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Hidden Assets and Mediation – What You Should Know

Posted on in Family Law
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DuPage County divorce lawyersWhile mediation can reduce the overall cost of a divorce, there are some situations in which it may not be appropriate. Hidden assets – or the potential for hidden assets – are a prime example. Learn how to determine if your spouse may be hiding assets, and how hidden assets during mediation can impact the outcome of your divorce.

Are You at Risk for Hidden Assets?

Divorces involving closely held businesses, one-sided financial disadvantages, high net worth, or excessive debt tend to have an increased risk for hidden assets during divorce proceedings. However, any couple may experience asset dissipation (the loss of assets) or asset hiding issues during their divorce. A few signs that could indicate it might be happening to you include:

  • New or unfamiliar bank transactions,
  • Overpayments to credit cards,
  • Large withdrawals or transfers of money,
  • Strange or numerous small purchases,
  • Underreported income on tax returns,
  • Locked cabinets,
  • Deleted personal finance software,
  • Secretive or aggressive behavior when asked about finances,
  • Sudden business troubles,
  • Frequent trips to countries with lax banking laws, and
  • Claims a decrease in income with no decrease in spending or expenses.

It should also be noted that hidden assets are harder to discover during the mediation process. This difficulty is caused by the lack of forensic accounting in the arbitration process. Understanding how this could impact your divorce could be crucial to your financial future.

How Hidden Assets Can Impact a Mediation

Because mediation only involves the assets that are disclosed by each party, those who are victims of asset hiding may lose out on a portion of their divorce settlement; in some cases, the loss may be so extreme, it negates the cost-saving benefits of mediation. As such, those who suspect asset hiding should speak to an experienced attorney before moving forward with the mediation process.

Litigation May Be the Only Solution

If your attorney expresses mutual concern over the possibility of hidden assets, it is important that you move forward with great care. On the one hand, you do not want your spouse to know that you suspect asset hiding. On the other, you need to ensure you are protecting your financial future. Your attorney can guide you through the next steps, which may include proceeding with a litigated divorce instead of a mediated one. Though this may not be the goal or process you had in mind, it may be the only solution to your problem.

Whether you need a representative during the mediation process or an attorney who can aggressively represent you in the courtroom, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our DuPage County divorce lawyers have a broad skill-set and over 200 years of combined experience. Dedicated and experienced, we will fight to preserve your best interest. Call 630-932-9100 and schedule your free consultation with us today.

Sources:

http://www.bankrate.com/banking/5-ways-to-catch-your-spouse-hiding-money/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2012/03/20/21-signs-that-your-husband-may-be-hiding-marital-assets-during-your-divorce/#4a8d49541a89

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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 35 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Joliet, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

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