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What Can I Do If My Spouse is Not Being Honest About Their Assets?

Posted on in Divorce

Joliet divorce attorneysEvery divorce is different, including each spouse’s inclination to be cooperative throughout the process. Though it is easiest and quickest for both parties to be forthcoming regarding their finances, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to attempt to keep a portion of their assets out of the divorce proceedings. As an equitable distribution state, Illinois requires all finances and assets to be disclosed and fairly distributed between both parties, even if one spouse was the primary breadwinner. If you suspect that your spouse is keeping a side-stash of assets, you may consider taking additional action to reveal their true colors.

Common Signs of Hidden Assets

Do you have a feeling that your spouse is not being truly forthcoming about their assets, but are unsure of where to look? Before obtaining a court order against your spouse, you should try to do your own digging. There are four common ways that spouses hide their assets during a divorce:

  1. Denying that the asset exists
  2. Transferring the asset to a third party for the time being
  3. Claiming that the asset was lost or misplaced
  4. Creating false debt

Looking at the details on your tax returns are often the most telling of your true financial situation. The first place that you should look is the itemized deduction section. You can easily detect undisclosed assets or income. For example, a deduction of property taxes could reveal the existence of a hidden property. You can also look at the interest and dividends recorded on the tax return. First, create your own inventory of the assets that you know of, then compare this to your tax return to determine if there are any unknown assets generating interest or dividends. There are a number of other areas that can be useful in locating hidden assets with the help of your attorney, though this is a good place to start.

Filing for a Subpoena in the Discovery Process

Every divorce requires both spouses to present their total financials, and depending on your circumstances, this may require a full-fledged discovery process. In amicable divorces, the discovery process may be quickly run through as both spouses readily present the information. If, however, one spouse is being dishonest about their savings or refuses to provide this information altogether, the court can enter the discovery process with a subpoena in hand. A subpoena is a formal written order which requires a person to do the following:

  • To produce specific documents for inspection and copying
  • To provide written responses to questions regarding these documents or information
  • To provide oral testimony regarding the contents of the documents or information. 

If the subpoena is ignored, the violating spouse will be held in contempt of court.

Contact a Joliet Divorce Lawyer for Help

Discovering that your spouse is keeping things from you may come as a surprise, or it may be reflective of their everyday character. Hidden assets are not uncommon in divorce, especially when you have a laundry list of high assets at stake. At The Foray Firm, our legal team works tirelessly to help our clients uncover and secure the assets that they deserve. Our attorneys have experience negotiating and litigating to provide our clients with the type of representation necessary to move forward with their lives. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, contact our Will County divorce attorneys at 312-702-1293 for help uncovering your assets.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/subpoena.asp

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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

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