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Sneaky Ways Business Owners Hide Assets During Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Cook County divorce attorney asset division

During a divorce, spouses are expected to disclose truthful information about their assets, liabilities, expenses, and income. However, some spouses lie about their financial situation in an attempt to gain an advantage during a divorce. If you are thinking of divorce and your spouse owns a business, it is important to know what you are entitled to in the divorce. It is also crucial that you are aware of the ways that some business owners hide assets or falsify financial information in order to manipulate property distribution.

Underreporting Business Revenue and Undervaluing Business Assets

Spouses who want to manipulate the divorce settlement may use their business to hide assets and income. Typically, this is accomplished by undervaluing the business or reporting lower-than-actual business revenue. A business owner may temporarily lower business revenue or assets by:

  • Reducing the prices of products and services

  • Overpaying taxes

  • Using business funds for personal expenses

  • Paying employee benefits or other expenses in advance

  • Allowing clients to defer payments until after the divorce

  • Using cash transactions

  • Undervaluing business assets

  • Selling off business assets

  • Falsifying company financial records

  • Hiding cash in a safe deposit box or undisclosed bank account

What Can I Do to Obtain a Fair Divorce Settlement?

Per Illinois law, spouses are entitled to an “equitable,” or fair, division of marital property and debt. In order for property division to be equitable, it must be based on accurate, up-to-date financial information. Child support and spousal support arrangements should also be based on accurate financial data. Hiding assets during a divorce is not only unethical, but it is also illegal. Lying about business revenue, income, and assets can constitute willful nondisclosure or even contempt of court.

The most common way to uncover financial deception during divorce is through forensic accounting. A forensic accountant is a uniquely skilled accountant who knows how to uncover secret bank accounts, falsification of business financials, and signs of financial deceit. It is also important for spouses to hire independent business valuation experts to determine how much the business is worth.

Contact a Burr Ridge Hidden Assets Lawyer

The terms of your divorce should be based on complete, accurate financial information. If you suspect that your spouse will hide assets or use his or her business to lie about finances during divorce, contact a skilled Cook County divorce attorney from Botti Marinaccio, LTD for help. Our team works with forensic accountants, business evaluators, and other professionals to uncover financial deceit so our clients receive the divorce settlement or judgment that they deserve. Call us today at 630-575-8585 to schedule a personalized, confidential consultation. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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