Why You Should Never Hide Assets While Going Through Divorce

Divorce is a very stressful and emotional process that often involves the division of marital assets and liabilities. In Illinois, as in many other states, the law ensures a fair and equitable distribution of property between spouses. However, some individuals may be tempted to hide assets to secure a more favorable outcome. In this report, we will explore the reasons why you should never hide assets during a divorce in Illinois, and we’ll delve into the relevant Illinois laws that address this issue.

Illinois Law on Asset Division

In Illinois, asset division is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/503). This law mandates that marital property is to be divided equitably between the spouses. It’s important to note that “equitable” does not necessarily mean equal; instead, it implies a fair and just division based on various factors.

Duty of Full Disclosure

One of Illinois’s fundamental principles underlying asset division is the duty of full disclosure. Both spouses are legally required to provide complete and accurate financial information during the divorce proceedings. Full financial disclosure includes declaring all assets, debts, income, and expenses. Hiding assets violates this duty and undermines the integrity of the divorce process.

Penalties for Hiding Assets

Illinois courts take asset hiding seriously. The consequences can be severe if a spouse is caught attempting to conceal assets. The court may impose penalties such as:

  • Asset forfeiture – Any hidden assets may be awarded to the innocent spouse.
  • Contempt of court – The guilty spouse may be held in contempt and face fines or even jail time.
  • Legal fees and sanctions – The court may order the hiding spouse to pay the innocent spouse’s legal fees and additional sanctions.
  • Modification of settlement – The court can modify the asset division settlement to favor the innocent spouse.

Credibility and Trust

Hiding assets can significantly damage a spouse’s credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of the court. Judges rely on the honesty and transparency of both parties to make fair decisions. If one spouse is found to be hiding assets, it can negatively impact their case.

Financial Experts and Forensic Accounting

Illinois courts may employ financial experts and forensic accountants to uncover hidden assets. These professionals are skilled at tracing financial transactions and identifying irregularities. Attempts to hide assets are often discovered, leading to unfavorable outcomes for the dishonest spouse.

Long-term Consequences

Hiding assets may provide short-term financial gains but can lead to long-term consequences. In addition to the legal penalties, a spouse who hides assets may suffer damage to their reputation, strained relationships with children, and ongoing financial instability.

Hiding assets during a divorce in Illinois is not only unethical but also illegal. The duty of full disclosure is a cornerstone of divorce proceedings in the state, and violating this duty can result in severe consequences. Illinois law is designed to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of property. Attempts to hide assets undermine the integrity of the process.

It is always advisable to seek legal counsel and follow the law during a divorce to protect your rights and interests without resorting to unethical practices. Remember that honesty and transparency are essential to achieving a just resolution in your divorce.

Call Our Chicago Asset Division Attorney to Protect Your Interests

If you have concerns about how your assets will be divided in your divorce and you wish to safeguard your financial interests, call Gordon & Perlut, LLC. When going through a divorce, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your legal options. Contact our asset division attorney in Chicago at 847-329-0101 or 312-360-0250 to receive your asset division consultation.