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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Is My Spouse Hiding Assets?

Posted on in Division of Property

Illinois divorce lawyerAsset distribution in divorce is almost never easy. However, in some cases, it can be made more complex if there is suspicion that your spouse is hiding something. Whether information or assets, if your spouse is not being honest, it is a problem. Fortunately, there are remedies available under Illinois law.

How to Spot Irregularities

As a general rule, couples in the U.S. can be less than honest with each other regarding financial affairs. A 2016 poll from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) showed that as many as 40 percent of married people hid a major purchase from their spouse or took money out of joint accounts without discussion. During a marriage, this may be able to be solved with discussion or counseling - but during a divorce, or if the purchase is not disclosed during the divorce, it can be a significant issue.

The easiest way to spot such irregularities is to look for large gifts or purchases from your spouse to friends or family, however, there are other ways. Sudden secretive action or a refusal to share information with you that has been forthcoming in the past is another red flag. For example, suddenly being unwilling to allow control of family accounts can be a sign that a spouse is working on draining them. Another thing to look out for is a stated reluctance or excuse for not bringing home a paycheck. In some industries, it is possible to defer paychecks or other salary until after a divorce so that that money does not have to be divided.

What You Can Do

If you manage to catch your spouse hiding assets, there are several options Illinois law grants to you. The most extreme is to ask for jail time, but it would be a very rare case in which a judge would grant this request. The more common options are financial in nature. Sometimes, if it can be proven that a spouse hid substantial assets, a contempt of court charge might be levied on them, with all attendant fines and other civil penalties.

By far the most usual remedy for catching a spouse hiding assets is to have your attorney seek a larger share of the marital assets. Illinois is an equitable distribution state (as opposed to a community property state, wherein all assets must be divided equally unless a reason to divide unequally can be shown). This means that if there is just cause, a court is able to dictate that one spouse receive far less, as a way of offsetting whatever marital assets they might have dissipated or hidden away.

Divorce Attorneys in DuPage County

Hiding assets or any other form of misconduct in asset distribution is unethical and can result in serious consequences for your spouse if you can catch them in the act. The experienced attorneys at the firm of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. can work with you toward a satisfactory outcome for you and your family. Contact our dedicated DuPage County family law attorneys today to set up an initial appointment.



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