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Wheaton divorce attorneysDivorce can bring out the worst in people. In fact, some spouses are willing to go so far as to illegally hide money from their spouses to keep more for themselves. This act, known as asset hiding, can leave one party financially disadvantaged - and not just during and immediately after the divorce. The impact of asset hiding in a divorce can last a lifetime. Thankfully, disadvantaged parties do have the law on their side, and if appropriate measures are taken, they can still obtain a fair settlement during their divorce. 

The Law and Hidden Assets in Divorce 

Under Illinois state law, any assets acquired during the marriage are considered part of the marital estate. If the couple goes through a divorce and no prenuptial document is in place, the total value of those assets is calculated. The entire marital estate is then distributed “equitably,” or fairly between the parties. Fair holds a different meaning for everyone, however, which is why spouses sometimes attempt to hide money during the divorce process. 

As an example, consider the spouse with a young but growing company. They may have achieved their success because their partner stayed home to care for their toddler, but once the divorce proceedings start, they may begin to feel as though the stay-at-home parent is not entitled to that money because they did not financially contribute to the couple’s marital estate. As such, the spouse may attempt to hide some of the money from their spouse. The law may see things differently, however. The courts might consider the stay-at-home parent’s time with the children as a non-financial contribution that entitles them to a portion of the business’s earnings. 

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Illinois divorce attorneysDivorce can negatively impact almost anyone, but women are more prone to experiencing nasty financial surprises during the dissolution of their marriage. Much of this is because women often abdicate financial responsibilities to their spouses, so they are unaware of what they own and unprepared for the division of assets. Thankfully, there is a way to remedy the situation. Learn more in the following sections, including how a seasoned Illinois divorce lawyer can protect your interests and increase the chances that you will have a healthy financial future. 

Nasty Financial Surprises Impact Nearly Half of All Divorced Women

In a study from Worthy, an online marketplace, nearly half of the 1,785 women surveyed experienced a nasty financial “surprise” during the divorce process. Those surprises varied, depending on how and if they managed their finances during the marriage, but some of the most common, unexpected issues that women experienced included:

  • Marital debt that they had no knowledge of, prior to the divorce;
  • Less money in their savings or retirement account than they expected;
  • Having to pay more than expected for health insurance after the divorce;
  • Assuming child support or alimony awards would be higher or last longer;
  • Wrongly believing they could keep their marital home;
  • Not knowing the full worth of their marital estate;
  • Underestimating the cost of their divorce; and
  • Failing to anticipate that they would need to return to the workforce. 

Women aged 50 and older seemed to experience fewer financial surprises in divorce, partly because they were less likely than younger women to have abdicated financial responsibilities to their husbands (22 percent versus 18 percent), but older women had less time to recover from the financial hit of a divorce. As such, it is highly recommended that all women - especially those nearing retirement - seek seasoned legal assistance while navigating through the divorce process. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyersBack in 2015, a groundbreaking study determined that some 7.2 million Americans are hiding money or lines of credit from their spouses. If you think that statistic is alarming, consider how many of those same couples will ultimately divorce (current statistics suggest a little less than half). Then contemplate whether a spouse is more likely to hide assets in divorce if they did so in marriage. Could you be at risk for asset hiding during your divorce? Learn how to protect yourself from such practices, and discover how an attorney can help you fight for your fair share.

Signs and Symptoms of Asset Hiding

To find hidden assets, you must first determine if you may be at risk. Look for strange business behaviors, secretive practices, evasiveness, and overall defensiveness anytime money is discussed. Also, watch for any signs of overseas travel, new sales or purchases (including strange, odd, or even seemingly low-value items), loans, sudden or frequent business trips, gifts to family and friends, and other uncharacteristic practices or behaviors. Be especially alert if you have a high net worth marriage or are a disadvantaged spouse (meaning you earn less than your spouse or do not earn any of your own money). Couples that have a business as a part of their marital estate (joint, or single-owned) should also be extremely conscious of strange or out-of-character behaviors or practices, including any that may pertain to the business itself.

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
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