Risks of Hiding Assets in Divorce
In an Illinois divorce, the couple’s assets must be divided equitably. This is only possible when both partners are transparent about the assets they own and the assets’ values.
Sometimes, dishonest individuals use their partners’ lack of knowledge about their marital assets to try to keep the assets out of the property division process and leave the marriage with more than their fair share of these assets. If you are thinking about doing this, stop that train of thought. You should not try to hide assets from your former partner in your divorce, and this is why:
Your Former Spouse Can Find the Assets You Hide
If your spouse has a feeling you are hiding assets, he or she can uncover them through some detective work with his or her lawyer and/or a forensic accountant. There is no “safe” way to steal assets from your marital pool – whether you think you can hide assets by transferring them into a custodial account for your child, having a friend “hold” your assets in their account for you, or making cash purchases to liquidate the money in your joint accounts, your spouse can always trace your steps and find the money if he or she is willing to do so.
Your Unwillingness to Cooperate with the Court Can Haunt You Later
When you tamper with your marital estate by stealing and hiding assets, the court may give you a smaller share of the assets than you otherwise would have received. This is one of the few instances where marital behavior has an impact on how a couple’s assets are divided. If your actions affect your finances, they can be used to make determinations about your property division settlement.
The court may also consider your refusal to comply with its orders to when developing a parenting plan. One of the factors considered when creating a parenting plan is each parent’s willingness to cooperate with court orders and the other parent, and your willingness to steal from your former partner can color the court’s view of you in this arena.
They Are Your Spouse’s Assets Too
Perhaps the plainest reason why you should not attempt to hide assets from your spouse during your divorce is that it is simply wrong. The assets you obtained and developed during your marriage rightfully belong to both of you. Even if you earned more money or performed more household chores, your spouse contributed to the marriage and its asset pool in an equitable way and has as much of a right to the assets as you have.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
To learn more about the divorce process and available alternatives to litigation, contact Shaw Family Law, P.C. today to schedule your initial consultation with a member of our team. During your consultation with an experienced Kane County divorce lawyer, we can walk you through the divorce process and answer any questions you have to guide you toward empowered, productive decisions as you end your marriage. Call us today at 630-584-5550 for help.