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Uncovering hidden assets takes a little detective work

Would you know if your spouse was hiding assets from you? If you have not taken a lot of interest in your marital finances, it is very possible that he or she has accounts or property of which you may not be aware. If you are going through the divorce process, you may be getting the short end of the stick -- so to speak -- in your final settlement unless you are able to uncover these hidden assets.

In Illinois and elsewhere, it is illegal to hide or withhold property or earnings during a divorce. Unless property is separate or protected in a prenuptial agreement, all marital assets must be accounted for and available for division.

How might one try to hide assets or income?

There are actually a lot of ways that a spouse may try to hide assets. A few of these include:

  • Converting property to cash
  • Paying a phony debt
  • No-interest investment bonds
  • Setting up a custodial account
  • Paying salary to a nonexistent employee
  • Expenses for a significant other

What should I do if I think my spouse is hiding assets?

If you feel that something is missing from your property list or that monetary assets are not what they should be, you can seek help from your attorney and a forensic accountant. It can take time to uncover hidden assets, but a forensic accountant will know where to look and will be able to fully investigate your spouse's finances.

Why is it important to make sure all assets are accounted for before finalizing my divorce?

Going through the divorce process can be tough. It is understandable that you may just want to get it over with as quickly as possible. However, not taking the time to make sure all assets are accounted for before accepting a property division settlement can hurt you economically in the long-run.

If you fail to take the time to uncover any hidden assets, you are leaving money on the table. This is money that is rightfully yours.

An attorney can help you get a fair settlement

Whether going through the divorce process in Illinois or elsewhere, it is possible to achieve a fair and balanced settlement -- even there are concerns about missing property. Uncovering hidden assets may take a little detective work, but with the right help, it is possible to find what your spouse may be attempting to keep for him or herself.

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