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Major divorce problem: Hidden Assets

Severing marital ties can be quite stressful, especially if a soon-to-be former spouse resorts to unlawful behavior during proceedings. Some Illinois residents may relate to a common divorce problem regarding hidden assets. This state operates under equitable property division laws, meaning each spouse is entitled to a fair share of all jointly owned assets in divorce.

The court determines a fair division of all jointly owned assets. This apparently tempts some spouses to hide assets from their counterparts. This is against the law and places anyone committing such acts at risk for criminal charges.

Converting cash to items, then underreporting their value is one of the sneaky ways spouses hide assets. For instance, if one suddenly notices new furniture or artwork around the house or office, it might be a sign of hidden asset trouble. If a spouse seems to have more cash on hand than reflected in earned income, this too may be suggest assets are being hidden by being paid for work in cash so as not to report the income.

More than one business-owning spouse has secreted assets in the past by paying nonexistent employees. It's a rather simple way to go about it since all he or she needs to do to get the money back after divorce is void the paychecks. Other suspicious behavior might include paying back debts one spouse didn't know existed to family members or friends, or making payments for fake services rendered. These are ways people enlist the help of others to hold money for them until after divorce is finalized. An Illinois family law attorney can help rectify hidden asset situations.

Source:, "Where to Search for Hidden Assets During Divorce", Candace Bahr, Accessed on June 14, 2017

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