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Should you hack your spouse's phone to find hidden assets?

You think your spouse is hiding assets during the divorce. Maybe he or she is acting strange -- in a way that you notice, but the court may not -- when asked about it. Maybe you thought you understood your family's financial picture, and there's simply not enough money there. Regardless of why you think your spouse is stashing assets away, you think he or she is doing it simply to keep you from getting a fair split in court.

Your first instinct may be to look for proof. These days, that could mean picking up your spouse's smartphone, maybe while he or she is in the shower, if you're still living together. You can probably guess the password, right? Should you hack in to read text messages and emails, looking for proof?

No. Experts note that you can actually get yourself in a lot of trouble. Don't hack into a smartphone. Don't read messages that weren't meant for you. Don't hack into your spouse's social media accounts to see what you can dig up.

Instead, just look into your legal options. You think you're being wronged, and many tactics used to hide assets are illegal. Count on the fact that the law is on your side. Only take the proper legal steps to uncover those assets.

It's understandable that you feel angry and frustrated, that you want to take action because you think you're being wronged. You may also be nervous that your spouse will hide the evidence if you don't get it quickly. Still, while working quickly is important, you also want to do so within the bounds of the law. Always be sure you know what is legally permissible before taking any action.

Source: Business Insider, "Divorcing Women: Here's How Your Husband Will Try To Hide Assets," Jeff Landers, accessed Jan. 12, 2017

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