Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

What to Do If You Think Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets During Divorce

 Posted on May 10, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorneyYou may be surprised at how common it is for one spouse to hide money from the other. In the past, it was extremely common for older women to advise young brides to always have some money secretly stashed in case of emergency. Today, it is more common for the higher-earning spouse to keep money or other assets hidden away lest their spouse come after those assets in a potential divorce. It is hard to divide assets one spouse does not know about. Those who are less familiar with divorce law may believe this is advisable, although it almost never is.

If you have a sneaking suspicion that your spouse has more property or money than they are letting on, you may be correct - and you are not alone. It may surprise the average person how common it is for hidden assets to surface during divorce proceedings. If you do not think that your spouse is making full disclosure of all their assets, an attorney may be able to help find out for sure.

3 Steps to Take if Your Spouse is Concealing Money or Property 

Perhaps the best thing you can do to protect yourself if you suspect that your spouse has a financial secret is to find an experienced attorney and inform them of your suspicions. Some steps you and your lawyer can take during your divorce include: 

  • Significant discovery - “Discovery” is the stage in any court case where both parties collect all the information they need to proceed. In most cases, each spouse simply hands over all their financial records. If yours does not, your attorney can continue sending demands for more records until a more complete picture of your spouse’s property forms. This can take some time, as your lawyer might have to send repeated demands that become more specific over time. 
  • Deposition - Your spouse will be sworn in and required to give accurate and honest testimony. Your attorney may then ask pointed questions about any suspected hidden assets. Should your spouse continue to lie during deposition, they could be sanctioned by the court. This is enough to get most people to begin answering questions truthfully. 
  • Requests to institutions - If you and your lawyer absolutely cannot get the truth out of your spouse, one option may involve sending discovery requests directly to financial institutions your spouse may be using to hide assets. For example, if you think your spouse has a secret account at ABC Bank, your lawyer may be able to bypass your spouse and ask ABC Bank itself for more information. 

You may need to be patient during this process. Finding hidden assets can take some time, especially if your spouse is stubborn and flatly refuses to cooperate




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