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Finding hidden assets during a divorce

When handling divorce cases for Cook County residents who have a high net-worth, we here at Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd. will sometimes see scenarios involving hidden assets. If you suspect that your spouse is not disclosing assets as instructed by the court, you may not know where to start looking for those funds. Fortunately, there are resources at your disposal to help in this search.

Just how common are hidden assets in a marriage? Information gathered by The National Endowment for Financial Education and shared by the Huffington Post shows that such deception occurs between two out of three married couples. Thus, the chances that your spouse is hiding something from you might be higher than you think.

There are a number of ways that you can find information on assets your spouse may be hiding. These include:

  •          Review tax returns: Any accounts that have reported either earned interest or dividend payments would appear on your spouse’s tax return.
  •          Search property records: You can often conduct a public records search for free online. That may show you any real estate holdings that your spouse may be hiding.
  •          Find electronic trails: Emails or text messages from companies like PayPal could prove that your spouse is moving money without your knowledge. If all else fails, check your web browser history for the names of unfamiliar banks or brokerages firms.  

In many cases, you may just need to sit down and go through all of your paper records, including bank and credit card statements, receipts, and/or cancelled checks. You may also be required to take escalated action like subpoenaing your spouse’s company for access to information on stock options or deferred benefit plans.

You can find more information on property division on our website. 

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