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How to Uncover Hidden Assets During Your Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

elgin divorce lawyerDuring the divorce process, not everyone is honest, and spouses sometimes attempt to gain a financial advantage by hiding money or property from their former partners. Sometimes this is out of malice because one party blames the other for the divorce and believes they deserve a smaller share of marital property. Other times, a divorcing spouse hides assets because they are worried that they will have to give up important items or simply because they are dishonest and selfish. However, spouses are required to divide all of their marital property fairly and equitably, and if a person believes that their spouse is attempting to conceal money or assets, they will want to uncover the property that was hidden. Divorcing spouses who have concerns about hidden assets should work with their attorney to bring this issue to the attention of the court and ensure that their spouse will be held accountable for these wrongful actions.

Places to Look for Hidden Assets

Some spouses use fairly obvious methods to hide assets, such as keeping cash or valuables in hidden locations in their home, in a safety deposit box, or with a friend or family member. They may also convert cash into other types of assets, such as by purchasing artwork or collectibles and then claiming that these items are worth less than what was actually paid. 

Other methods of hiding assets can be more sneaky, and they can sometimes be difficult to uncover without the assistance of a financial expert. A person may transfer money to a friend or family member, claiming that they are paying back debts or making payments for services performed, but they will plan to have the other person transfer the funds back to them after the divorce is over. They may also attempt to convert assets into less traceable forms, such as cryptocurrency or savings bonds.

A spouse who is a business owner may also use their business to conceal assets. In many cases, they will look to undervalue the business to avoid sharing business assets with their spouse. A business owner may pay wages to a nonexistent employee while actually transferring these payments into a hidden bank account, or they may pay salaries to friends or family members who do not actually work for the business with the plan to receive these amounts back once the divorce is complete. A spouse may also overpay taxes for their business in order to receive a large refund after finalizing the divorce, or they may delay major business contracts or transactions in order to avoid sharing the proceeds of these deals with their spouse. 

To uncover hidden assets, a person will want to review their family’s tax returns to look for any assets they did not know about, such as real estate property. They can also review bank statements and other financial records to look for money transfers or major purchases. In cases where a spouse is a business owner, it is often best to work with a forensic accountant who can review the business’s financial records and determine whether a spouse has misreported business income or assets.

Contact Our Elgin Property Division Lawyers

If you believe that your spouse is being dishonest with you about financial matters during your divorce, Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel, P.C. can help you uncover hidden assets or other issues. We will work to make sure your marital property will be divided fairly while protecting your financial interests throughout the divorce process. Contact our Kane County asset division attorneys at 847-695-2400 to set up your free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.wife.org/ss-hiddenassets.htm

https://www.liveabout.com/ways-to-find-hidden-assets-during-divorce-1103106

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2012/03/14/divorcing-women-heres-where-husbands-typically-hide-assets/?sh=1d8d09ed6579


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