Lavin & Parisi, Attorneys at Law

Is your spouse spending money after claiming a pay reduction?

Photo of Karen Lavin

When it became clear you were headed for divorce, you began to formulate a plan for your future, especially concerning your children. Like most good parents in Illinois, you want to make sure the impact your divorce has on their lifestyle is as minimal as possible. Your financial situation has always been a struggle. On the other hand, you're thankful you've always been able to provide for your children's needs.

Still, when preparing for your divorce, you want to make sure property division proceedings leave you with the appropriate means to continue the lifestyle to which you and your children have grown accustomed during your marriage. Recent incidents make you wonder if your spouse is not playing fair when it comes to assets you jointly own. Before things get out of hand, it may help to further investigate the matter.

How to tell if your spouse is hiding assets

Not only is attempting to keep assets from property division in divorce an unkind thing to do, it is illegal. You have every right to take action immediately if you believe your spouse is trying to pull a fast one in court. The following list includes signs that you may be facing a hidden asset problem:

  • Sudden debt repayment: If your spouse tells you he or she plans to take a lump sum of money and give it to a friend or family member to payback a debt, it might not be suspect for concern. However, if you were completely unaware that the debt existed in the first place, that's an entirely different story and worthy of further investigation.
  • Money missing from joint account: You and your spouse were never ones to keep money separate from each other. You jointly own all your bank accounts. If there are withdrawals occurring without your knowledge or permission, you may want to ask your spouse about it and notify your bank as well.
  • More cash, less pay: If your spouse appears to have more money on hand than usual but keeps telling you an employer reduced his or her pay or that a bonus was postponed, it may be a sign of a hidden asset problem.

There are many ways to hide assets in divorce, all of which are illegal. It's understandable you want to keep things as amicable as possible so you can achieve a fair settlement and move on with your life. However, if you believe you are getting the short end of the stick because your spouse is hiding assets, you have every right to do something about it.

Most Illinois spouses facing similar problems turn to experienced family law attorneys for help. An attorney can launch an investigation and immediately bring a hidden asset issue to the court's attention.

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