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Most people are aware that divorce proceedings lead to a great deal of emotional distress. However, many do not realize how much a divorce can damage their personal finances, especially if they are close to retirement age or have stayed at home rather than worked for years.
If you are going through a divorce, it is essential that you get everything that you are entitled to. Sadly, this is easier said than done as your spouse may hide their money or assets, such as stock shares, stock options, real estate, trust accounts, and investment accounts during your divorce. If you believe your spouse is hiding money, you should do the following:
Contact the Internal Revenue Service
Although we tend to avoid dealing with the Internal Revenue Service, doing so can be helpful during a divorce. The IRS can help you find a paper trail that leads back to your soon to be ex’s IRA and retirement account distributions, which can be identified on a 1099-R.
In the event your spouse moves money from a retirement account into an IRA or a 401(k), the companies that hold those accounts will send a 1099-R to your soon to be ex and the IRS. If your spouse disposes of their 1099-R, the IRS will still be aware of this transaction and it will still need to be reported it on their tax return.
Search for Fake Documentation
Thanks to Photoshop and similar photo editing software programs, it is simple to manipulate financial documents so that they show the amount of money someone wants to declare. Therefore, you should thoroughly investigate any tax, IRA, 401(k), or other financial documents from your spouse. If you are suspicious of a certain document, you should consult a fraud specialist or attorney.
Look For New Purchases
If you notice that your spouse has recently purchased an expensive piece of furniture, jewelry, or artwork, they may have converted their cash into a pricey asset in order to under-report its value and hide their money.
Hiding assets during a divorce can lead to serious civil and criminal penalties, meaning it’s important to avoid this practice at all costs.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney
If you need assistance determining how to protect your assets in a divorce or need help tracing hidden assets that you believe your spouse is hiding, you should call our Hinsdale divorce attorneys today at 630-920-8855.