Tag Archives: hidden assets

How to Look for Hidden Assets During Your Illinois Divorce

DuPage County property division attorney for hidden assetsSometimes, by the time people get divorced, they do not even recognize each other anymore. Over the years, a sense of mistrust might have festered. Misgivings about your spouse and his or her motivations often contribute to the decision to file for divorce. As the divorce drives you two even further apart, it becomes easier and easier to keep things from each other. This is when hidden assets become an even greater possibility. If you suspect your spouse might be hiding assets from you and your attorneys, what should you do? There are a few things that require further investigation from you and your lawyers to make sure no asset is left buried.

What to Do During the Hunt for Hidden Assets

Financial fraud during divorce is much easier to commit than it is to expose. There is quite a bit of detective work that goes into finding those hidden assets, bringing them to light, and enabling them to be divided along with other marital property during a divorce. Here are some ways you and your lawyer might be able to hunt for hidden assets:

  • Take an Inventory—Collect all of the financial documentation for both you and your spouse. Be very thorough and organized in your collection of this paperwork. You need to have a strong baseline to judge your financial picture against that of your spouse. If you notice specific inconsistencies, then you know where to look first for possible hidden assets.

  • Study Tax Returns—Tax returns can reveal a great deal about a spouse’s financial history. By comparing tax returns from year to year, you and your attorney will be able to more easily decipher the data and discover hidden assets. For instance, there could be some itemized deductions (on Schedule A); interest and dividends (on Schedule B); business profits or losses (on Schedule C); capital gains and losses (on Schedule D); or supplemental income and losses (on Schedule E) that can indicate what might be missing from the finances your spouse is reporting.

  • Review Mortgage Documentation—When you apply for a mortgage, you must report all of your finances. The underwriters put you through a comprehensive and stringent auditing process that provides a clear and in-depth picture of your finances. They cannot give you and your spouse that mortgage without such detailed due diligence. That is why those papers are so important to your search for hidden assets. There might be assets or properties reported there that were not reported during the divorce.

  • Conduct a Physical Search—Both actual property and paper trails leading to certain assets might be found in physical locations where you and your spouse keep important items. Consider conducting a search of safes, safe deposit boxes, and other typical “hiding spots” for important possessions.

How Will Your Lawyer Help with the Hunt?

In addition to helping you with all of the aforementioned ways to find hidden assets, your lawyer can also do the following:

  • Engage in Aggressive Research—Many lawyers are accustomed to searching for—and locating—hidden assets during divorces. They know exactly where to look and how to optimize their research.

  • Enlist the Help of Industry Experts—Your lawyer may work with a forensic accountant who will review your and your spouse’s tax returns for any inconsistencies. They will investigate your respective financial histories to make sure every last cent is accounted for. If they cannot locate something, they will attempt to find it and arrange for it to be included in your divorce case.

  • Subpoenas—When you, your lawyer, or financial experts need additional support for your findings, or when you suspect further financial culpability on the part of your spouse, your lawyer has the right to subpoena banks and other similar institutions for supplemental records.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Asset Division Lawyer

The hunt for hidden assets can be long and involved. That is why you need a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney on your side to make sure you leave no financial documents buried. With the assistance of Andrew Cores Family Law Group, you will be able to track down all those hidden assets that you have a hunch about. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/financial-fraud-and-divor_b_8210922

https://www.forbes.com/sites/catherineschnaubelt/2019/03/08/finding-hidden-assets-in-a-divorce/#6d1f0a1e6fd1

How Can a Business Owner Hide Assets During Divorce?

Wheaton divorce and hidden assets lawyerThere are many ways that spouses attempt to hide marital assets from their wives or husbands. Methods can be as simple as stashing cash in a secret safe deposit box or transferring funds to family members or friends with the intent to recover them once the divorce is finalized. Other methods are somewhat more complex, such as creating offshore bank accounts or asking an employer to delay a large bonus or salary increase until after divorce.

