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What happens if your spouse hides assets before your divorce?

Maybe you just took a drive up to your cabin and realized that all the furniture was gone. Perhaps you have noticed that the usual weekly deposits into your savings account seem to have stopped.

Some people will intentionally try to deprive their spouse of marital property by hiding assets right before a divorce. If you suspect that your spouse has hidden assets, it is important to actively look for those assets so that you can report them to the court.

What impact do hidden assets have in a divorce?

If you don’t find them

If your spouse doesn’t report certain property on the inventory of assets or hides certain belongings so that you don’t include them on yours, they can diminish the total value of the marital estate.

The less your overall estate is worth, the less you can claim in the property division proceedings of your divorce. One spouse siphoning off money into a hidden bank account or hiding thousands of dollars in assets can deprive the other of their fair share of marital property.

If you locate them

Hiding property and undervaluing assets to manipulate the court or a spouse during property division is a common behavior. It is one that the Illinois family courts take seriously.

If you have evidence that your spouse intentionally hid income or physical property from you so that they would not need to share it in the divorce, the courts may penalize them. The ultimate property division order may benefit you more than your spouse if the courts recognize the signs of hidden assets and adjust the division of assets accordingly.

Understanding the different matters that influence property division decisions can help you prepare for your divorce.

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