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Disclosure of Finances Required During Divorce

When you get divorced, you must disclose your finances to the divorce court. The court relies on these documents to determine alimony, divide property and in some cases determine child support.

Hiding Assets May Be Tempting Because of Your Circumstances

It may be tempting to consider hiding assets. You may feel that you own something that is not liquid or not as valuable to you as it appears to be on paper. You may also feel that you are at risk of incurring expenses or losing income in the future that makes it unfair for all of your assets to count.

You should discuss any of these concerns with your family lawyer who is representing you in the divorce. There may be legitimate strategies that he or she can help you consider to deal with your concerns.

Acts That Amount to Hiding Assets

You should be careful not to attempt to hide your assets, or look like you might be. People try to do this by giving money or property to friends, or making sales of assets to friends at prices well below market value. They may also try it by converting assets to different accounts and hoping their spouse or their lawyer doesn’t find out. Fraudulent transactions between a business and its owner sometimes occur as well.

If you have the slightest doubt that a transaction you engage in may look like an attempt to hide assets, you should discuss it with your family lawyer first. If your motivation involves reducing the amount you might pay in a divorce settlement, it probably will be regarded as such an attempt.

There are Consequences If You Attempt to Hide Assets

Hiding assets is not a good strategy. It is illegal, but people try to do it in many divorce cases. Your spouse’s attorney will be actively looking into your assets, and looking for signs that you are hiding some of them. Do not forget that they will be asking your spouse what they recall about your assets, even if he or she did not handle the finances. They will also look into business records, tax returns, credit reports, and other information sources. They are doing this to get at the true state of your finances and assets. If you are caught hiding assets, this may carry penalties and will become a talking point for your spouse’s attorney during all future negotiations.

You should be honest and open with your divorce lawyer in Bloomington, IL about your finances. If you have concerns about the payments you will be asked to make, discuss those with him or her. There are legitimate ways to ensure that you pay no more than your fair share.

Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into family law and disclosure of finances during a divorce.

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