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How to Uncover Hidden Assets and Divide Property During a Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on February 27, 2024 in Divorce

Blog ImageGetting a divorce can be challenging, regardless of the situation. Gaining a full understanding of your family’s finances can be a complex matter, especially if you have been married for a long time or if you and your spouse own significant assets. This process can become even more complicated if you suspect your spouse of hiding money or property. As you address issues related to property division, understanding where and how assets can be concealed and the steps you can take to uncover these issues is essential for protecting your financial interests. An experienced attorney can guide you through this process, helping you make sure your assets will be divided fairly and equitably.

Common Ways Spouses May Hide Assets

During a divorce, some spouses may attempt to hide assets to avoid sharing them. They may attempt to conceal certain items to ensure that they will be able to keep them, or they may try to minimize the amounts of child support or spousal support they will be required to pay. Some common tactics spouses may use include:

  • Underreporting income: This may involve not reporting cash income or delaying new contracts or salary increases until after the divorce. By doing so, a person may claim that they need a larger share of marital property to address their ongoing needs, or they may claim that their ongoing expenses are large enough that they do not have any money left over to pay financial support.

  • Overpaying creditors: A person may pay more than is required to creditors or when paying taxes to the IRS, with the intent of receiving a refund after the divorce.

  • Transferring assets: Certain items may be given to friends or family members to hold until the divorce is complete. Money may also be transferred to others, and a spouse may claim that they are paying money that is owed or making purchases, when they actually intend to receive this money back at a later date.

  • Paying fake expenses: A person may claim that they are paying others for goods or services when they are actually transferring money into hidden accounts. A business owner may pay wages to a non-existent employee or claim that they are making purchases for the business, but this may be a pretext for devaluing the business or hiding assets from their spouse.

  • Investing in physical items: A spouse may purchase expensive items that could be overlooked or undervalued during asset division. They may attempt to hide these items or claim that they have been lost or destroyed, with the intent of keeping valuable property for themselves and selling it at a later date.

Protecting Your Financial Interests

To make sure all financial issues will be addressed correctly during your divorce, you will want to make sure all money and assets are accounted for. As you determine whether your spouse has attempted to hide assets and work to negotiate a property division settlement, you will want to:

  • Be proactive: Gather as much financial documentation as possible as you prepare for your divorce. Bank statements from joint accounts, tax returns, credit card statements, documents related to mortgages or other loans, property appraisals, and other documents related to your property and finances can provide you with the information you need to determine whether your spouse has attempted to hide assets or underreport income.

  • Get legal support: A divorce attorney who has experience dealing with complex financial matters can guide you on the best steps to take. Your lawyer can ensure that all relevant financial information is disclosed during the discovery process, and they can help you determine how to address any concerns about hidden assets.

  • Work with financial experts: Your attorney can enlist the services of a forensic accountant or other financial advisors to analyze financial documents and trace any missing assets. These professionals can make sure all assets are evaluated correctly so that you can divide your marital property as fairly and equitably as possible.

Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Property Division Attorney

If you are concerned about the possibility of hidden assets during your divorce, Farooqi & Husain Law Office can help you make sure this issue and other financial matters will be addressed correctly. Our DuPage County complex divorce lawyers are skilled in handling complicated financial concerns and resolving disputes related to hidden assets. We will ensure that your financial interests will be protected throughout the divorce process. To set up a consultation and get the legal help you need during your divorce, contact us at 630-909-9114.

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