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Tag Archives: hidden assets

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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DuPage County family law attorney, spouse is hiding assetsThe divorce process is a daunting experience for all parties involved. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides several guidelines for families to follow, including the distribution of property or assets, to ease the stress of the situation. 

However, the process becomes more difficult when you know your spouse is intentionally hiding assets. Illinois law mandates that marital property be distributed evenly between both parties to the divorce. This includes property or bank accounts acquired after marriage. Commonly, spouses attempt to conceal assets or attempt to deflate their income to ensure they pay lower child support or alimony. There are serious penalties for those who try to hide assets during a divorce.

Scenarios When a Spouse May Hide Assets or Deflate Income

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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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