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b2ap3_thumbnail_divorce5_623.jpgFinancial infidelity in marriage is more common than most realize. In divorce, it is even more likely, and it can be devastating to the spouse left in the dark. In extreme cases, financial infidelity can lead to serious credit problems or divorce-induced poverty after the marriage has dissolved. If you suspect that you are the victim of financial infidelity during your divorce, know how to protect yourself. Learn how to spot asset hiding, and how you can effectively prevent it from damaging your financial future.

How Common is Asset Hiding?

According to a study from CreditCards.com, at least one in five married Americans admitted to spending $500 or more on a purchase without ever telling their spouse. However, the problem goes much deeper. Around 7.2 million individuals admitted to hiding a hidden bank account or credit card (4.4 million were men and 2.8 million were women) from their spouse or significant other. Keep in mind, these studies were done on unmarried couples, not those who were going through a divorce. If it had considered married couples, the numbers might be even higher since, in divorce, assets must be equitably divided among both parties.

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Posted on in High Asset Divorce

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Time to talk about one of the most despised aspects of a family law matter - the financial discovery. When family law attorneys talk about "discovery," they are referencing the request of financial documentation (and the list of financial questions) to be answered by the opposing side during the process of a divorce, parentage, or other family law matter that involves financials. Basically, during these cases a duty exists to find out ("discover") what the other side has by way of assets and debts; if an attorney does not diligently complete discovery, there may be consequences.

So when your attorney sends you the financial affidavit, do it. I know it is a daunting task (I have done one for myself for use as a budget) but there are certain local court rules that require it's completion in a timely manner. And if you want to ask for support or fees from the other side, any petition that is filed asking for that type of relief must attach a financial affidavit (in Kane County, it is called a "Comprehensive Financial Statement," in McHenry and Lake Counties it is called an "11.02 Financial Affidavit," in DuPage County it is called a "Financial Disclosure Statement, and in Cook County it is called a "13.3 Disclosure Statement." When you complete this, attach tax returns, three paystubs and the documents you used in completing the document (utility bills and statements for all accounts) at a minimum.

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