Pesce Law Group, P.C.

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Hidden Asset and Asset Tracing Attorney in Naperville, IL

DuPage County Hidden Asset and Asset Tracing Lawyer

Splitting a marital estate in divorce is essentially a three-step process: identification, classification, and division. Assets are classified as either marital or non-marital property, and this classification may involve reimbursement and dissipation issues. Then, the marital estate must be divided equitably, so the divorce is not an unfair financial burden on either spouse. Before any of these things can happen, however, there must be a complete and thorough investigation. If one spouse is either intentionally or unintentionally concealing assets, the process is much more laborious.

At Pesce Law Group, P.C., our professionals employ proven methods to locate and value assets. Our techniques are geared toward cost-effective solutions that protect your financial and legal rights, both now and in the future.

Common Red Flags

As a rule of thumb, the longer the period of separation, whether it involves living in separate residences or sleeping in separate bedrooms, the more likely it is that one spouse will hide assets, or at least attempt to hide them. In other words, these situations are quite common. In fact, it is rare if a divorce does not involve at least one such scenario. Some typical ones involve:

  • Prepayment: A spouse may overpay income taxes and defer the refund until the next year, or pay down mortgage debt with the intent to hide money.
  • Misdirected Financial Statements: When bank statements, credit card statements, and other documents are re-routed to a post office box or a spouse's private e-mail account, there may be cause for concern.
  • Employment Matters: A wife may make an agreement to defer part of her salary or delay a start date, a bonus, or a promotion until after the divorce is final.
  • Fraudulent Transfer: A husband may "sell" his boat to a friend with the understanding that he will "buy it back" after the divorce.

It is also common for spouses to transfer assets to a different legal entity, such as a partnership or corporation. In general, if your spouse becomes defensive when discussing finances, consider speaking to an attorney before the situation deteriorates. This is especially important in high net worth divorce matters.

The Process

Many cases involve depositions, document requests, interrogatories, and other court-supervised discovery. This process commonly lasts for months, and it also involves electronic paper trails, such as e-mail and e-statements. A vigilant attorney can often use information uncovered in this process to locate hidden assets.

If necessary, discovery can proceed to a second level. An attorney can partner with a financial professional to conduct a forensic accounting and related exercises. In many cases, in addition to a larger marital settlement, such procedures give the requesting spouse peace of mind and some measure of closure.

The first step in a property division - identification - is often the most important one as well. To have a diligent and hard-working attorney on your side throughout the entire process, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240 for a free consultation. Convenient payment plans are available.

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