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naperville property division lawyerDisagreements about financial issues are one common issue that can cause a marriage to break down, and these types of disputes are likely to continue into the divorce process. Matters related to money can be difficult to resolve, but under the law, spouses are entitled to a fair and equitable division of marital property, which includes all assets and debts acquired during a couple’s marriage. Unfortunately, some spouses do not agree with this idea, and they may believe that they are entitled to certain assets or that the other spouse should receive less. In many cases, a person will attempt to hide assets to avoid having to divide them with their spouse. If you are concerned that your spouse is attempting to conceal marital assets, you will want to understand how to uncover these activities and bring them to the court’s attention to ensure that your marital property can be divided fairly.

Methods of Uncovering Hidden Assets

Understanding the intricacies of your family’s finances can often be difficult, especially if your spouse has been primarily responsible for managing money during your marriage. By gathering the right information and looking through financial records, you can make sure you know the full extent of the assets you own. Some steps you can take to find out whether your spouse has attempted to hide assets include:

  • Review tax returns - Looking over the joint tax returns you have filed with your spouse will help you understand the income you have earned and give you an idea of how much savings you should expect to have. This will allow you to identify any discrepancies, as well as foreign bank accounts, real estate holdings, or other investments you may not have known about.

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Naperville high asset divorce attorneyGetting a divorce will require spouses to address many different legal and financial issues, and this process can become very complicated, especially in cases where a couple has a high net worth. Sometimes, a spouse may try to take advantage of the complex nature of these proceedings and attempt to unfairly influence the division of marital property by hiding certain assets from their partner. If you believe that your spouse is concealing assets from you or is otherwise refusing to meet their legal obligations during the divorce process, you will want to work with an experienced divorce attorney to determine how to proceed.

Common Methods of Concealing Marital Assets

A spouse may attempt to hide money, property, or other assets because they do not think their former partner should receive certain items, or they may do so out of an attempt to make things more difficult for the other spouse. A person may also believe that they should receive a greater share of the marital estate because they earned the majority of the family’s income. However, attempting to illicitly claim assets outside of the standard procedures for dividing property is illegal. All of a couple’s assets, including their marital property and the separate property each spouse owns, should be disclosed during the divorce to ensure that all aspects of the couple’s financial situation are considered when dividing marital assets.

Some ways that a spouse may attempt to conceal marital property include:

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What Makes a High Asset Divorce More Complicated?Every divorce has a complex array of marital properties that must be divided between the spouses, but high asset divorces take that complexity to a different level. People going through high asset divorces often need to work with multiple financial professionals, such as appraisers and forensic accountants. These professionals are worth the expense because a mistake in a high asset divorce could cost you a significant amount of money. Here are four reasons why a high asset divorce can be more complicated than an average divorce:

  1. It Can Be Difficult to Track Down All of Your Assets: A high asset divorce often has a variety of properties, such as real estate, businesses, investments, and collectibles. The properties may be spread out into accounts and locations in different states or countries. You need to be thorough in searching for marital properties so they are all accounted for in the divorce. It is possible that your spouse may be hiding assets in order to protect them.
  2. Asset Valuations May Require Multiple Appraisers: Besides identifying your marital assets, it is also important to determine the value of the assets. You may need an appraiser with a specialized area of knowledge for some properties in a high asset divorce. For instance, a fine art appraiser will give you the most accurate valuation of an art collection. Other properties, such as a business, may require extensive research to determine their true values.
  3. Spousal Maintenance May Be More Crucial: If one spouse makes a majority of the income in a high asset marriage, the other spouse will be more reliant on receiving spousal maintenance after a divorce. The recipient spouse can reasonably expect to maintain a similar living standard following the divorce, which may not be possible on their own. The amount of maintenance that the recipient needs may be more than what the payor wants, which can make negotiations difficult.
  4. Both Sides Are More Likely to Contest the Divorce Agreement: There can be millions of dollars at stake in a high asset divorce, which neither party wants to give up. Your spouse may fight you on the value of the assets and how they should be divided. If you cannot come to an agreement on your own, you may need to take your dispute to court, where a judge will decide how the divorce agreement should be constructed.

Contact a Naperville, Illinois, Divorce Lawyer

If you are about to go through a high asset divorce, you need a lawyer who is experienced with finding hidden assets and conducting complex property valuations. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., will make sure you receive your fair share of the property in your divorce. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.

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Financial Infidelity Can Destroy Trust in MarriagePeople usually associate infidelity in a marriage with having a romantic affair. There are other ways that spouses can lie to or hide things from each other that are just as hurtful. One way that is receiving increased attention is financial infidelity, which is when a spouse has secret financial accounts or debts. Financial infidelity is not only a betrayal of trust, but it also puts the unaware spouse at financial risk. In some cases, the betrayal may be serious enough that the spouses choose to divorce.

Understanding Financial Infidelity

Digital technology makes it easy for someone to create secret accounts or conduct financial activities without their spouse knowing. The person can control everything remotely and hide records. As with most lies, the truth comes to light usually when the lying spouse feels compelled to confess or the unaware spouse discovers evidence of the secret finances. There are several reasons why a spouse may have secret assets or debts:

  • The assets could be paying for a romantic affair;
  • The spouse may have an addiction, such as gambling, shopping, or substance abuse;
  • The spouse may have obtained the money illegally; or
  • The spouse may be siphoning away money because they are preparing to leave the marriage.

Regardless of the reason, financial infidelity affects both spouses because they are both liable for debts accumulated. Even if there are no debts, the money diverted to the secret account could have been used to pay for marital expenses, child expenses, or retirement savings.

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