What Should I Do If I Think My Spouse is Hiding Assets?
When you are going through a divorce in DuPage County, both you and your spouse will be required to complete a financial affidavit that has been approved by the Illinois Supreme Court. In the financial affidavit, you will provide detailed information about your assets and debts, including funds in accounts, prepaid debit cards, stocks, bonds, investment accounts, mutual funds, real estate, motor vehicles, business interests, life insurance policies, retirement benefits, income tax refunds, lawsuit recoveries, valuable collectibles, and any other assets. The financial affidavit requires you to provide information about assets and debts — as well as any assets sold or transferred worth more than $1,000 in the last two years — that may be classified either as separate or marital property.
The court will use the financial affidavit and other supporting documentation to determine which assets and debts should be classified as separate property (and thus not distributed in the divorce) and which assets and debts should be classified as marital property and divided according to the terms of equitable distribution. Both parties are required to fill out the financial affidavit fully and accurately. Yet what happens if one spouse intentionally avoids identifying assets and may be trying to conceal property? Our DuPage County divorce lawyers want to provide you with more information.
The Problem of Concealed or Hidden Assets
Before you take action against your spouse when you believe she or he may be attempting to hide assets, it is important to understand what we mean when we talk about hidden or concealed assets. Sometimes a spouse will make an honest mistake and will fail to list a particular asset on the financial affidavit. In other situations, however, one of the spouses might intentionally avoid listing a particular asset in an attempt to hide that property from the court and to avoid having it divided in the divorce.
In marriages where one of the spouses largely controlled the assets, it may be difficult for the other spouse to know with certainty whether assets are actually being hidden or concealed.
What You Can and Should Do If You Think Your Spouse is Hiding Assets
If you believe your spouse may be trying to conceal assets in order to prevent an equitable distribution of marital property, you should seek advice from your DuPage County divorce attorney as soon as possible.
In many cases, you can work with your divorce attorney to hire a forensic accountant to locate hidden assets. Sometimes a forensic accountant may also be able to identify assets that you did not know about prior to the divorce. In many cases, those assets also may be classified as marital property. If a spouse does hide assets and the court finds out about it, the court can sanction that spouse and require him or her to pay a monetary fine, to turn over the assets to the other spouse, and to pay a portion of the value of the concealed assets to the other spouse. In some cases, the spouse hiding assets can also be held in contempt of court.
Seek Advice from an Oakbrook Terrace Divorce Lawyer
At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we have years of experience serving members of the DuPage County Muslim community in divorce and other family law cases. One of our skilled Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorneys can speak with you today about locating hidden assets in a divorce. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office online or call our firm at 630-909-9114 for more information.