigator with over 25 years of experience helping people – mostly women – discover and receive the money to which they have a legal right in a divorce.  

As you know, I am proof positive that mindset determines outcome. I believe in and practice setting clear, specific, and positive intentions in everything I do, and that includes marriage. Now, you may also know that I have been married and divorced in the past, so even the best intentions require occasional course corrections AND……still….the best relationships require constant attention. 

Even then, they sometimes don’t last forever. 

In this compelling conversation, Tracy shares how secrecy and deception in relationships often includes money. In fact, over half of married couples admit to lying or hiding spending from their partner. Left unchecked, Tracy says these small money indiscretions often snowball into full-blown affairs.

Even worse, many spouses only discover financial duplicity during divorce when assets hang in the balance. 

That’s where Tracy comes in. She specializes in helping uncover hidden accounts, improper spending, and shuffled funds so individuals can better protect themselves as a marriage dissolves. 

With 25+ years investigating financial crimes and digging into records of high net worth divorces, Tracy has seen it all when the ugly side of matrimony mixes with money.

Takeaways I Got From This Episode Were:

  1. Over half of married couples admit to lying to their spouse about money. Small indiscretions can snowball over time into full-blown financial infidelity.
  2. Even in healthy marriages, partners should have financial check-ins, know account details, and prepare for unexpected events. Secrecy erodes trust.
  3. Prenups aren’t just for the wealthy. They provide a roadmap for dividing assets if a marriage dissolves. Postnups accomplish the same after the wedding.
  4. During divorce, immediately secure financial documents. Comb through them yourself first before involving experts. Look for unusual transactions.
  5. Women often get the short end financially in divorce due to lower earnings, less money experience, and unwillingness to push hard on asset division.

Here Are Five of My Favorite Quotes:

  1. “Having that (money) conversation on a weekly basis about ‘What are our account balances?’ will help as well.”
  2. “One way to approach this topic with a spouse is saying something like, ‘I appreciate all you’ve been doing to manage our family’s money…But I’m really concerned. Because if something were to happen to you…I don’t know where our money is.’”
  3. “By getting information, by becoming knowledgeable about what’s been going on with your finances, you will be in a much better position to negotiate.”
  4. “You surround yourself with other entrepreneurs. It is so important to have like minded people around you.”
  5. “If your spouse gives you some great pushback on (money transparency),  I think you have cause to be concerned.”

Time Stamps:

  • [0:00:00] – Introduction and overview of topic
  • [0:06:20] – Discussion of the “financial fraud snowball” and how small lies can grow
  • [0:11:05] – Differences in money attitudes now compared to traditional roles
  • [0:13:04] – What Tracy does as a forensic accountant
  • [0:18:16] – Common amounts of money hidden in typical divorce cases
  • [0:23:43] – Red flags to watch out for regarding financial infidelity
  • [0:28:42] – Advice for couples to avoid financial infidelity
  • [0:31:32] – Special considerations for second marriages
  • [0:35:11] – Advice for gathering documents when first considering divorce
  • [0:38:49] – Advice Tracy gives to couples about money and marriage
  • [0:41:33] – Tracy’s experience starting her own business from scratch
  • [0:43:02] – Advice to surround yourself with other entrepreneurs
  • [0:44:06] – Myth that women often get financially cheated in divorce
  • [0:46:34] – Tracy’s Divorce Money Guide resource for those going through divorce

Tracy’s Myth Buster

You Won’t Get Cheated in Your Divorce

Forensic accountant Tracy Coenen has seen hundreds of divorce cases over her 25 year career. One common myth she hears is that women feel they will inevitably get cheated financially when it comes time to divide up assets in a divorce settlement.

However, Tracy insists this doesn’t have to be the case. In her experience, women often come out of divorces with less money because they are less involved with finances during the marriage and less willing to push for all the financial facts during the divorce proceedings.

By taking proactive steps like gathering financial documents, looking for “red flags” of hidden money, and being informed about marital assets, Tracy says women can reduce their risk of feeling taken advantage of. With the right knowledge and preparation, it’s possible to negotiate a fair divorce settlement and avoid getting cheated out of what you deserve.

Links For Tracy :

Divorce Money Guide

Connect with her on his socials.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/sequenceinc/

LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracycoenen/

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