Hidden Assets

When parties are divorcing, the law provides for an equitable division of marital assets and marital debts. However, assets can only be divided fairly when the parties each disclose all of his and her assets and debts. Toward this end, in Illinois, the parties are required to complete a Financial Affidavit. The Affidavit requires each party to itemize his and her income and monthly expenses, disclose all marital and non-marital property and all debts. Additionally, parties are to include supporting documents such as: current statements including those for bank and retirement accounts, accounts for the benefit of children including 529 Plans, charge cards, loans, tax returns and w-2/1099’s and current paystubs.

Property division is a large part of any divorce and this is particularly so in high asset divorce cases and those involving business valuations. Unfortunately, spouses often try to hide assets in order to avoid an equitable property division. If you suspect that your spouse has hidden assets, Susan can help you find them. Susan has experience in uncovering hidden assets to ensure that her clients receive their fair share of marital property.

There are a variety of reasons why people hide assets but the simplest explanation is that they have money or property that they do not want their spouse to know exists. There are many ways to discover hidden assets but the process of finding them or unreported income is difficult, requires the use of experts, and takes time.

Susan will discuss the cost of discovery work to find hidden assets and will help you weight the cost against the potential benefits. Susan will help you plan a budget for the investigation. At first, it will be formal discovery that includes interrogatories, notices to produce, depositions, and subpoenas. All of these can provide information that will allow you and Susan to review and analyze marital and non-marital property and income stream.

The next step would be to investigate whether ownership of assets has been transferred. This is not uncommon especially, when a spouse has been planning for divorce. While, through diligent work it is possible to discover these assets the risk is that money will be spent and assets will not be found. Susan will work with you to weigh the costs versus the potential results.