Hiding assets during divorce is not entirely uncommon; therefore, if you suspect that your soon-to-be ex is being less than financially honest, you should look deeper into the situation immediately.
Fortunately, with a little bit of forensic accounting, most spouses can unearth what's going on with their other half's finances, especially when they make a formal request in court for additional information.
Here are the red flags to look for:
Hidden money: Sometimes spouses use deceptive tactics to hide their income. They might tell you that they're only making enough money to survive when, in fact, they are earning a great deal more, and they're hiding it in a secret bank account. Spouses might also attempt to hide their assets within a small business, by purchasing gold or making other types of investments.
A lavish lifestyle that contradicts the spouse's income statement: Signs that that something is off could be a spouse who claims he or she is not earning much money, but still manages to live comfortably, go on vacations and rent a nice condo. Uncovering a hidden bank account could show where the spouse is sourcing the money to fund this lifestyle.
A secret expense: Certain spouses might have a secret drug addiction, gambling habit or a romantic partner on the side. The spouse could be funneling money into these addictions or relationships resulting in a significant drain on marital resources.
Inconsistencies in financial accounts: Inconsistencies relating to financial accounts could be a red flag as well, especially if there are large transfers or regular monthly withdrawals that don't seem to make sense.
Make sure the forensic investigation is worth it
It's important to decide whether an investigation into hidden assets is worth it. If your spouse has squirreled away $500, it might not be worth trying to track it down. Forensic accountant investigations can be costly and time-consuming. Make sure you have a clear picture of the costs and the likelihood of a successful hidden assets investigation before you put time and money into a search like this.
If you would like to know more about hidden assets in divorces and how Illinois family law treats these situations, it could be worth your time to research these topics further.