The divorce is happening, and now you have to provide all financial information for the purpose of dividing all your assets and financial accounts. The only problem is this: when couples begin to fight, they also begin to hide things – often in anticipation of a divorce. They become greedy and bitter and don't want to give up some of their assets.
In many states, marital property is split 50/50, but in Illinois, the rule of the game is equitable division, and this means one spouse could be awarded 65% of the assets while the other spouse is awarded only 35%. These percentages are random but exemplify a spouse's worry that he or she will get the lower end of the deal if the assets are not split evenly. To protect themselves, they hide finances. Here's how assets are often hidden and how you may go about trying to "discover" them with your attorney.
How are assets in Illinois often "hidden" for property division during a divorce?
There are many ways a person can hide assets while married. Some of the more common ways include the following examples:
- secretly open an account and use paperless statements;
- acquire assets financial or otherwise without informing the spouse; or
- transfer assets without the spouse's knowledge or consent (and these transfers can be to a secret account or to family and friends who promise to hold the assets for you until the divorce is final.
A spouse could also go to such lengths as to open a foreign account, especially if there is a business involved – the spouse can create fake expenses or divert profits into this account.
How are assets often discovered for property division during a divorce in Illinois?
Hiding assets can sometimes be a bit of work. It is also easier done when one spouse has more control over the finances. That said, assets are hidden all the time. Discovering these hidden assets can be a task. The first thing you must do is to have the imagination that your spouse is or could be hiding assets. The second step is to make sure you have an attorney qualified and experienced to help you uncover the assets.
During the discovery part of your divorce, your attorney can compel the other party to disclose financial documents and assets. This does not always mean the spouse complies.
There are two important ways to go about uncovering assets. Your attorney can:
- question your spouse during a deposition – depositions are made under oath and if your spouse lies, he or she can face consequences by the court; and
- hire a forensic accountant who reviews, investigates, and tracks financial assets to find any hidden accounts or any hidden assets.
Contact Experienced Divorce Attorneys in Chicago Today
At Dolci & Weiland, we understand how divorce gets pretty emotional and pretty bitter quickly. We also understand that you have rights under the law and that includes full disclosure of financials. We will compel and depose your spouse, and if necessary, retain a forensic accountant. We are here to make sure your interests are upheld. Contact us today – we represent clients throughout Chicago and Dupage County.