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Tag Archives: hidden assets

Illinois divorce lawyersMoney can be one of the greatest sources of contention in a divorce - and for good reason! There are some parties who are just dead set on getting more than their fair share. They will even go so far as to hide money and other assets from their unsuspecting spouses. Is your spouse participating in this underhanded (and illegal) activity? Look for these signs.

Your Spouse is Secretive or Defensive About Money 

If your spouse gets defensive whenever you talk about money or finances, it could be a key sign that they are trying to hide something. Alternatively, they may be secretive about their earnings, perhaps even going so far as to revoke your access to certain financial accounts. Some will even hide secret purchases (a commonly used tactic in asset hiding). 

Your Spouse Intercepts Bills and Financial Statements 

An asset hiding spouse does not want you to know where the family’s finances stand, so they will go to extreme lengths to ensure you never see a bill or statement. They may even have a secret post office box for receiving these pieces of financial information. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysWhen it comes to money, some spouses will stop at nothing to keep more than their fair share in a divorce. Offshore accounts, cryptocurrencies, and foreign real estate are just some of the tools that sneaky spouses use to hide money.

Sadly, only so much can be done to track down the missing money in a divorce - and even a skilled team of professionals have their limits. The money does sometimes surface after the divorce has been finalized, however. Learn what options you may have in such a situation in the following sections, and discover what our seasoned divorce lawyers can do to assist you. 

Following the Money Trail - When Clues Resurface After the Divorce is Finalized 

Most deceptive spouses think only about the immediate situation; rarely do they consider what might happen if you discover the hidden assets once the divorce has been finalized. As such, they may begin to relax their spending habits once the proceedings are over, giving you the evidence you need to reopen your divorce case.

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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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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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DuPage County family lawyers, spouse wastes assetsCouples do not just wake up one day and decide to divorce. There are indications that spouses are growing apart and that dissolution of the marriage is inevitable, which usually develop in the weeks and months before filing divorce paperwork. During this period of irretrievable breakdown, one spouse may be tempted to destroy or waste marital assets—often out of spite and with the view that destruction of property is preferable to letting the other person have it.

Dissipation of marital assets is a serious matter, so you should discuss your situation with an Illinois divorce lawyer right away if you suspect wrongdoing.

Legal Definition of Dissipation of Assets

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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.
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone630-580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 102,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
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