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What Happens if a Spouse Lies About Money in a Divorce?

 Posted on February 10, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce LawyersTypically, asking someone how much money they make is considered rude. However, in a divorce case, both spouses are expected to fully disclose their income and other financial information. Finances influence property distribution, child support, spousal maintenance, and more. Lying on your financial disclosure paperwork during divorce can lead to an unfair settlement or judgment. It is also illegal to falsify financial information during a divorce.

Underreporting Income During an Illinois Divorce

Each spouse’s net income is used to calculate child support and spousal support. Spouses should report wages, bonuses, commissions, income from investments, business income, and other sources of income. However, some “forget” about certain income sources or underreport wages in the hopes of swaying the terms of the divorce in their favor. Self-employed spouses and those with multiple income sources may find it easier to lie about money on their financial disclosure forms. However, forensic accounting and divorce discovery can uncover evidence of the deceit.

Hiding Assets Can Take Many Forms

Another way spouses try to cheat the system during a divorce is to hide assets. The most common way to hide assets is to simply fail to disclose the asset. For example, a spouse may have cryptocurrency of significant value that he or she never told his or her spouse about. The spouse may assume that he or she can avoid sharing the value of the cryptocurrency by failing to report it. However, spouses who do this are often caught.

Hiding assets may also take the form of underreporting the value of an asset. For example, a business owner may modify profit and loss statements and other business financials to make the business appear less valuable than it actually is. Fine art, antiques, jewelry, and collections may also be vehicles for financial deceit in a divorce. For example, a spouse may buy an expensive piece of art and value the art at a fraction of what he or she bought it for. After the divorce, the spouse sells the art for the full price.

Consequences of Financial Deception in a Divorce

Lying about assets and income in a divorce is never a good idea. Forensic accounting practices and discovery tools like interrogatories and depositions may be used to reveal financial deception. Lying on court documents can lead to charges for contempt of court and even jail time.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting divorced, contact Goostree Law Group today for help. Call our Wheaton divorce attorneys at 630-364-4046 for a consultation.




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