DuPage County Divorce LawyerHiding assets from your spouse during a divorce may seem strategic initially, but it carries significant legal and financial risks that can end up harming you in the long run. 

Illinois Law Mandates Complete Financial Disclosure

Illinois divorce law requires full disclosure of all assets, debts, income, expenses, and any financial information acquired during the marriage. Many spouses think they can get away with hiding money in undisclosed accounts, underreporting income, or not mentioning certain properties. This is a dangerous legal strategy.

Intentionally concealing assets or lying during sworn testimony constitutes perjury. It also violates statutes requiring truthful financial affidavits from both parties. The courts treat failure to disclose and fraud very seriously. Any spouse caught purposefully hiding assets will face consequences.

Penalties Can Be Financially Devastating

Penalties for hiding assets in an Illinois divorce include:

  • The judge awarding 100% of the undisclosed asset to your spouse as a sanction for deceit. Even if it was your separate premarital property, you may lose ownership rights.

  • Paying all legal fees and court costs related to uncovering the hidden asset. Your spouse’s attorney will submit bills for their time spent investigating concealed accounts, properties, etc.

  • Fines imposed by the court for obstruction of justice and perjury. These can tally up to thousands of dollars.

  • Possible jail time in extreme cases where repeated, willful deceit occurs. Perjury is a criminal offense.

  • Having the divorce settlement reopened if concealed assets emerge later. This means re-litigating asset division, dragging out the process.

As you can see, penalties far outweigh any perceived gain from temporary asset concealment. The financial and emotional costs simply are not worth the legal risks.

Discovery Methods Used to Uncover Hidden Assets

Experienced divorce attorneys have sophisticated tactics to uncover assets a spouse tries to conceal:

  • Subpoena financial records from banks, investment firms, employers, etc.

  • Conduct interviews with friends, family members, business partners.

  • Investigate tax returns for any suspiciously low reported income.

  • Review expenditures to identify unknown sources of income.

  • Use forensic accounting to reconstruct financial history.

With persistence and high-level investigative work, attorneys can eventually trace hidden assets and prove intent to deceive the court.

Protect Yourself – Disclose All Assets Upfront

Concealing assets during an Illinois divorce can have severe consequences. While you may have a desire to retain specific property or money, the legal repercussions of failing to disclose outweigh any potential benefits. Consult with an attorney to ensure proper valuation and equitable division of marital assets in your favor, using legitimate means. Protect yourself by openly sharing all information right from the start.

Contact a Naperville Family Lawyer

Divorce proceedings can be emotionally and financially draining. When you are dealing with the division of assets, it is important to avoid making irrational decisions driven by fear or anger. An experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help you with the division of marital property without exposing you to unnecessary risks. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] for a free consultation.




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