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Hidden Assets Hurt the Divorce Process

Posted on in Distribution of Assets

hidden assetsWhen a couple divorces, there are a number of issues to be considered. Spousal maintenance, child support, custody/visitation, and division of assets must all be negotiated to an extent by the court presiding over the proceedings. Many of these subjects can often turn contentious, as the relationship between divorcing partners deteriorates. This, unfortunately, can lead to one party to manipulate the circumstances in such a way that the divorce agreement disproportionately benefits that person. One way in which this might be attempted is by hiding financial or other assets from the other spouse.

Hiding assets can be serious problem, as many determinations in a divorce agreement are dependent on the financial situation of each spouse. Often including cash, bonds, mutual funds, stocks, and bonds, assets which are not disclosed to the court may affect resulting orders related to alimony (called spousal maintenance in Illinois) and child support. As such, a spouse intentionally hiding or disguising financial resources not only commits a serious crime, but also can negatively the impact the well-being the couple’s children.

In many marriages, one partner maintains the majority of the household finances. That partner, often the husband, keeps a household budget, pays the bills, and may even make financial decisions about purchases and investments. While the other partner may not feel the need to get deeply involved, a situation can be created in which it can be easy and tempting for the partner with monetary control to be deceptive and hide assets.

There are countless methods a spouse may use to manipulate the finances of a divorce. Some common ways for concealing money include:

  • New Purchases: Items that may not seem all that valuable may, in fact, be an easy way to disguise assets in plain sight.
  • Hidden Stash: A shoebox in the garage or safety deposit box can a simple hiding place for regular cash. When income does not match well with expenses and savings, money could have found its way into a secret hiding place.
  • Turning Down a Promotion: A scheming spouse may convince his or her employee to wait for the divorce process to be complete before accepting a raise or a promotion. Doing so can prevent the additional income from being disclosed and being considered in the divorce.
  • Overpaying Taxes: Intentionally overestimating tax liabilities can be another way in which assets are concealed. For example, overpaying this year’s income tax by a large margin can allow for a large refund later, possibly after the divorce in finalized.

If you are going through a divorce and believe your spouse may be hiding assets, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney today. We will review your case to help ensure your rights are fully protected.

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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