Finding Hidden Assets in High Asset Divorces

IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, marital assets are divided equitably. While you may end up receiving less than half of the total assets, the court ensures that assets are not distributed unfairly. Marital assets include everything from income, dividends, investment returns, real property, vehicles, and more that were acquired during the duration of the marriage. Assets owned by either party before the marriage began are considered non-marital assets, as are personal injury settlements, lawsuit awards, and inheritance.

This means that, for a long marriage, most of the assets are probably marital property that must be accounted for and divided equitably. For high asset marriages, it is not uncommon for one of the parties—usually the spouse in charge of banking, finances, and taxes—to hide some of the marital assets in order to make off with more than their fair share. If you are going through a divorce, you need to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that all assets are accounted for.

How Are Assets Hidden?

The most common ways that assets are hidden by one spouse from the other include the following:

  • Claiming assets was lost;
  • Transferring assets to a third party;
  • Creating false debt; and
  • Simply lying about the existence of the asset.

Other methods of hiding assets include the following:

  • Purchasing items that are worth more than they appear;
  • Overpaying creditors or the IRS;
  • Transferring stock to a dummy company;
  • Deferring salaries or bonuses; and
  • Underreporting income to the IRS.

More financially savvy individuals may actually transfer their assets offshore or to hidden bank accounts. Discovering these assets is essential for fair asset division, as well as custody and alimony decisions made by the court. However, finding these assets can be difficult, particularly without the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney.

Analyzing Taxes

Usually, even the most diligent spouses leave some clues about where their potential assets are hidden. Analyzing taxes is necessary, particularly looking over the following tax Schedules:

  • Schedule A Itemized Deductions;
  • Schedule B Interest and Dividends;
  • Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business;
  • Schedule D Capital Gains and Losses; and
  • Schedule E Supplemental Income and Loss.

Hiding Hard Cash

Another method of concealing assets includes hiding cash, gold, valuables, or other types of currency in safe deposit boxes, safes, or by giving cash to a family member to hold on to temporarily. All of these acts are illegal, as these assets are marital property, not the property of the individual spouse to do with what he or she pleases.

Contact a DuPage County Hidden Asset Divorce Attorney for Help Today

Because the stakes are high in high-value divorces, spouses will go to great lengths to hide money and property from the other. We strongly encourage you to work with an attorney so that you are not taken advantage of. Even if you trust that your spouse has done nothing illegal, an attorney will help represent your best interest in asset division, child custody, child support, spousal support, and more. Call the experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio today at 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/catherineschnaubelt/2019/03/08/finding-hidden-assets-in-a-divorce/#217fe1136fd1

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2012/03/14/divorcing-women-heres-where-husbands-typically-hide-assets/#4bee86a96579

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