In any divorce, a couple will have to go through a legal process before the marriage is legally terminated. These proceedings involve many different decisions, especially when children are involved or there is a significant amount of assets. In the state of Illinois, marital property is divided using the equitable distribution method, which means items are split fairly but not necessarily 50/50. Full disclosure of assets is necessary in order to properly divide the marital assets. If one spouse is hiding or wasting a portion of the marital assets, this can negatively affect the property awarded in the divorce settlement.
Revealing Deceptive Tactics
By the time that a couple files a petition to dissolve their marriage, their relationship is likely to be over. In some cases, one party may try to gain an advantage by making it appear that there are fewer assets to be divided. These actions can also include transferring marital property to a third party without the other spouse’s consent. In Illinois, for this kind of activity to be considered dissipation, it has to occur when the marriage is already broken down beyond repair.
Here are five behaviors or signs that can signal your spouse may not be disclosing truthful information about your assets or finances during your divorce:
- Acts defensively or is secretive.
- Changes passwords to online accounts.
- Spends more cash than usual or maxes out the credit cards.
- Opens new financial accounts or closes existing join accounts.
- Tangible assets suddenly disappear (jewelry, artwork, antiques)
- Financial records and documentation are lost.
Protecting Your Rights
One of the first steps to take if you think your spouse may not be divulging important details during your divorce proceedings is to hire an attorney who is experienced with property division and the dissipation of assets. A skilled legal team can help you uncover secret accounts or missing valuables. In addition, a forensic accountant who knows how to reveal discrepancies in financial records and documents may be necessary. Also, your attorney can file a request with the court to freeze specific property such as bank accounts. If a judge determines that your spouse wasted assets, the court may award you a greater portion of the property in order to make up the difference.
Contact a Mt. Prospect Divorce Attorney
The divorce process can be overwhelming in more ways than one. Despite the emotions you are feeling, keep a clear head in order to protect your rights. At The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, we are well-versed in Illinois divorce laws. That is why you should be sure to consult our distinguished Northwest Cook County divorce lawyer to explore your legal options if you suspect that your spouse may be deceiving you. To set up your free consultation, call our office today at 847.873.6741.