Five Ways a Small Business Owner Might Try to Hide Assets in an Illinois Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_dupage-county-divorce-lawyer.jpgDivorce in DuPage County, IL can become a heated and competitive endeavor that sometimes results in spouses trying to hide assets from each other. From hiding cash in a secret place to hiding cryptocurrency in an offshore bank account, it can be difficult to find and prove that hidden marital assets really exist and deserve to be divided as part of the marital estate. 

Hiding property is an unfair and unethical behavior that does not just affect the division of marital property - it can also affect child support payments and spousal maintenance payments by making a business owner’s revenue or a business’s value appear far less than it really is. Unfortunately for the other spouse, a small business offers the business owner plenty of surreptitious opportunities to hide away money before and during a divorce because there are so many ways assets can be concealed. If you are getting divorced and are worried your spouse might try to hide marital assets, contact an Illinois divorce attorney with experience in this matter right away. 

Common Ways Business Owners Hide Assets

Even small businesses can bring in substantial profits. While a business owner may be willing to share these profits during a marriage, he or she may feel perfectly justified in concealing them during divorce. Some common ways assets may be concealed include: 

  • Paying fake employees - By adding fake employees and paying them fake salaries, a business owner may be able to make an illegitimate expense look real. Paychecks may be written but never cashed, or the checks may be written to a friend of the owner. 

  • Overpaying taxes - Business owners often prepay taxes because they are self-employed. But during a divorce, it is easy to hide money by overpaying taxes with the expectation of getting them back in a refund in the next year’s tax returns. 

  • Taking payment off the books - Many businesses accept cash payments. If a customer pays for a service in cash and the business owner does not document the payment, who is to know the transaction occurred? 

  • Deferred payments - By allowing clients to defer payments until after the divorce is over, a business can make it appear as though the business has less income. 

  • Undervaluing assets - A business owner might hire a financial professional to value their assets using a method that makes the assets appear worth less than they are. 

Speak with a Hinsdale, IL Marital Asset Division Lawyer

In your divorce, your spouse may try hard to prevent you from getting your fair share of marital property. If you are worried that your spouse may try to hide money or lie about their finances, you can get help from an experienced DuPage County marital asset division attorney with Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio. We have assisted many spouses in fully recovering hidden assets and we have an extensive network of financial professionals who can support us as we work with you. Call us now at 630-920-8855 to schedule a consultation and find out more. 

Sources: 

https://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/public-integrity/files/what_is_asset_tracing_-_capi_issue_brief_-_august_2016.pdf 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+V&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6200000&SeqEnd=8675000 

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