pFeetWithYellowLine_shutterstock_170150738In Illinois, state law requires divorcing couples to declare all of their assets in order for the court to divide their shared property. However, an Illinois divorce attorney knows that some spouses choose to hide the property that they do not want to give up rather than split it with their ex. Often, the legal ramifications that can result from hiding assets, like fines or jail time, are not enough to dissuade spouses from lying.

A 2010 poll performed by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that 31 percent of married individuals with finances combined with their partner admitted to deceiving their spouse about money. For 16 percent of those polled, the dishonesty led to divorce. Lying about finances seems to be fairly common, so those going through a divorce should know what signs to look for if they suspect their ex may be hiding marital property.

  1. Large purchases

Major, expensive purchases may be a sign that a spouse is attempting to diminish the amount of assets a couple has available for property division. Some choose to keep the items acquired, but often the plan is to sell the purchases later to replenish a separate bank account. The most common choices for those trying to hide assets include the following:

  • Jewelry
  • Home furnishings
  • Cars
  • Business purchases


  1. Defensive behavior

The behavior exhibited between divorcing spouses is bound to change, but when that behavior becomes strange or secretive, there may be an issue. An Illinois divorce attorney understands that defensive behavior regarding a couple’s finances could be a sign that a spouse feels guilty or nervous about being discovered.

  1. Sudden income reduction

Illinois law requires that all income that is in a joint bank account be subject to property division. This may lead an ex to begin deferring their salaries until after the finalization of the divorce. Income may also be diverted into a new account, leaving the marital assets to be undervalued.

  1. Control of bank account information

In many marriages, one spouse handles the finances. During a divorce, it can be helpful for both spouses to be aware of the state of their money. However, if one spouse takes complete control of all bank account information, including online passwords, he or she may be trying to hide the fact that property has been moved elsewhere.

The process of dividing marital property can be very challenging, especially if one spouse is not willing to make concessions to the other. Some people choose to work with an Illinois divorce attorney who may be able to assist in the discovery of hidden assets.

Should you have any questions about martial property or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Litigation and general Business Law services.  Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Twitter Google Linkedin