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Kane County Hidden Assets Divorce Lawyers

Kane County Hidden Assets Divorce Lawyers

Attorneys Who Use Forensic Accounting to Locate Transferred Property in St. Charles and Geneva

If your spouse has been the primary manager of your family finances, you may find yourself at a disadvantage in a divorce proceeding. If you are not thoroughly familiar with all income, expenses, and investments made during your marriage, it is possible that your spouse could hide cash and other assets so as to keep them out of your marital property division. If such assets are not revealed and properly valued during the financial discovery process and classified as marital property, you will not receive your fair share in the divorce settlement.

At Weiler & Lengle P.C., we are aware of the many devious means that can be used to hide assets during a divorce. We are prepared to employ forensic accountants and other experts to review all financial documentation submitted by you and your spouse so as to reveal any discrepancies.

The Role of a Forensic Account and Other Financial Experts in Divorce

A forensic accountant is one who analyzes your finances in a way that is suitable for submission as evidence in court. For example, if your spouse earned $200,000 per year, the accountant would trace where that money went through your credit card, bank, and investment account statements. If the accountant discovers significant cash withdrawals that are unexplained or large payments to parties unknown to you, further investigation will be conducted to determine whether those were legitimate payments or attempts to hide assets.

In addition to a forensic accountant, you may need appraisers to provide current values for your real estate holdings and other valuable items as well as guidance from financial planning and tax advisors.

Ways Assets May Be Hidden

Some tricks used to hide assets in anticipation of a divorce include:

  • Passing assets to a friend or relative to hold until after the divorce, perhaps in a storage facility which can be difficult to trace or in a foreign country.
  • Undervaluing valuable art or collectibles acquired with marital funds.
  • Hiding money in a PayPal account, safe deposit box or in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
  • Asking their employer to delay bonuses or raises until the divorce is finalized.
  • Using a business payroll account to pay an "independent contractor" or "consultant" who will hold the money until the divorce is over.
  • Having money held in a trust account rather than taking it as income when it is earned.

Given several years' worth of your financial records, a forensic accountant will know the right questions to ask to find clues pointing to hidden assets.

Illinois Law Governing Hidden Assets in a Divorce

If you suspect that your spouse has failed to reveal all of their assets on their financial affidavit, you may request a court hearing to determine "whether and why there is a disparity between a party's sworn affidavit and the supporting documentation."

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, 750 ILCS 5/501, further states: "If a party intentionally or recklessly files an inaccurate or misleading financial affidavit, the court shall impose significant penalties and sanctions." The court could require the offending party to pay court costs, your legal fees, and/or an extra share of marital property to you. The offender could even be criminally prosecuted for perjury.

What If I Learn About Hidden Assets After the Divorce Is Final?

It is definitely preferable to take all possible steps to uncover hidden assets before your divorce is finalized. However, if hidden assets are discovered later, it is possible to reopen your case even after the final judgment of divorce has been issued. Because Illinois law calls for marital property to be divided "in just proportions," the court would likely amend your property settlement to account for the additional assets.

St. Charles Divorce Lawyers Will Find Hidden Assets

The divorce attorneys at Weiler & Lengle P.C. are well versed in the process of using forensic accounting to locate assets that your spouse may be trying to hide so as to protect these assets from being considered in a divorce settlement. Contact us at 630-382-8050. We serve clients in St. Charles, Geneva, and neighboring communities in Kane County.

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