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How Can You Find Hidden Assets in an Illinois Divorce?

When a marriage begins to fall apart, one spouse may attempt to hide assets and other sources of income to avoid splitting these assets in a divorce settlement or may want to attempt to lower a future child support or spousal support obligation. Illinois law, however, requires judges to equitably divide marital property in divorce settlements. Therefore, if one spouse hides marital property, a court ordered division of marital property will not be equitable.

The Discovery Process

Sometimes, a spouse may know that an asset exists and notices that it is missing from the other spouse's financial disclosures. Or, a spouse may only suspect that an asset is missing. In divorce cases, the law allows both instances to go through the discovery process-a process where both sides ask for certain information.

assets in a divorce settlement or may want to attempt to lower a future child support or spousal support obligation. Illinois law, however, requires judges to equitably divide marital property in divorce settlements. Therefore, if one spouse hides marital property, a court ordered division of marital property will not be equitable.

The Discovery Process

Sometimes, a spouse may know that an asset exists and notices that it is missing from the other spouse's financial disclosures. Or, a spouse may only suspect that an asset is missing. In divorce cases, the law allows both instances to go through the discovery process-a process where both sides ask for certain information.

The most common tools of this process include the following:

  • Depositions;
  • Written Interrogatories;
  • Document Requests; and
  • Inspection.

Both spouses have a duty to cooperate with a reasonable discovery request. Moreover, various aspects of the discovery process, such as depositions and interrogatories, are conducted under penalty of perjury. Hence, the use of these tools may result in the unveiling of hidden assets.

Putting the Pieces Together

Part of the job of a lawyer and his or her staff is to piece together a legal case. Often, inconsistencies are discovered-people unintentionally leave trails. Additionally, one's testimony and careful observation may even lead to the discovery of hidden assets. Also, after a divorce is final, the suspected spouse may believe it is safe to uncover his or her hidden assets, yet finds the other spouse has been watching and then finds him or herself back in court.

Consequences of Hiding Assets

Hiding assets is illegal. If a judge discovers that one spouse has been engaging in the hiding of assets, this discovery can be taken into account in the equitable split of the marital property. Even more serious, the spouse can be found in contempt of court and fined or even jailed. Most serious of all, he or she could be arrested and charged with perjury or other serious crimes.

Consult with an Knowledgeable Illinois Divorce Attorney Today

If you have concerns about hidden assets, divorce, or property division, speak with a skilled and knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney today. Call The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. at 630-462-9500 to schedule your consultation.

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2017&ChapterID=56

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Wheaton, IL 60189

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