When you found out that your spouse was cheating, you immediately started to devise ways to get back at him. You wanted to empty your bank accounts, run up your credit cards and start hiding valuable assets in a local storage unit. Your goal was to walk away with as much as possible.
Before you do that, stop and think it through. Using “creative” techniques to get ahead in your divorce isn’t a great idea, because you need to be as honest as possible to make a good impression on the court. Deception, such as hiding assets or stealing, will significantly and negatively impact your divorce.
Hiding your property, hiding your income, failing to disclose your expenses and other acts that indicate deception can negatively impact your case and even result in a judge ruling in your spouse’s favor. It’s always going to be a better idea to listen to your attorney and do what they suggest compared to trying to manipulate the divorce in a way that suits you.
In Illinois, the state does not recognize community property laws. That means that you are not guaranteed to receive half of your marital assets. You may think that it’s better to take what you need and to hide it, then, so you know what you have in your own possession, but that action could come back to haunt you.
In an equitable distribution state, the court wants to do what is fair. A much better approach to your divorce would be to let your spouse know that you knew that he was cheating and have records to prove it. This fact could be used to negotiate a higher portion of assets for yourself, especially if your spouse has been spending your marital assets on someone else.
Your attorney should be the first person you call when you know that you’re getting a divorce, because they can start giving you tips on what to do next. They can tell you what kind of evidence to keep, which documents you’ll want to support your case and how to identify all your assets to report them to the court. Your attorney will also guide you so that you don’t make serious mistakes that could make you look bad in the eyes of the court.
Divorces aren’t always easy, and you may have some tough days ahead. Still, deception is only likely to make things worse.