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If you're surprised by a lack of money during divorce, be careful

During your marriage, you always felt like you and your spouse had plenty of money for everything you wanted. You were fairly hands-off with the finances, letting your spouse run things, but you never got the sense that money was tight. You never wanted for anything.

When you got divorced, though, you felt shocked by how little money you actually had. Where did it all go?

This is a massive red flag, and you need to be careful moving forward. You may learn a lot about your finances during the divorce, and they may not be as solid as you assumed.

For one thing, you could be looking at a fair amount of debt. As one financial expert put it in USA Today: "When most people express the feeling of having money, they mean they have stuff."

The question, then, is how you got everything you owned, cars and homes, for example, without having any real money in the bank. Your spouse may have been operating on credit, which means you could end up dividing more debts than assets.

Another potential issue is that your spouse may have deceived you about the family finances. Maybe you never had as much as you thought. Maybe you did, but your spouse tried to hide the money when it became clear that you were going to get divorced.

No matter what, these red flags could mean you're in for a complex and contentious divorce. This type of property division can get difficult, and it is very important for you to fully understand the legal process and all of the options that you have.

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