Not only does hiding assets affect the division of property during divorce, but it can also affect child support payments and alimony. A husband or wife that successfully conceals marital property can end up getting away with tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have otherwise been distributed to their spouse or used for child support.

Business owners are at a great advantage when it comes to hiding assets during divorce, because there are dozens of ways that significant assets can be concealed. In many cases, a person may attempt to devalue the business, which is the same as stealing money from their spouse.

Unlawful Methods of Devaluing a Business

Small businesses do not always have small profits. In fact, 49 percent of full-time business owners have sales between $100,000 and $1 million per year. Some methods that business owners may use to attempt to reduce the value of their business include:

  • Failing to Report Cash Payments—A business owner that receives cash may hide these unreported earnings in a safety deposit box or a secret bank account.

  • Creating a Fake Employee—A spouse may pay a salary to an employee that does not exist, with plans to void those paychecks at a later time.

  • Prepaying Expenses—A business owner may make payments in advance for certain expenses, such as employee benefits, office supplies or furniture, or raw materials, with the intent of reducing the business’s bottom line.

  • Overpaying Taxes—A spouse may pay more in taxes than is actually owed, in hopes of receiving a large refund after the divorce has been finalized.

  • Welcoming Debts—A business owner may allow clients to defer payments until after the divorce is finalized in order to reduce the income earned by the business.

Reach Out to a DuPage County Hidden Asset Attorney

Do not let your spouse cheat you out of your fair share of marital property or use unlawful methods to reduce their child support or spousal maintenance payments. Hold them accountable by hiring an experienced divorce attorney. Here at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, our attorneys are skilled at uncovering hidden assets, and we will ensure that you receive the marital property and financial support you deserve. Call our Wheaton divorce attorneys today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2012/11/14/what-are-the-consequences-of-hiding-assets-during-divorce/#7bde61b7190c

https://www.businessknowhow.com/money/earn.htm

 

Finding Your Spouse’s Hidden Assets

hidden assets, Wheaton divorce attorneysSometimes, divorces get ugly, as we all know. The most common way that spouses try to hurt each other during divorce, aside from arguing over their children, is to attempt to gain the upper hand in terms of property distribution by any means necessary—including the hiding of assets. If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, there are multiple methods that can be used to help uncover the wrongdoing, either on your own or with professional help.

Methods for Your Lawyer

In a divorce, your attorney is your primary resource if you suspect your spouse has committed a financial misdeed. There are multiple legal documents used during the civil process of divorce, especially during discovery, in which a party is bound by law to tell the truth, and they must do so in very specific ways, providing very specific information. Both parties are bound to comply with any discovery request that the court deems reasonable, which will usually be most of them.

If your attorney tailors their discovery requests appropriately, you can request significant amounts of information from your spouse. Written interrogatories, for example, are commonly used during discovery where a party will be asked to answer questions or confirm or deny a given statement. Another common tool is inspections. Either party may inspect assets like collections or safety deposit boxes at any time in most divorce cases, and the inspection may or may not turn up information pointing to deception or other property-related wrongdoings. Depositions of your spouse or of relevant financial professionals can also shed light on potential issues, though in many situations, discovery depositions cannot be used at trial.

Methods Involving Outside Professionals

If you believe there has been asset misappropriation on a larger scale, you may want to call in professional help, such as a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant is a financial professional who is also versed in how to spot potential fraud or other financial-related crimes. They have the capability to investigate asset transfers and other potentially unethical behavior, especially if there is a family business involved.

Forensic accountants and CPAs can also work hand in hand with other professionals like business valuation experts and tax lawyers. The key to discovering hidden assets is to search for patterns, and different financial experts may be well suited to identify different patterns. It may seem excessive to hire outside help, but sometimes a financial puzzle is so complex that a larger team is needed.

Consult a Knowledgeable Attorney

If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets that may be yours by right, your first step is to speak to a good attorney. Contact an experienced Wheaton property division lawyer to get the help you need today. Call 630-871-1002 for a free, no-obligation consultation at any of our three convenient locations.

 

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/supremecourt/Rules/Art_II/default.asp