Tag Archives: complex divorce

What if My Spouse Is Hiding Assets During Our Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County divorce lawyer for hidden assetsWhen a couple reaches the point where their marriage is irretrievably broken, they will likely seek a divorce. The process of legally ending a marriage can be complicated, especially if there are a lot of issues to resolve. If spouses are argumentative or bitter, this may only further complicate matters. Part of the divorce proceedings involve dividing any marital property or assets. In some situations, one of the spouses may try to hide monetary funds or other valuable possessions. A study by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that 31 percent of spouses with combined assets report they were deceptive about money, and 58 percent of those people admitted to hiding money from their partner or spouse. In divorce cases involving hidden assets, it is imperative to hire professional legal assistance to uncover such deception.

Division of Marital Assets

In the state of Illinois, marital property and assets are divided using the principle of “equitable distribution.” This means they will be split fairly, but not necessarily completely 50/50. Any assets that were acquired during the matrimonial union may be subject to division. Anything that one of the spouses owned prior to the marriage does not have to be split, unless the other spouse contributed to its value in some way. For example, if one party owned a business before getting married, but his or her spouse helped run it during the marriage, that spouse may be able to receive reimbursement for his or her contributions to any increase in the value of the business.

Separate property is considered anything acquired by a spouse before the marriage. However, a gift or inheritance received during the marriage can also be classified as the personal property of one spouse. A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement may also be used to classify certain assets as separate property. At the time of divorce, any property that is labeled as separate property belongs to the spouse who acquired it.

Types of Assets That Are Often Hidden

Asset division can be a complex process, since it often includes many different types of property, including physical items, financial accounts, and debts. There are some types of property that may be easily hidden. Certain assets may go undetected, especially if only one spouse’s name is on an account, retirement plan, or subscription. Some assets may “fly under the radar;” that is, one spouse may not even be aware of their existence or value. The following are examples of these types of assets:

  • Timeshare properties

  • Frequent-flyer miles

  • Stocks or bonds

  • Health club or country club memberships

  • Income tax refunds

  • Retirement benefits

  • Life insurance policies

  • Season tickets (entertainment, sports)

  • Antiques and collectibles

  • Cash

Hidden assets can involve illegal activities such as fraud, as well as legitimate loopholes.  However, manipulating valid processes and procedures for the purpose of defrauding the court or the other spouse is illegal.

The discovery of hidden assets in a divorce case can change the outcome of the property distribution. In addition to the loss of ownership of assets that were hidden, the guilty party could face a permanent criminal record. Violations can result in criminal charges of fraud, contempt of court, and perjury.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

A divorce can be one of the most difficult transitions you will go through in your life, and you deserve your fair share of the property you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. If your spouse is hiding assets from you in order to come out ahead, you should take legal action to ensure that all of your marital assets are divided correctly. At the Andrew Cores Law Group, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of Illinois divorce law, including how to uncover hidden assets. Our Wheaton property division lawyers can help you understand all of your options to make sure you receive a fair settlement. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.





How Is Marital Property Divided in Complex Divorces in Illinois?

Wheaton complex lawyer property divisionDivorces can be complicated, even if both spouses agree on many of the issues that must be addressed. In some cases, the marital estate may include significant assets, or spouses may earn large incomes. In these complex divorce cases, couples may need to address high-value assets or property, business valuation, spousal maintenance, and more. The division of property can have a long-term impact on one or both spouses, so this area needs to be addressed carefully. If you are entering the divorce process, it is important to understand your rights and the near-term and long-term impact of the decisions you make.

Marital Assets

The marital estate includes any property that was obtained during the course of your marriage. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property will be divided equitably, but not necessarily equally. In some cases, litigation in court may be necessary to resolve disputes over the division of assets; however, it is often more beneficial if spouses can work together to reach an agreement on these issues outside of court.

