In today’s world, it is increasingly common for couples to handle the divorce process collaboratively and amicably, without significant intervention from the court. This can work well when there are few conflicts or intractable disagreements that get in the way of negotiation, but there are other scenarios in which trying to resolve a divorce without litigation is simply too dangerous. One common example is a situation in which one spouse is not being honest with the other as their marriage is coming to an end. When many people think of deception in a marriage, they think of affairs and cheating, but there can also be a financial side of deception in the form of hidden assets.
Hidden Assets and Revenue
When a spouse attempts to hide assets before or during the divorce process, they usually do so in an effort to prevent them from being considered as part of the marital estate, and therefore subject to division in the divorce. This puts the other spouse at a major disadvantage unless they can work with an attorney to discover that the hidden assets exist and take legal action to rectify the situation.
There are several warning signs that your spouse might be hiding assets, including but not limited to:
Your spouse handles all of the finances, budgets, and bill payments, and he or she gets defensive if you ask or offer to help.
Your lifestyle or living expenses do not seem consistent with the marital income and assets you are aware of.
Your spouse is self-employed and secretive about how much he or she makes each month.
Your spouse reports unusual business expenses, losses, or tax obligations.
Any type of suspicious behavior could be related to hidden assets, so if you are not satisfied with your spouse’s answers to your questions, it may be time to take additional action.
Finding Evidence of Hidden Assets
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, there are a few things that you can do to determine if this is indeed the case. Often, a good starting point is reviewing financial records on your own. While you may not have the knowledge to determine exactly what is going on, checking the status of accounts and assets that you have access to may help you uncover discrepancies that require further investigation.
From there, you can work with an attorney and the court to obtain additional information from your spouse. You might also choose to hire another type of professional, such as a forensic accountant or a private investigator, to continue the investigation and find additional evidence that you and your attorney can use during divorce litigation.
Contact a McHenry County Divorce Lawyer
Hidden assets can dramatically change the landscape of your divorce. If your spouse is concealing income or property, it is important to speak with an experienced Crystal Lake family law attorney about your available options to protect your financial interests. Call 815-338-3838 for a free consultation at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC today.