Ryan Family Law, P.C.
Ryan Family Law, P.C.

Elgin, Illinois

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How to detect hidden assets during a divorce

When spouses in Illinois get a divorce, they’ll be required to share detailed information about their assets with each other. However, in some situations, one party might attempt to hide assets from the other.

Assets may be hidden altogether with the claim that they do not exist. However, some hide them by saying they were lost. In certain cases, hiding an asset might be very straightforward. A person will take a possession or money to a friend or family member’s home. Things might also be physically hidden in the home, such as in a safe.

When a spouse first begins to consider divorce, performing an inventory can be a good idea. This will make it easier to detect any missing assets. However, a professional such as an attorney, tax advisor or forensic accountant could help find evidence of hidden assets on tax returns. For example, if a list of itemized deductions includes property taxes, this may indicate hidden property. Assets that provide interest or dividends and assets purchased by a business might also be listed on tax returns. The same is true for income from royalties, S corporations and rental properties. Capital gains and losses can reveal the existence or disappearance of stocks, bonds and other assets.

Even if hidden assets are not an issue, the process of property division can be complex. Property is supposed to be divided equitably in Illinois, which means that it is not necessarily divided equally. A couple might negotiate an agreement with legal assistance, or if they are unable to reach an agreement, a judge will decide. However, negotiation allows more room for creative solutions tailored to the couple’s particular situation. Each person might be able to keep the assets that they care most about.

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