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Discovering Hidden Assets in an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Asset Division

DuPage County divorce attorneyOnce a couple knows their marriage is over, spouses preparing to divorce in Illinois can become very competitive and hostile. One tactic a spouse might employ in an effort to get revenge, pay less future spousal support, or otherwise get the upper hand in the divorce, is to hide assets and sources of income.

This tactic is more common in high asset divorces, when a couple’s financial picture may be complex and one spouse may manage many or most of the assets, leaving the other spouse in the dark. Finding hidden assets and income that one spouse tries to hide from the other may even require the help of a professional with a special set of skills. Here are several things to keep in mind if you think your spouse may be hiding assets.

Participate in Discovery

The Illinois divorce process includes a period called “discovery” wherein couples request financial information from each other. If you are unsure whether your spouse is hiding assets or not, you can use tools like depositions and interrogatories (a legal interrogation requiring a response) to get a more complete picture. The information your spouse provides during discovery must be given under penalty of perjury.

Consider Hiring a Forensic Accountant

Often, when a lawyer is piecing together a case, they will realize that the total financial picture is not adding up. If they need professional help discovering their client’s spouse’s hidden financial information, a lawyer may recommend that their client hire a forensic accountant.

A forensic accountant is a specially trained accountant who combines accounting, auditing, and investigative techniques to discover hidden finances. Forensic accountants will trace funds, find inconsistencies in a spouse’s tax filings and their stated assets, and otherwise ensure that the court gets a complete picture of a spouse’s finances.

Hiding Assets is Breaking the Law

If, during the divorce process, a judge finds out that one spouse has been hiding assets from the other spouse, the spouse engaging in this illegal behavior can be held in contempt of court, fined, and/or jailed. The law-breaking spouse could even be charged with perjury for lying to the court.

Although a spouse may be tempted to hide assets from their partner, this is a short-term strategy with serious long-term consequences. In divorce cases, honesty really is the best policy. Any gains that might be made by hiding assets or other finances could be quickly lost by the penalties associated with this behavior.

Contact a Naperville, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets or otherwise being dishonest about their finances, contact a DuPage County divorce attorney. The lawyers at Goostree Law Group are experienced in divorce, including complex high-asset divorces when additional professional help is necessary. Contact us today at 630-364-4046 for a confidential consultation to learn more about your options.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+IV&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3900000&SeqEnd=5400000

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