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The Problem of Hidden Assets in Divorce

 Posted on January 11, 2017 in Distribution of Assets

Lombard family law attorneysIt is certainly not uncommon for divorcing spouses to fight over money. In many situations, finances are the only issue that keeps the divorce process ongoing—often for many months or even years. A large number of such cases include high-net-worth couples with significant assets and business interests, which can be very complicated to divide fairly. Other cases, however, involve one spouse hiding or obfuscating assets so that he or she will not lose them during the divorce.

Manipulating the System

Illinois law requires each spouse to make a full financial disclosure during the divorce process so that all marital property can be divided equitably. Too often, one spouse will attempt to leave certain assets or revenue streams out of his or her disclosure so that they will be “safe” from division during the divorce. This type of behavior defies the intent of the law regarding equitable distribution and is taken very seriously by the courts.

Finding Hidden Assets

If your spouse is hiding assets, he or she may think that you will never find them, but if you know what to look for, you may be able to identify warning signs. A person may attempt to hide assets by:

  • Overpaying taxes: Your spouse could be making payments to the IRS in excess of what he or she owes, offsetting future payments or expecting a refund when the divorce is finalized;
  • Delaying bonuses or promotions: If your spouse was expecting a raise or a large commission check that has never come, he or she might have asked his or her employer to hold it until a later date;
  • Undervaluing assets: Large purchases, including jewelry, artwork, or antiques, could also be hiding assets, especially if your spouse has undervalued them, meaning they are worth more than he or she stated;
  • Making suspicious loans or gifts: Has your spouse decided to give money to friend or family member? This could be a temporary move intended to keep you from getting a part of that money;
  • Using business holdings: There several ways your spouse could be trying to hide assets behind a business or corporate entity, including simply storing cash in corporate accounts.

Get the Help You Need

If you suspect that your spouse may be hiding assets, it is important to notify your attorney right away. Your lawyer can help you find a financial professional who is trained to find hidden assets and will work to ensure that your rights are fully protected.

To learn more about how hidden assets can impact your divorce, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney. Call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today.



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