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Hidden assets and other divorce complications

An Illinois divorce may become contentious if spouses disagree on how assets should be divided. For example, the husband of a 61-year-old woman in California said he wanted half of her 401(k) and the home they shared. They had been married for 25 years, and the woman had been the main breadwinner for the past 10 years. Unlike Illinois, California is a community property state, but this means that while her husband would be probably be able to claim half of the retirement account, he would not be awarded the entire house.

The woman was also concerned that her husband was sharing information about their finances with his sister and that he was hiding assets. Neither of these are permitted. A letter from an attorney might be sufficient to stop the information sharing. A forensic accountant might be able to locate hidden assets. A person may note the names of financial institutions that are sending mail to the home even if the mail cannot be opened. Documenting all communications may also be a good idea in these circumstances.

Divorce is on the rise among older adults, and people are also waiting until they have more assets to get married. Longer marriages involving more assets can mean more complex divorces.

For example, a disparity in income, as is the case in this marriage, could mean that one spouse has to pay support to the other. This support could be temporary. There might be other assets that must be divided besides a home and a retirement account such as investment accounts, real estate or a business. While a judge can decide how assets will be divided, a couple might want to try to negotiate an agreement on property division and other aspects of the divorce such as child custody with the help of their respective lawyers. This gives them more control over the outcome.

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Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C. 728 North Court Street, Suite B Rockford, IL 61103 Phone: 815-981-4859 Fax: 815-997-5129 Rockford Law Office Map