Once the decision to obtain a divorce has been made, there are numerous issues that must be settled. If spouses have children, then their custody and visitation rights must be resolved. There are also financial aspects to consider, such as spousal support and child support. Additionally, spouses will have to negotiate how property, debts and assets are to be divided.
The courts in Illinois impose a system of equitable distribution. Essentially, this means that the family court will attempt to divide property in a manner that is fair to all parties. To do this, they rely on being provided with accurate information. Your spouse might have different ideas as to what is fair, and they may seek to keep assets for themselves. Are they entitled to do this?
Hiding assets is unlawful
Not only is hiding assets frowned upon by the courts, but it is also illegal. If the courts discover that there has been an attempt to hide assets, they can impose severe penalties. In all likelihood, your spouse will be ordered to pay you a larger share during the settlement, and they may even find themselves in hot water with the criminal law for lying under oath.
How might your spouse attempt to hide assets?
There are a number of ways that person may attempt to hide assets. One common method is to open up bank accounts in a child’s name, in the hope that the courts overlook them. Another sign that your spouse may be up to something questionable is if they start making unusual purchases. For example, your spouse may start investing in jewelry, art and other physical property that they previously had no interest in. Such items can be difficult to value, and this could be an effort to decrease your share in any final settlement.
It is vital that you achieve a divorce settlement that is fair. Having a firm grasp of your legal rights in Illinois will help to ensure that this happens.