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Wheaton, IL divorce attorney for asset dissipation

Marriage is just as much a financial union as it is a romantic partnership. When a couple marries, their debts and assets become deeply intertwined in a variety of ways. Undoing this financial entanglement during divorce can become quite complicated – especially for couples with complex assets or a high net worth. In some cases, a divorcing spouse may attempt to deceive his or her partner regarding the couple’s assets and income. Financial fraud is a common issue that anyone getting divorced should be aware of.  

Financial Fraud Is Common When One Spouse Has Total Control over Finances

Some married couples share responsibility for financial decision-making and money management. In other cases, one spouse has sole responsibility over the finances, while the other is completely uninvolved in financial decisions. While this division of labor works well for some couples, being in the dark about one’s assets and debts can put a person at a significant disadvantage during divorce. However, spouses who were not involved in household finances are not the only people who can find themselves victims of financial fraud during divorce. Even if you were heavily involved in paying household bills, making purchases, and completing other financial transactions, it is still possible to be deceived by an untruthful spouse.  

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When going through divorce, most people would like to believe that their spouse still values their marriage enough to be honest and fair in their disclosure of assets and income. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. No one really knows how often it happens - after all, many do end up getting away with it - but the issue is common and one that you should be aware of. Learn more with help from the following information on financial fraud in divorce.

Types of Financial Fraud in Divorce

While some forms of financial fraud are more common than others, a spouse can become victim to one or numerous types throughout the course of their marriage or divorce. This can include tax fraud, asset dissipation, asset hiding, misappropriation of assets, forgery, loan fraud, insurance fraud, and more. Parties who are especially at risk are those that have not had an active role in the day-to-day financial management of the marriage. Even still, it is possible to spot the signs if you stay aware and know what to look for during your divorce.

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Divorce is never easy, but those that are considered "high net worth divorces" can be especially tricky. Stakes are higher, arguments may be explosive, and feelings of animosity or vengefulness may pave the way for dishonesty in asset disclosure. This can be especially disastrous when one party holds all of the cards (or the assets) and decides that their soon-to-be ex-spouse should not receive his or her fair share.

Hidden Assets Common in Marriage and Divorce

Information from the National Endowment for Financial Education shows that approximately 31 percent of all adults with combined assets admit to being deceptive about money. A total of 58 percent say they have hidden cash from their partner or spouse. Additionally, a CreditCards.com study found that one in 20 married respondents kept an account or credit card from their spouse (approximately 13 million Americans).

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How Can You Find Hidden Assets in an Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County divorce attorney, find hidden assetsWhen 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.

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