If you’re involved in a contentious divorce, your spouse may attempt to hide assets from you. This is often illegal and definitely morally questionable, but people do it because they want to get as much as they can out of the relationship — or because they want to keep their spouse from getting something. Either way, it may violate your rights.

How do they do it? That depends. People are very creative, and you’ll find that they’ll go to great lengths to keep you from getting what you deserve.

Classic moves include things like withdrawing money and putting the cash aside, giving assets to family members, giving “loans” to friends and simply denying that assets exist. But those things are simple schemes compared to some of the examples that divorce experts have seen.

For instance, one person would pay more than they owed on their credit cards. When the bank got the payment, they would then cut a check for the remaining money and send it back to the person. They would cash the check and hide the money.

This way, when going over all of their financial details, it was not immediately obvious what had happened. The payments, at first glance, appeared to be legitimate. A spouse who was not that involved and did not know how much the family was really spending may never have noticed that those payments were all suspiciously large.

If you think that something like this may be happening during your divorce, it is especially important for you to understand your legal rights and all of the steps you can take to protect yourself.