December 12, 2006 07:00 ET

Honesty is the Best Policy — Even When It Comes to Buying Shoes

The Shopping Spree Is Over as New lawyers.com Survey Blows the Whistle on Secretive Partner Spending

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, PRESS RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 12, 2006) - More women seem to be living like the stars of TV shows like Sex and the City, leaving their unsuspecting partners to pick up the tab. A recent survey reveals there is truth behind this traditional perception, as women are more likely to be dishonest about their spending habits than men (23 per cent vs. 18 per cent, respectively).

The recent Ipsos Reid survey conducted for lawyers.com, an online legal resource centre from LexisNexis Canada that helps consumers and small businesses find lawyers and legal information, reveals that even though some women have poor spending habits and are willing to hide receipts, surprisingly more men share their bank books than women, as 79 per cent of men have joint accounts with their partners, compared to only 68 per cent of women.

"Secrecy regarding spending habits of partners in committed relationships is a chronic problem in many marriages," said Lorne Maclean, a partner at MacLean Family Law Group. "When the financial dishonesty becomes acute, a marriage breakdown can be imminent. The divorce lawyer's job is to uncover the dishonesty quickly so a fair division of family property and income can occur."

The survey also reveals that, regionally, Canada's couples are divided when it comes to hiding their receipts. Atlantic Canadians ranked the highest with 33 per cent being dishonest with their partners about spending tendencies, which does not seem to affect their trust in their partners, as they ranked second highest in Canada, at 76 per cent, for having joint accounts. On the opposite end of the scale are Quebecers who are the most honest with only 3 per cent having been deceitful with partners about their spending habits. Although Quebecers may be honest with their partners about their splurging, surprisingly, they ranked the lowest for having joint accounts with their partners.

According to the survey, household income also plays a role with the level of secretive partner spending, as couples with household incomes of less than $55,000 annually are the most open with their partners about their spending habits, but are also the least likely to share access to their finances, as only 66 per cent have joint accounts with their partners.

The lawyers.com web site provides further detailed findings from the survey.

Regional Breakdown

The following percentages of Canadians have been dishonest with their partners about their spending habits:
* Atlantic - 33 per cent
* Ontario - 24 per cent
* Prairies - 24 per cent
* British Columbia - 20 per cent
* Quebec - 3 per cent

The following percentages of Canadians in committed relationships have joint accounts with their partners:
* Prairies - 81 per cent
* Atlantic - 76 per cent
* British Columbia - 73 per cent
* Ontario - 73 per cent
* Quebec - 68 per cent

Household Income Breakdown

The following percentages of Canadians have been dishonest with their partners about their spending habits:
* Less than $55K - 19 per cent
* $55K to $100K - 23 per cent
* More than $100K - 22 per cent

The following percentages of Canadians in committed relationships have joint accounts with their partners:
* Less than $55K - 66 per cent
* $55K to $100K - 80 per cent
* More than $100K - 80 per cent

Lawyers.com is an online directory of lawyers and law firms in Canada for consumers to find the legal help they need. Searches for lawyers can be done easily by location, by name of the law firm or lawyer, or by area of law practised. Articles and information on legal topics are also available to help consumers get answers to their basic legal questions. Lawyers.com is free and easy to use, and helps Canadians make informed decisions when selecting legal services.

Lawyers.com is published by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell (www.martindale.com), the leading client development company for the legal profession. The company provides lawyers, business executives, and consumers with detailed information to help them identify, evaluate, and select legal counsel.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid/LexisNexis poll conducted on behalf of lawyers.com from April 27 to May 1, 2006. For the survey, a representative, randomly selected sample of 1,184 adult Canadians completed an online survey. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±2.8 percentage points at a confidence interval of 95 per cent. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. To view the survey factum, please visit www.ipsos-na.com/news.

About LexisNexis
LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading provider of information and services solutions, including its flagship web-based Lexis® and Nexis® research services, to a wide range of professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting, and academic markets. A member of Reed Elsevier Group plc [NYSE: ENL; NYSE: RUK] (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in 100 countries with 13,000 employees worldwide.

LexisNexis Canada Inc. (www.lexisnexis.ca) provides legal and corporate researchers with comprehensive and authoritative online and print information services and solutions, including the LexisNexis® Quicklaw™ online research service for Canadian legal information; LexisNexis® Butterworths print and CD-ROM titles and newspapers for legal, accounting, and other professionals; the Lexis and Nexis research services for global online legal, news, and business information; and solutions that serve the needs of law firms and organizations in Practice Management, Client Development, and Litigation Services.

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