Divorcing couples in Illinois usually have a number of concerns going into the process. Next to addressing issues about how to co-parent children, the main questions revolve around financial support and how to divide any assets.
In the best of circumstances, such matters are easily resolved. But what recourse is available when one partner suspects that the other is lying about their income or hiding assets to avoid paying support?
Financial disclosure laws in Illinois
During the filing process, both partners must provide full disclosure about their income, assets, and liabilities. Couples who are engaged in a high-asset divorce with complex finances and diverse assets will be relieved to know that Illinois isn’t a community property state.
Instead, property and other assets are divided according to individual contributions and needs. The goal is to negotiate an equitable solution that preserves the lifestyle of all parties involved without shortchanging anyone’s interests.
According to divorce law in Illinois, there are potentially serious legal consequences for hiding assets or lying about income.
Available options if a spouse is hiding income
Courts take lying about income seriously when it is done with the intent to defraud. Punishment ranges from criminal charges like perjury or contempt of court to fines of up to $25,000.
If the behavior continues, it can result in jail time.
Examples of ways some partners attempt to hide money include:
- Opening a secret bank account
- Working under the table
- Delaying a promotion or waiting until after the divorce to take a job
- Transferring real estate or personal property into someone else’s name
- Hiding valuables like stocks and jewelry or giving them to someone else to hold
Look for things like missing bank statements, sudden changes in salary, and overpayment of debt. Nervous or sneaky behavior can be another indication that something is amiss.
Financial concerns are a source of stress for many people in the Chicago area, even those who aren’t splitting up. Knowing what legal options are available is the best way for people to protect their interests during a divorce.