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What Happens When a Spouse Tries to Hide Money During a Divorce?

Posted on in Property Division

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. 

What Can Happen if a Spouse Attempts to Hide Money? 

While there is no straightforward rule that says what might happen to a spouse that attempts to hide money, the courts consider the action as deceptive. As such, they may take a number of actions against the spouse that hides money in a divorce, such as: 

  • Deeming the action as a crime (fraud, perjury, etc),
  • Awarding more money to the disadvantaged spouse, and
  • Requiring that the offending spouse pay the disadvantaged spouse’s legal fees.

Because each situation is unique, and the risk of financial loss is high, parties are encouraged to contact a legal professional if they suspect asset hiding. Note that time is of the essence in such situations, as the longer money is hidden from a spouse, the more difficult it can be to trace. 

Contact Our Wheaton Divorce Lawyers

If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets in your divorce, contact Davi Law Group, LLC for quality legal assistance. Our skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys are some of the most trusted in the state, and we have extensive experience in handling high-profile divorce cases. Start by first scheduling a consultation. Call 630-580-6373 today. 

Sources:

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/nov/17/news/mn-34537

 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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