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How Do You Find Hidden Assets in a Divorce?

Posted on in Property Division

How Do You Find Hidden Assets in a Divorce?Negotiating the division of property in a divorce begins with identifying the properties that you and your spouse own. Marital properties are the ones that you will equitably divide between each other. Non-marital or separate properties belong to only one of you, though knowing their value is relevant when deciding on financial matters in your divorce. You and your divorce attorney will at times need to cooperate with your spouse to obtain records on your marital and separate assets. However, spouses sometimes hide valuable assets during divorce so that they do not have to share them or to make it appear that they have fewer financial resources. Hidden assets can skew the financial balance of your divorce agreement, and you need to work with your attorney if you believe that your spouse may have hidden assets.

What Are You Looking For?

Hidden assets can be secret financial accounts or luxury items that your spouse is holding in a place that you are not aware of. A spouse can more easily hide assets when they own a business or are the only one who manages their marital finances. If you are unsure whether your spouse has hidden assets, you can start by obtaining copies of their income tax returns or loan applications. In those documents, you are looking for:

  • Unidentified assets
  • Unexplained transactions
  • Discrepancies between the income they told you and the income they reported

If your attorney finds suspicious information, they may trace it to a separate bank account or discover that the assets were temporarily transferred to another person.

Obtaining Evidence

There are several methods that you can use during the discovery process that will help you find information, including:

  • Asking your spouse or their attorney to share information
  • Writing a question in an interrogatory that your spouse must answer
  • Requesting an inspection of a physical property
  • Filing an oral deposition to force your spouse to answer questions under oath

Using legal tools may be necessary when you suspect your spouse is hiding assets because they will not cooperate on their own. With an interrogatory or deposition, you put your spouse in the position that they would have to commit perjury in order to continue hiding the assets from you.

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Divorce Lawyer

Finding hidden assets during a divorce requires the skill of someone who has experience in conducting investigations. A McHenry County divorce lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can work with a forensic accountant in order to find any properties that your spouse may be hiding. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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