During divorce, both spouses have a right to equitable division of marital property. While this does not necessarily mean that everything will be split 50/50, each spouse is entitled to a fair and equitable portion of the assets that the couple own. However, divorcing spouses often try to hide assets from each other in hopes that they will not have to share monetary funds or other property with their spouse. This is especially common in cases of high net worth divorce.
If you suspect that your spouse may be concealing any money or property, you should look in the following places to find out whether there are any hidden assets:
- Tax returns – You should obtain a complete copy of your joint tax return, which can help you get a full picture of your spouse’s income, any interest or dividends they earned, and the deductions they have taken. In some cases, a spouse may over-pay the taxes they owe, allowing them to receive a larger tax return after the divorce has been finalized.
- Bank accounts – Be sure to review the complete statements for any joint bank accounts. Look for transfers to the accounts of friends or family members, or to accounts that have been created in children’s names.
- Business expenses – Spouses who own a business often use them to hide assets. They may pay a salary to a nonexistent employee or delay signing contracts or charging clients for services until after the divorce. Be sure to review business bank statements and income and expense reports to look for any discrepancies.
- New purchases – Spouses often use marital funds to purchase physical assets such as artwork or collectibles and then under-report the value of these items when dividing marital property. Look for any recent purchases that your spouse has made, including antiques, furniture, or jewelry.
- Fake debt and purchases – A spouse may claim that they owe money to a friend or family member or make payments to other people for nonexistent products or services. Then, after the divorce has been finalized, these people will transfer the money back to your spouse. Be on the lookout for any suspicious payments or loans.
Contact a Lincolnwood Divorce Lawyer
Attempting to hide assets during divorce is a serious offense that comes with major consequences, including fines and possible jail time. If you suspect that your spouse is concealing money, property, or other assets, the experienced attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can help you receive your fair share of your marital property. Contact a Skokie divorce attorney at 312-605-4041 to schedule a personal consultation.