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On behalf of Andrew Boyer PC posted in Property Division on Monday, September 17, 2012

An ideal divorce results in a couple's marital assets being divided equitably, but unfortunately many divorcing individuals must deal with the possibility that their spouse is attempting to conceal assets. A spouse who hides his or her assets unfairly manipulates the asset division process of the divorce, an illegal tactic that happens more often than most people realize.

Illinois residents undergoing divorce who believe their spouse may be hiding some of his or her assets should contact an experienced family law attorney for legal help. Failure to do so could result in an unfair divorce settlement, alimony or child support award.

There are numerous ways a sneaky spouse may attempt to cover up assets. For instance, he or she could purposefully defer commissions, bonuses or other income until after the divorce so they are not considered during the asset division phase. Likewise, he or she could simply falsify his or her financial statements or underreport his or her income so that a court believes there is less money in play. A spouse might even withdraw money from joint bank accounts and hide the physical cash at home or in a safe deposit box to keep it concealed from the court.

Particularly crafty spouses might create fake debts to friends or families and make large "payments" to them before property division, then turn around and recollect that money when the divorce is final. Similarly, he or she might try to overpay real debt or income tax, hoping to get a refund after the divorce has gone through.

While a spouse caught engaging in these practices faces serious penalties, it is often up to the other party to prove he or she has illegally hidden assets. This makes it important to stay aware and keep detailed records of one's marital assets whenever possible. Employing a divorce attorney or financial advisor can make this significantly easier.

Source: Business Insider, " DIVORCING WOMEN: Here's How Your Husband Will Try To Hide Assets," Jeffrey Landers, Sep. 5, 2012

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