Every divorce case will have its areas that cause disputes. For some couples, child-related issues will be the epicenter of most of the divorce conflict. For others, typically spouses who do not have children, the asset division process can be this source of contention. The asset division process can be long and confusing, especially since much of the process involves delving into your finances.

Unfortunately, divorce can bring out the worst in some people, prompting them to do things that they normally would not do or things that they know they should not do. In a high-asset divorce, it is not uncommon for a spouse to attempt to hide assets or otherwise keep his or her spouse from receiving a portion of the marital estate. This is where help from a forensic accountant can be beneficial.

Illinois Asset Division and Discovery

When it comes to the rules governing asset division, each state is different. The state of Illinois uses what is called an equitable distribution model. This, however, is not to be confused with equal distribution. Equitable distribution means that each spouse will receive a portion of the marital estate, that is deemed fair when all relevant circumstances are considered. Illinois courts urge couples to agree upon asset division themselves, but a court will divide assets if need be. If the court divides a couple’s marital assets, there is a chance that one spouse will receive a larger portion of the marital estate than the other spouse.

Before any of this happens, however, a step in the divorce process called “discovery” takes place. During the discovery procedures, both spouses and their attorneys are present and must provide a full, detailed picture of their assets, liabilities, debts, and other financial information, whether it is marital or nonmarital information. 

Forensic Accountants and Your Divorce

It is during the discovery phase of the divorce when forensic accountants are typically brought in if they are used. A forensic accountant is a financial professional who is trained and has experience looking over various financial records and documents to find discrepancies, missing information, or any other unusual activity. A forensic accountant will usually request information from your spouse, including documents such as:

  • Checking and savings account statements

  • Tax returns

  • Brokerage statements

  • Loan applications and information

  • Stock options information

  • Credit card statements

  • Retirement account ledgers

  • Business records and tax information

  • Any other relevant financial information

Contact a Naperville Hidden Asset Divorce Attorney

If you are concerned that your spouse may be hiding assets from you, speak with a knowledgeable DuPage County divorce lawyer right away. At the Goostree Law Group, we understand the complexity that most divorce cases involving hidden assets can have. Our experienced team of divorce lawyers can help you move forward with the asset division process with a forensic accountant on your side. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-364-4046.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2014/09/04/why-a-forensic-accountant-belongs-on-your-divorce-team/#17a1c674718a

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+V&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6100000&SeqEnd=8350000

Read More