110 E. Schiller Street, Suite 320, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC312-605-4041

CHICAGO
 ⚫ PARK RIDGE
 ⚫ ELMHURST -

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL legal separation lawyerIllinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning that when you get a divorce, not everything you and your spouse acquired, such as property and assets, will be divided equally.

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on how to divide your property and assets and decide to take your divorce to court, the judge will consider certain marital circumstances on how to divide your property, such as:

However, if your spouse is hiding assets from you in hopes they will not have to split it with you, things can get even more complicated.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois collaborative divorce lawyerSome people may not realize that money they put into a retirement account, like a 401(k) or IRA, during their marriage is not theirs alone. When the marriage ends in divorce, those retirement funds will likely need to be split just like every other asset and debt the couple has acquired while they were married. In order to avoid paying large fees on a retirement plan withdrawal, the couple will likely need a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order). An attorney can help walk the parties through the process, as it can get a little bit complicated.

What Is a QDRO?

A QDRO is an official decree, which must be approved by a judge, that orders one party to transfer funds from his or her retirement plan to the other divorcing party. Information that must be included in the QDRO includes the plan participant’s name and either a specific amount or percentage of the benefits that are to be paid to the other party.

The party who is receiving the funds must then receive the money as if he or she was the owner of the plan. Then the payee may use the money as needed, which will result in taxes charged to the receiver of the money, or he or she may roll it over into another plan, which makes the transaction tax-free.

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divorceDivorce can bring on a rush of emotions and leave a person going through the process not thinking clearly. There is so much to think about that many assets may be overlooked. Both spouses are legally required to be upfront about their assets. Although there are often cases in which a spouse purposely hides assets, some items are quite simply forgotten when it comes time to divide up everything in a divorce.

Where to Begin with Property Division

Most people probably have no problem coming up with a list of assets and debts that will have to be split in their divorce. On the asset side, think bank accounts, the family home, cars, and investments. On the debt side, think mortgages, loans, and credit cards. These can be split evenly, or couples may have different ideas for who will get what. An experienced divorce attorney can help you iron out a fair deal in your divorce and can assist in making sure you do not forget about any other valuable items that you may be entitled to.

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hidden-assetsDuring 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

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Digging Up Hidden Assets, Elmhurst, IL Hidden Assets AttorneyRecognizing when your soon-to-be ex-spouse is tucking away assets that you rightfully share ownership of can be difficult, especially when you do not know they exist. How are you supposed to claim assets and address them during negotiation settlement if they are invisible in the first place?

Hidden assets are a real problem for some couples, particularly for those dealing with high net worth divorce. If you have a large income or a significant amount of possessions, there is always the chance that your spouse, under tense circumstances, may be tempted to shuffle away some of those funds when the divorce process is underway.

Signs of Deception 

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