When it comes time to divide property in a divorce, some individuals go to extreme lengths to hide certain assets in an attempt to save them from being divided. Regardless of the circumstances of your divorce, hiding assets is never a good idea and there’s a good chance that, if caught, you’ll find yourself dealing with more legal trouble than you’ve bargained for. In this blog, our Illinois divorce attorney explains how assets are hidden, how they are found, and the penalties for hiding assets.
How are assets hidden?
The assets a spouse chooses to hide are either high in value or ones that he or she firmly believe they are entitled to keep. Illinois property division law states that the property and assets you gain in the years following your marriage are considered marital property, and therefore subject to being divided in a way that is fair and just. If it’s valuable real estate that a spouse wishes to hide, for example, he or she may try to transfer the property title so that it’s under a relative’s name. Regardless of the method, most, if not all, hidden assets are uncovered during discovery.
What is the discovery process?
Discovery is the legal process that involves both parties in the divorce to disclose every piece of financial information. Documentations outlining bank statements, 401k plans, and property titles are all revealed. In addition, you and your spouse will be put under oath and asked to answer questions regarding your property and assets – lying under oath is considered perjury, which is a punishable offense.
What are the penalties for hiding assets?
If caught hiding assets, you could be facing a number of penalties. A judge can impose monetary sanctions that you are legally obligated to pay. In some instances, the court may ask you to relinquish any remaining assets to your spouse to make up for the ones you attempted to hide.
Our Illinois divorce attorneys have extensive experience helping individuals secure a favorable outcome in their divorce. Call (888) 351-2843 to schedule your case evaluation.