A divorce is already a difficult ordeal. If you are suspicious that your spouse may be hiding assets, it can make the process even more stressful. Although hiding assets is unethical and illegal, it occurs more frequently than you may like to think. Some spouses may attempt to conceal certain assets to reduce how much they have to pay or to spite their partner. In this situation, it is critical to speak to a skilled divorce attorney promptly.
Different Ways Spouses Can Hide Assets
Spouses who want to get out of paying their fair share in a divorce may use a variety of tactics to hide their assets, such as:
Establish fake debt – In an effort to hide assets, some spouses may work with family members or friends to create fake debt. The spouse will then make payments to them because they know that they will get their money back once the divorce is over.
Buy things that may get undervalued – Sometimes spouses may purchase items such as paintings, antiques, and coins, knowing that these items can easily be undervalued.
Overpaying creditors – Spouses who intentionally overpay their creditors or the IRS know that they will get a refund after the divorce is finalized.
Transferring stock – Another common way spouses may attempt to conceal assets is to put their investment accounts in their family member or friends’ names until their divorce is over.
What to Do If You Think Your Spouse is Hiding Assets
If you have reason to believe that your spouse is trying to hide assets, it is important to discuss the matter with a divorce lawyer. Your lawyer may work with a forensic accountant or other financial professionals to locate these concealed assets.
Your divorce lawyer may also locate hidden assets during the discovery process. He or she may request financial documents, access to property, and use other discovery tools to find out the truth. If the court finds out that your spouse has been hiding assets, your spouse may be required to pay his or her share of the assets to you and a monetary fine. In certain cases, hiding assets can even result in jail time.
Contact a Crystal Lake, IL Divorce Attorney
If your spouse is hiding assets, it may be time to speak to a McHenry, IL divorce lawyer. At Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, we can help you find hidden assets in your divorce. Contact us at 815-338-3838 to schedule a free consultation.