How to Address Hidden Assets in Divorce

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In your divorce, your marital assets will need to be distributed between the two of you equitably – or fairly under the circumstances. This is a complicated process at the best of times, but if your spouse is hiding assets, the matter becomes that much more challenging. If you believe your soon-to-be-ex may be hiding assets, do not wait to consult with an experienced Illinois divorce attorney. 

The Division of Marital Property

In Illinois, marital property refers to those assets, properties, and items of value that you and your spouse acquire throughout your marriage. It doesn’t matter who pays for the item or who has his or her name on the contract – if it came to you while you were married, it is very likely a marital asset. Exceptions include gifts or inheritances that either or you receive in your name alone. 

Your marital assets are intended to be divided equitably in the event of divorce, and this means that they should be distributed between you in a manner that is deemed fair in relation to the circumstances. If, however, your spouse is hiding assets, it can make receiving your equitable share exceptionally difficult, and the matter should be addressed. 

Hiding Assets

Assets can be hidden in any number of ways, and while you may think that your spouse is basically honest and that he or she would not cheat his or her family in this way, you might be surprised. The stress of divorce can drive otherwise reasonable people to act uncharacteristically, and money can become an especially charged issue. If your spouse owns a business, it can provide him or her with a wealth of opportunities to hide or otherwise conceal assets. Consider the following:

  • By making the accounting and bookkeeping purposefully complicated and obtuse, your spouse can make getting to the bottom of the business’s value difficult. 
  • By waiting to make a lucrative business deal until after the divorce is finalized, he or she can keep a considerable amount of value from you. 
  • Paying salaries to employees who don’t exist is another wily means of hiding assets via business ownership. 
  • Overpaying income taxes (or other creditors) on the expectation that any refund with be paid post divorce.

The number of ways there are to hide assets is limited only by the imagination of the less-than-honest spouse. Other examples include:

  • Gifting assets to a family member, friend, or new paramour who will return it to him or her post-divorce
  • Setting up trusts that funnel assets on complicated paths that can be difficult to trace 
  • Spending assets down by living an extravagant lifestyle prior to divorce – sometimes with a new romantic partner 

Turn to an Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney for the Legal Help You Need

If you suspect that your divorcing spouse is hiding assets, Cameron H. Goodman at Goodman Law Firm is a trusted divorce attorney with an impressive track record of successfully helping clients like you root out hidden assets in the protection of their financial rights. To learn more about how we can help, please don’t wait to contact us today.


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