Kane County Lawyers Uncovering Hidden Assets
Experienced High Asset Divorce Attorneys Working with Forensic Accountants
Getting a divorce is a stressful experience, and it is even more stressful if you feel like your spouse is hiding assets from you. Unfortunately, unscrupulous behavior is not uncommon in a contentious divorce, and many spouses actively look for ways to shelter marital assets from being part of the property division process. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we are familiar with the tactics used to hide assets, and we are experienced in uncovering those assets to benefit our clients. With the assistance of an experienced forensic accountant and other financial experts, we will help you find hidden assets so that you can receive a fair marital settlement or judgment. Mr. Shaw has authored articles on dissipation of assets and presented to attorneys and judges on property issues.
Finding Hidden Assets in a Divorce
In Illinois, all marital assets are eligible for equitable distribution in a divorce so long as they are not excluded by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. In order to maintain a greater portion of the estate, however, some spouses hide assets before and during divorce proceedings. By reducing the overall value of the marital estate, there is less to divide with the other spouse.
When both spouses are actively involved in marital finances, hiding assets is more difficult. If one spouse has most of the responsibility for handling finances, however, it is easier to move funds around and conceal them from the other party. Some of the most common ways this is done include:
- Mixing business and personal assets in a closely-held business that is operated primarily by one spouse;
- Opening secret bank accounts or retirement accounts and funding them without the knowledge of the other spouse;
- Purchasing high value items (i.e. art, jewelry, collectibles) without the knowledge of the other spouse (that can be resold after the divorce);
- Giving a trusted 3rd party assets to "hold" until the divorce is final;
- Hiding assets behind false documents;
- Delaying or deferring payment for services, bonuses, and raises until after the divorce is final; and
- Underreporting income.
A number of strategies can be used to determine if assets have been concealed and to locate those assets so that they can be included in a divorce. When financial information is not voluntarily produced, or there is a question about the authenticity of the information, our attorneys use the discovery process to gain access to the necessary documents and information. Our team of financial professionals analyze your spouse's lifestyle, tax returns, loan applications, and personal and business financial statements. Only by thoroughly investigating the finances in your marriage can you be sure of being treated fairly in your divorce.
Contact Our St. Charles High Asset Divorce Lawyers
If you are getting a divorce and you believe your spouse has hidden assets from you, contact Shaw Family Law, P.C. by calling 630-584-5550 to schedule a free consultation. We will listen to the specifics of your situation and discuss your legal options. Our team of attorneys and financial professionals will help you uncover the marital assets that should be part of your divorce. From our office in St. Charles, IL, we work with clients throughout Geneva, Aurora, Batavia, Wheaton, Yorkville, Elgin, DeKalb, and the surrounding city and county areas.