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One of the most important parts of a divorce is the division of marital assets. Spouses are bound by Illinois law to be transparent and forthcoming about their individual and shared finances so they can negotiate fairly and come to an equitable resolution, as required by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
When a spouse is deceptive and attempts to hide property, savings, income, investments, or other assets, effective action is required to investigate and reveal the missing information. A competent Illinois divorce attorney can help you track down missing assets before a judgment or help you appeal your divorce decree if you found out your spouse was hiding assets after the divorce was finalized.
One of the first and most important parts of the divorce process is a period known as “discovery,” wherein both spouses’ attorneys send and request information that reveals their clients’ full financial situation. An experienced attorney will review these documents and, if there is suspicion that one spouse is being less than fully transparent, hire additional experts such as forensic accounts to pursue unexplained transactions or unidentified assets. Attorneys can write questions in interrogatories that spouses must answer, and even request an oral deposition to force spouses to testify under oath. Because the consequences for lying under oath are serious, this can be an effective strategy for getting a dishonest spouse to admit to having more assets than they initially revealed.
If you found out that your spouse dissembled about their finances after the divorce was finalized, you have 30 days after the entry of the divorce judgment to petition for an appeal. You will state that the divorce judgment is invalid because of the hidden assets, and request that the case be reopened in light of the new information. The court will hold a hearing, review your arguments and evidence, and decide whether to reverse the judgment. After 30 days have passed, it is still possible to reopen a divorce case, but it is much more difficult to do so.
A spouse attempting to hide assets during divorce is a serious breach of Illinois law and ethics. At Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, we take this behavior seriously and will advocate passionately on your behalf to find hidden assets and ensure you get the portion of the marital asset division to which you are entitled. To schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled Hinsdale, IL divorce attorney, call our offices today at 630-920-8855.