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


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.


Geneva divorce attorney hidden assets

When you get a divorce, you and your spouse are tasked with the job of determining how your assets will be distributed between the two of you. In the state of Illinois, the law says that you must distribute any and all marital assets in an equitable manner, which may not always equate to an equal manner. There are a variety of factors that are taken into consideration when making decisions as to how property and debts are allocated, with the main goal to give each spouse the fair amount of the marital estate with all things considered. Unfortunately, this can lead some people to seek drastic measures to keep certain assets from their spouse’s possession. The most common way this is done during a contested divorce is by attempting to conceal these assets during the discovery process.

Taking a Closer Look at Your Finances

When your spouse is hiding assets from you, the allocation of your marital assets and debts is not nearly as equitable as it should be. Some people may not even know or have any suspicion that their spouse is hiding anything from them. For others, they may know of a certain asset that is not being reported or notice something else suspicious in the financial records. Here are the most common ways people attempt to hide their assets:


Aurora, IL family law attorneyThe divorce process is complex. It affects almost every area of your life, including your financial well-being, your emotional health, and even your living situation and retirement plans. Since divorce is such a monumental event, it is essential that you find a good divorce lawyer to guide you through the legal process. Who you hire to represent you is arguably one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your divorce. It can be confusing choosing a lawyer, but by using the following tips, you can ensure that your attorney is the best choice for your situation and circumstances.

Keep Your Goals in Mind

Before you even begin meeting with divorce attorneys, you should figure out what you want out of the divorce. What issues are most important to you? If you have a feeling that your soon-to-be ex-spouse will become contentious over the parenting time and parental responsibility arrangements, you should try to find a lawyer who is skilled in handling child-related issues. If you have reason to believe your spouse may be hiding assets from you, you will want to seek a lawyer who has experience in investigating financial matters. Attorney Matthew M. Williams has dealt with cases involving both parenting time and parenting responsibility allocation. He also has worked with forensic accountants and other financial experts in cases in which spouses are not transparent with their assets.

Ask the Right Questions

Once you have a selection of lawyers who may be good matches for you, you should begin setting up consultations to meet with them in person. This will allow you and your potential attorney to get to know each other before you commit to working with him or her. During your consultation, you will want to ask a few questions about his or her qualifications and how the firm can help your case overall. During this time, you can ask what the attorney’s opinion is on your case and how he or she would proceed with handling it. When consulting with Attorney Matthew M. Williams, his 15 years of family law experience will be apparent while you discuss your case with him.


Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,There are many reasons why couples get divorced. Infidelity, financial problems, lack of commitment and different priorities are all common reasons why couples choose to get divorced, but they all typically contain one major common theme -- a lack of trust. When you no longer trust the person you are married to, it is difficult to have a successful marriage. During a divorce, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to have assets that they have attempted to hide from the other. While this may seem like a good way to keep your spouse from getting certain things in a divorce, it is illegal. Full disclosure is required in divorces. If you feel like your spouse may be hiding things from you, here are a few ways you can try to uncover hidden assets in your divorce: Look Over Tax Returns A good place to start looking for hidden assets is on your tax returns. Pull your tax returns from the last five years and examine them carefully. You should be looking for any inconsistencies in the returns, such as inconsistencies in income, itemizations of assets, real estate taxes, mortgage interest. Keep an Eye on Your Bank Accounts Take a look at your joint bank accounts. Are there any canceled checks from your checking account? Are there unusual withdrawals or deposits into your checking or savings accounts? If so, you may be dealing with a spouse who has attempted to hide money from you. Make sure you get copies of all bank account statements to use in court. Utilize Public Records

Public records can be extremely helpful when you are looking for hidden assets. Some jurisdictions allow you to access certain public records online, but all jurisdictions have public records on hand at the courthouse. When looking through public records, you should focus your attention on:

  • Property deeds;
  • Real estate appraisals;
  • Tax assessments;
  • Loan applications; and
  • Business records.

Team Up With a DuPage County Asset Discovery Attorney


Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Everyone knows that divorces are expensive, but they cost a whole lot more than just money -- they also cost you precious time, energy and emotional stress. Money is one of the biggest stressors in both marriage and divorce, which is why divorces can be so tense and combative. There are many complicated decisions you must make during a divorce and a good amount of them revolve around your finances. The decisions that you make about your finances when you get divorced are decisions that will affect you for a good portion of your life. Try to avoid making these four common financial mistakes during your divorce:

Not Having All of You and Your Spouse’s Financial Documents on Hand

Preparation is key when it comes to divorce. You will want to make sure that you have all of you and your spouse’s financial documents before you begin to negotiate who gets what. Make sure you have bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage and loan information and any other relevant financial documents on hand. If you think that your spouse is hiding assets from you, let your lawyer know. They will be able to help you uncover any hidden assets.


divorce-financesBoth marriage and divorce create a wide variety of financial scenarios that impact both spouses, as well as children, over the course of months and years. Some believe the best way to maintain financial security, even before a divorce is considered, is to keep a secret account with funds of which your spouse is not aware.

Positive Aspects of a Secret Fund

Husbands and wives may find that opening a separate account apart from any joint accounts becomes a necessity. Some pros for doing so include:


Posted on in Divorce Finances

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,If you are headed for a divorce, an amicable parting and division of marital property definitely is the best case scenario. However, it does happen when one party may attempt to conceal certain assets or even disguise the value of property in an attempt to get out of the marriage with more than the other party.

What to Look For and Where to Look

Here are a few things to look for when faced with a divorce, especially if you think it is something your spouse may have been planning for some time.


hidden asset, DuPage County family law attorneyA divorce is rarely an easy undertaking and, in some cases, can be extremely complex, especially if you fear that your spouse is not being honest about his or her financial situation. Hidden assets can prevent the court from putting together an accurate assessment of the marital estate, which could affect not only the property division process but issues related to spousal and child support as well.

What is a Hidden Asset?

While it is possible for a spouse to hide assets while living in the marital home during the marriage, it becomes even easier to hide assets following a separation. If you and your spouse are living apart, he or she could have opened secret accounts, started working under the table, received gifts from friends, or made undisclosed investments. Hidden assets may also take the form of physical items like jewelry, furniture, artwork, and real estate.


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.


discovery, review, Aurora divorce attorneyOne of the parts of the divorce process that many people find the most distasteful is the discovery process. However, if you and your lawyer fail to do thorough job of discovery it can harm your current case and even affect your options for years to come.

What is Discovery?

Discovery is the process of finding out about the other side's case. In a divorce case this usually mostly involves understanding the finances. The basic tools of discovery include:


Aurora family law attorney, compulsive gamblers, gambling, gambling addiction, gambling problem, hidden assets, stealingGambling in Illinois, and indeed across the country, has never been a bigger problem than it is today. In addition to the harm it can do to any marriage and family in different ways, gambling can also be a cyclical path to self destruction. In fact, studies by the SMR Research Corporation have actually named gambling as the number one source of bankruptcies in America.

From strictly a marital perspective, the effects gambling can have on finances can cause an incredible amount of conflict. Compulsive gamblers will do things such as hide money from their spouse, take large cash advances or loans (both legal and illegal), or in the worst cases cause a bankruptcy. Financial issues are already one of the largest contributors to divorces in America, and adding a gambling addiction can make things much worse.

Around six million adults and over half a million teenagers meet the criteria for a gambling problem.

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


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

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