No one will argue with the assertion that divorce is a stressful time. Part of what makes the process so nerve-wracking is that you often have little concrete evidence that your ex-spouse is treating you fairly and respecting the rules of the court. And while there are some divorcing spouses who flagrantly ignore court orders and clearly indicate they have no desire of following the law, it is more common for ex-spouses to attempt to covertly manipulate the process so as to disadvantage the other spouse. One popular means by which one ex-spouse attempts to get an advantage over the other spouse is through “hiding marital assets” he or she may have in his or her possession. By either failing to list certain property on required disclosures or by affirmatively representing to the court and to you that he or she no longer has certain valuable property, the ex-spouse is hoping to gain a larger share of the marital assets when they are divided.
How Can I Tell if My Ex Is Hiding Assets?
It can be difficult to know if your ex is hiding assets or not. Some of the more common “red flags” that assets are being hidden include:
- Your ex hides or moves important financial documents. If your ex is making excuses for why he or she cannot find important registration documents, deeds, income sheets, or other similar documents, it can be a sign that he or she is attempting to hide that asset;
- Your ex’s income suddenly drops. If your ex either works for him- or herself or is good friends with his or her boss, look out for income records, tax returns, or statements that suggest your ex is earning much less income than when you were married. Your ex may be getting paid “under the table” in cash and failing to report this income; and
- You discover your ex has a bank account you did not know about. Remember that check you gave to your ex for some expense or other? Did the bank name and account listed on the back that accepted his check for deposit sound familiar? Opening up a secret bank account you were not aware of can be a sign that your ex spouse is attempting to keep the nature and value of his or her income or cash assets a secret.
What to Do if You Believe Your Ex Is Hiding Assets
Hiding assets is a violation of court orders that are entered in nearly every Illinois divorce case. If your ex is indeed hiding assets, he or she can be punished by the court with fines and/or jail. If he or she filed a false pleading with the court and that pleading was made under oath, your ex can also be charged with perjury.
The best course of action is to contact the passionate DuPage County divorce lawyers at our firm today. We can investigate whether your ex is in fact hiding spouses and will bring this matter to the attention of the court for resolution.