The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Oswego divorce attorney asset division

When you and your spouse were first married, you made vows to always be faithful to one another. It can be extremely difficult to learn that your spouse has been deceptive about certain things, even if they were about topics such as finances. In a previous blog, we discussed the indicators of potential hidden assets and the importance of uncovering them for the sake of the marital estate. Uncovering hidden assets can be difficult work if you are not trained in doing so, which is why you should seek help from a professional if you suspect your spouse has not been completely truthful. Forensic accountants are professionals who are trained to look for things like hidden assets when collaborating on a divorce case and can be instrumental in helping you ensure you get your fair share of the marital estate.

Your Forensic Accountant at Work

In a contested divorce, before any decisions are made about property, assets, or debts, both parties will go through what is called “discovery.” This is simply the process of exchanging information between both parties and their lawyers prior to beginning negotiations. If you have a forensic accountant on your team, he or she will take the information given to you by your spouse and look over it with a fine-toothed comb.

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Oswego divorce attorney child custody

We have all likely heard the famous saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The sentiment can also be said for divorce. In many situations, it is not just you and your spouse’s attorneys who work on the divorce. In many cases, there are other professionals that you hire or consult with throughout the process. Even your divorce attorney may recommend that you hire certain professionals for specific aspects of the divorce, especially if you need them to testify for you in court. Having the right team together can greatly reduce your stress and uncertainty and make the entire process much easier for everyone involved.

CPA and/or Forensic Accountant

For most divorces, a certified public accountant (CPA) is sufficient enough to help you get your finances together and help you gain a clear understanding of your assets and liabilities. A CPA will use your tax returns, loan documents, mortgage information, income, and expenses to give you an accurate representation of what your financial situation actually looks like. In more complex financial situations, such as ones in which a spouse tries to hide assets, a forensic accountant may be necessary. A forensic accountant will be able to investigate and delve deeper into your finances than a CPA would and uncover and discrepancies that exist.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,The process of allocating assets during a divorce is often one of the most contentious issues between couples. The state of Illinois practices equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, rather than equal distribution. This means that there is nothing saying a judge has to assign half of the marital estate to each spouse -- one spouse could end up walking away from the divorce with more money or more debt. Because of this, some spouses may be tempted to cover up assets so they may keep them for themselves. Illinois courts strongly recommend that couples try to come to an agreement on property distribution on their own, but this is not always possible, especially if both spouses are not willing to be truthful with each other.

This is often the step of the divorce process in which “discovery” comes into play. Discovery is the exchange of information between the two spouses and their attorneys. During this step, both spouses are required by law to be fully and completely transparent about the issue at hand. This means each spouse must disclose any and all assets, including both marital and non-marital assets.

The Role of a Forensic Accountant

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Posted on in Division of Property

hiding assets, Illinois divorce attorneyFor some, the most painful part of a divorce is the division of the marital property. Illinois law requires judges to divide the marital property equitably. This means dividing the property fairly based a set of factors. However, if your spouse is hiding assets, you are at a disadvantage. You may get less than your fair share of the marital property. While there are many ways to hide assets, often they are in plain sight if you know where to look.

Electronic Discovery

One favorite technique of fraudsters is to withdraw money over time from the marital bank accounts and deposit the money in a secret account. Sometimes the secret account will be in the name of a friend or romantic partner to help avoid detection. But, because almost everything is now online, chances are that your spouse either checks the balance online or gets regular account updates via email.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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