Divorcing spouses must contend with several different financial issues during divorce. One of the most consequential of these issues is the division of marital property and debts. Almost all of the assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage are considered marital property. Illinois law states that marital property should be divided equitably. However, some divorcing spouses try to get an unfair advantage by hiding money or property during divorce.
Tactics Spouses May Use to Shield Assets From Division During Divorce
If you are getting divorced, any property division agreements or judgments you receive should be based on accurate financial information. Spouses in a divorce are asked to disclose all of their assets, including real estate property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, business interests, and investments. However, spouses may fabricate financial information to try and gain an edge during property division.
Examples of tactics spouses may use to hide assets include:
- Undervaluing assets – Spouses may claim that certain assets are worth much less than they are actually worth. For example, a small business owner may intentionally undervalue his or her business by manipulating profit and loss statements or other paperwork.
- Transferring assets to a friend or family member – Someone who does not want to share property with his or her spouse during a divorce may temporarily transfer the property to a friend or family member and fail to disclose it on financial documents.
- Hiding cash and valuables – Perhaps the simplest way to hide assets in a divorce is to literally hide the assets. For example, a spouse may place expensive jewelry in a safety deposit box that the other spouse is unaware of.
- Using offshore accounts – High net worth individuals may be especially tempted to hide money in foreign accounts. The Cayman Islands, Belize, and Switzerland are popular destinations for concealing assets.
- Overpaying the IRS – Some spouses pay more taxes than they actually owe as a means of hiding assets. After the divorce, the spouse recoups the funds through a tax return.
How to Uncover Hidden Assets and Income
Experienced divorce lawyers have many tools at their disposal to find hidden assets. Forensic accounting is a process involving careful examination of financial paperwork and transactions to find evidence of financial deception. Lawyers may also use discovery tools like depositions, requests for production, and subpoenas to find hidden assets. If you suspect that your spouse is being less than forthcoming about finances during your divorce, contact a divorce lawyer for help right away. You deserve a divorce settlement that is based on the truth.
Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Lawyer
Palatine divorce attorney Nicholas Richardson knows the tactics that spouses use to hide assets during divorce. If you suspect that your spouse is lying about money or hiding property in your divorce case, contact the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. at 847.873.6741 to get the help you need. Set up a free consultation today.