Hidden Assets in Palatine Divorce Cases
Locating Hidden Assets in a Palatine Divorce
Illinois law requires that parties in a divorce disclose all financial information to the other spouse in order to facilitate the division of assets. Most of the time this information exchange is done in the spirit of the law, since both parties have full knowledge of both the marital asset and their spouse’s non-marital assets.
However, in certain cases, one spouse purposely hides assets from his or her spouse. This may be done in anticipation of divorce, or a spouse may have secretly stashed money away throughout the marriage in the event of a divorce.
If one spouse was solely responsible for taking care of the family finances, then the other spouse may have no idea where money is invested or what it was used to purchase. Moreover, the spouse may even question the true amount of the family’s annual income. A spouse in this situation could be at risk for being cheated out of his or her fair share of the marital assets because he or she has no idea what the couple actually owned.
So what can you do to protect yourself and uncover hidden assets?
Request all financial documents. Never take your spouse’s word that he or she will give you the financial documents you need. Your attorney must request all financial information from the opposing party and should request copies of the original statements. A spreadsheet prepared by the client or his or her attorney should never be accepted because it can easily leave off vital financial information.
Hire a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant is trained to uncover fraud in accounting settings. By reviewing all financial information, a trained forensic accountant may be able to uncover the location and the amount of the hidden assets.
Review tax returns. This is especially important if one spouse was solely responsible for preparing and filing the tax returns. A return may have information regarding income, investment accounts or capital gains, property sold and bought or other information that may show hidden assets. If one spouse has a business, those tax returns should also be reviewed.
Thoroughly review all financial statements. Bank accounts may show large withdrawals or transfers into accounts in only one spouse’s name. Additionally, credit card statements may show items purchased that never showed up in the home. Any questionable transactions should be thoroughly reviewed.
Palatine Divorce Attorney
In order to obtain a fair and equitable settlement in a divorce, you need to have accurate information regarding both the marital and non-marital estate. A skilled Palatine division of marital assets lawyer can help. With more than a decade worth of experience helping clients divide their marital assets, Nicholas W. Richardson will thoroughly review all of your financial information and knows where to look for hidden assets. Serving clients in Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights and throughout the Chicagoland area, The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. offers a free initial consultation. Call today to schedule an appointment.