High-value assets often include many different types of monetary funds or possessions, such as the following:

  • Retirement plans

  • Real estate

  • Investments, including stocks and bonds

  • Executive bonuses

  • Trusts

  • Checking or savings accounts

Retirement plans may include 401(k)s, IRAs, or pension benefits. The amount contributed or earned by the retirement plan during the marriage is considered a marital asset and thus must be divided between spouses. In Illinois, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is typically used to divide retirement accounts between divorcing spouses, and this allows funds to be withdrawn or transferred while avoiding the need to pay penalties or taxes. However, a QDRO is not needed for IRAs, and retirement plans governed by the Illinois Pension Code require a Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order (QILDRO).

If a couple owns a business together, this can further complicate matters. Determining the value of the business is essential to ensure a fair distribution of assets. In order to protect family businesses and professional practices, it is important to consider the options for dividing business assets while keeping a business intact. Spouses should also be aware of the tax consequences involved in dividing these assets to ensure that they are prepared for financial success after the divorce has been completed.

Another issue that can arise in a complex divorce case is the possibility that a spouse is attempting to hide assets to avoid dividing them with their former partner. The penalties for hiding assets during divorce can range from a settlement that awards a much greater amount of the marital assets to the other spouse to the offending spouse being held in contempt of court and facing criminal charges for fraud or perjury.

Contact a DuPage County Complex Divorce Attorney

Divorce proceedings can be complicated for any couple. However, the divorce process is likely to be even more complex when a lot of different types of assets are involved, especially those with a high value. At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, our attorneys are experienced in negotiating and resolving many different types of divorces disputes, including those involving marital property. Regardless of your individual situation, we can help you reach a fair settlement and ensure that your financial interests are protected. To schedule a free consultation, call a knowledgeable Wheaton high asset divorce lawyer today at 630-871-1002.





Choosing a High-Net Worth Divorce Attorney

high-net worth, DuPage County divorce lawyerHigh net-worth divorces are much more complex proceedings than those involving couples of more modest means. If you have substantial individual or marital assets and are considering or entering into divorce proceedings, it is imperative that you select an Illinois divorce attorney who has experience handling high-asset and complex divorces, as opposed to solely standard family law practice. Not all family law attorneys are well-versed in the financial complexities and nuances relevant to high-value asset divorces. Our high-net worth divorce attorneys have both the financial and legal know-how to navigate the intricacies of equitable asset division for couples with sizeable wealth.

What Makes High-Asset Divorces Unique?

The obvious reason that high-asset divorces are unique is that they involve more property division decisions. Some of the issues that often come into play in complex divorce cases include:

  • Whether a prenuptial agreement is in place;
  • How long the couple has been married;
  • The types of investments and brokerage accounts the couple has and whether they have streaming income from stocks or bonds;
  • The effect of divorce on pensions, retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401ks;
  • The effect of the divorce on trusts and inheritance;
  • The tax implications of divorcing and splitting the assets;
  • The types of property and real estate owned and whether property will be sold in order to fairly divide assets;
  • How future earnings, dividends, and residuals may be affected;
  • Whether parties are in disparate positions of financial power and acuity;
  • Whether parties own businesses, professional practices or have significant business interests;
  • The type and amount of luxury items and collectibles the parties own, including furs, jewelry, antiques, art, coins, etc.; and
  • The motor vehicles owned by the parties, including motorcycles, recreational vehicles (RVs), cars, trucks, boats, all-terrain vehicles, construction equipment, commercial vehicles, etc.

Consult an Experienced High-Asset Divorce Attorney in DuPage County 

A skilled divorce lawyer can protect your rights throughout your complex high-asset divorce. A high-asset divorce requires a great deal of investigation since you and your attorney will want to make sure that your spouse is not hiding any assets or withholding information about finances that could be crucial to a fair division of property. Without an adequate investigation of all financial records, you will not have a true picture of the marital assets.

Our skilled Wheaton high-asset divorce attorneys have access to forensic accountants with significant experience locating assets and parsing through investment records, as well as other financial experts who can make sure your marital assets are being valued properly. We can also take steps to make sure your marital assets are preserved and protected during litigation. Whether you are knowledgeable about the status and valuation of your marital assets, or have not previously been very involved in your family’s finances, our team will remain by your side to protect your rights throughout the divorce process.