Hiding or Spending Assets and Why You Shouldn’t

May 5, 2021 | Divorce, Family Law

We invest a lot of emotion and resources into our property. However, spending all of your assets or attempting to hide them is a bad idea due to several reasons.

Illinois- An Equitable Property State

There are two approaches to dividing property when people get a divorce, community property and equitable property. Communal property means that everything that either of you earned during the marriage gets split down the middle.

The state of Illinois takes the equitable property approach: the courts try to divide the property as fairly as possible. They take many variables into account when doing this.

Those variables include tax consequences for you and your spouse, your current circumstances and the contribution either of you made to your property. That last part includes any part you played in decreasing joint property. Deciding to spend all assets or hide assets impacts these variables and could leave you at a financial disadvantage once the settlement is finished.

Ways You Can Get Caught

Your future ex-spouse and their lawyer have the right to ferret out all assets through a legal process called ‘discovery.’ During the discovery process, they can access your tax documents, loan applications, account records and financial statements. They can demand to inspect property such as safe deposit boxes, and they can demand written admissions about your circumstances. A third party can track the flow of money through your account. You may also have to make statements under oath about your property.

This makes getting caught likely, which has legal repercussions.  Lying during discovery is called perjury. Perjury can result in jail time and monetary fines. It will also displease any judge who holds the power to decide how much you get out of a divorce settlement.

Bradley R. Tengler understands that you are facing tough decisions as you go into a divorce, and that you are dealing with the fallout of a broken relationship. You need solid advice about what you should and shouldn’t do as you forge ahead. Please contact us for more information if you are looking for help. With the aid of Attorney Bradley R. Tengler, your case results will be maximized. Make sure your post-divorce future is a bright one.