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Divorce is more than just an emotionally complex situation; it is a process that can financially devastate anyone, including those with a high net worth. On one hand, those that have built a fortune could stand to lose more than half of their marital estate. This is because Illinois is considered an equitable distribution state, so assets are distributed "fairly" in divorce, not equally. On the other hand, you could have a spouse that tries to hide or deplete assets to keep a disadvantaged spouse in the dark. Either situation could have a significant impact on the financial future of one or both parties. Reduce your risk of experiencing such a fate and learn how to protect your assets in divorce with help from the following tips.

Collect Documentation and Store it Safely

Regardless of which side of the divorce you are on, it is critical that you gather as much documentation as you possibly can. Search for credit card bills, any information on retirement accounts, bank statements on any joint or individual accounts, and any other financial paperwork you can find. Make copies and then store them in a safe place. Oftentimes, these documents can disappear during divorce proceedings, and that can make for complications in your case. Alternatively, if you are struggling to obtain paperwork, talk to your attorney about doing a Discovery on your marital assets.

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When going through divorce, most people would like to believe that their spouse still values their marriage enough to be honest and fair in their disclosure of assets and income. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. No one really knows how often it happens - after all, many do end up getting away with it - but the issue is common and one that you should be aware of. Learn more with help from the following information on financial fraud in divorce.

Types of Financial Fraud in Divorce

While some forms of financial fraud are more common than others, a spouse can become victim to one or numerous types throughout the course of their marriage or divorce. This can include tax fraud, asset dissipation, asset hiding, misappropriation of assets, forgery, loan fraud, insurance fraud, and more. Parties who are especially at risk are those that have not had an active role in the day-to-day financial management of the marriage. Even still, it is possible to spot the signs if you stay aware and know what to look for during your divorce.

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When an individual believes that a divorce is unavoidable, he or she may panic. As a result, he or she may try to hide money or assets to avoid losing them in the divorce. If your spouse is playing games with your family finances, it then puts you at a disadvantage. However, there are teams of experts who are trained to detect fraudulent financial activity in a divorce, and to find missing assets.

How Spouses Try and Hide Money and Assets

There is no end to the creativity of people looking to try and hide money from their spouse and their spouse's attorney. Sometimes they spend months withdrawing money from checking and savings accounts and depositing the money into secret accounts. A spouse may also try and buy expensive items such as jewelry or art that can easily be transported and hidden, hoping to cash in those assets later after the divorce is final.

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