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Consequences of Hiding Assets in an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles divorce attorney Hiding Assets

When a couple is going through a divorce, they are both required to provide the other with details of their individual finances. Each party is required to fill out a financial affidavit – under the penalty of perjury – that is also filed with the court.

It is not uncommon in these situations for one or both spouses to be resentful about sharing this information with the other spouse and may decide not to disclose all of their assets. However, if a person is caught hiding assets in a divorce, the penalties could be far more costly than if they had just told the truth.

Financial Cheating

While you may think that most married couples share everything about their finances with each other, the reality is that there are many spouses who may not be entirely truthful with their partner about money. In fact, one major study that was conducted a few years ago, showed one in three people admitted to lying to their spouse about money, whether it was outright lying or hiding money, or “coloring” the truth a little bit.

Illinois Law

In Illinois, when a couple divorces, the law says their marital assets will be equitably distributed. The court must determine what are marital assets and what are separate assets. This becomes even more complicated when assets have been commingled.

For example, if one spouse receives a birthday gift of $1,000 from their parents, that money is considered their own asset. But if they deposit that money into the joint checking account they have with their spouse, that $1,000 then becomes part of the marital estate and in a divorce, all of the funds in that checking account would need to be equitably distributed between the two spouses.

Consequences of Hiding Assets

When a spouse decides to hide assets, they are not only risking losing those assets, but they are also breaking the law. Remember, financial affidavits are signed under penalty of perjury, which is a crime. The court could also consider the hiding of assets fraud. The spouse hiding the assets could face criminal charges. The judge overseeing the divorce could also decide to award all of the hidden assets to the other spouse. 

In one well-known California case, a woman won $1.3 million in the lottery but did not tell her husband. Instead, 11 days after she won, she filed for divorce and never disclosed the winning on any of her financial forms. Two years after the divorce, her now ex-husband found out about the winnings and took her back to court. The judge ruled that the wife, acting out of fraud or malice, violated the state’s disclosure laws, and then awarded the entire winnings to the husband.

While this case is an extreme one, it is a good reminder to anyone going through a divorce not to hide assets.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce and suspect your spouse is hiding assets, you need a skilled and experienced Kane County divorce attorney protecting your right to the marital estate. To ensure you receive your fair share of any property and asset division in your divorce, call Weiler & Lengle P.C. today at 630-382-8050 to schedule a confidential consultation.


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