How some individuals hide assets during divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Divorce |

When going through the divorce process in Illinois, some spouses may be tempted to hide their money from the other party. In some cases, divorcing individuals hide money because they do not think they will get fair decisions from the court. In other cases, divorcing spouses may try to hide their money because they believe that their future exes will go on spending sprees ahead of finalizing the divorce. Here are a couple of ways divorcing individuals may attempt to conceal money from their future ex-spouses, as well as the consequences of doing so. 

Common methods for hiding money during divorce 

One way people hide money when going through a divorce is by diverting any new income generated. For instance, an individual may receive a raise while going through a divorce and then try to divert the increased income from the raise to a separate bank account that the other party does not know about. However, paystubs are typically required to be disclosed as part of the property division process, so attempts to hide such an increase will be difficult. It would be best for the divorcing individual to simply be upfront about the raise or perhaps ask the boss to delay it until after the divorce. 

Some spouses underreport their income. However, they will likely be found out eventually, as bank account statements and other discoverable documents will reveal the correct income. In this situation, divorce judges may require the money-hiding individuals to turn over 50% or even 100% of the hidden money to their future exes. Because hiding money during divorce is against the law and could result in a perjury charge, the money-hiding spouses might even be forced to pay penalties or even face jail time. 

How an attorney can help 

Hiring family law attorneys is one of the best ways for divorcing individuals in Illinois to protect themselves financially and legally if they are considering hiding money or fear that their spouses have hidden money from them. An attorney will typically advise them to be forthcoming about their finances, aid them in conducting research to uncover any assets that the other party may be hiding, and ultimately help to pursue a fair and comprehensive settlement. A divorce attorney will focus on ensuring that the client’s rights and best interests are protected every step of the way.