Whether you are in the process of getting divorced or are planning to file for divorce, you will need to know more about property division. When it is time to divide marital property, the prospect of your spouse hiding assets can be extremely frustrating. While both parties in the marriage are required to disclose information concerning all assets and liabilities from the marriage under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there are situations in which one of the spouses will attempt to hide an asset (or assets) to prevent that property from being divided or distributed. In some situations, a party will hide an asset because it has particular personal value, and the party does not want to risk the asset being sold or awarded to the other spouse. A spouse might attempt to hide an expensive piece of furniture or rare artwork in this kind of scenario. In other situations, a spouse might attempt to hide property solely to end up with more assets than the other spouse.
Finding hidden assets can be a difficult and complex task, and it is important to work with a Chicago divorce lawyer throughout this process. If you have concerns about your spouse hiding assets, an attorney at our firm can speak with you today about your case. In the meantime, the following are some important things to know about finding hidden assets in a divorce.
Keeping Track of Marital Assets and Liabilities
One of the best ways to prevent a spouse from hiding assets is to keep track of all marital assets and liabilities, along with detailed information about the property. Ideally, you should begin this process before divorce proceedings start.
Make a list of all property—separate and marital property. Provide a description of the property, record dates of sale, and any other information related to the purchase of the property, and include any information you have about property valuations. In some situations involving hidden assets, a spouse will attempt to avoid having property distributed by arguing that it is separate property (and thus is not subject to division). You should make copies of all receipts you have and any other information that can provide details about when the property was acquired and for what price.
Discovery Process in Your Divorce
Whether or not you gather financial information on your own, the discovery process in your divorce case will allow your Chicago divorce lawyer to obtain information from the other party. The discovery process, as the name suggests, is designed for each side to “discover” information about the other. Examples of discovery in a divorce may include but certainly are not limited to the following:
- Exchange of financial disclosures;
- Deposition (or oral discovery in which the other party is questioned by your lawyer);
- Notice to Produce Documents or written requests for the other party to provide documents like tax returns, account statements, business financial documents, and other financial materials.
Working With a Forensic Accountant
In addition to obtaining financial documentation on your own and with the help of your lawyer during discovery, you can hire a forensic accountant to work on your divorce case if it seems as though your spouse may have provided fraudulent disclosures. A forensic accountant can help to prove information about your spouse’s income and assets, and often can obtain information that helps to uncover hidden assets.
Contact a Chicago Divorce Lawyer
Are you concerned that your spouse is hiding assets? A Chicago divorce attorney can get started on your case. Contact Arami Law, Inc. today.