The divorce rate is close to 50%, so almost everyone in Illinois knows someone who’s been through a split that was less than amicable. There are two big issues that people tend to fight about in a divorce. The first is custody of children, and the second is the division of property. There are all kinds of deceptive tactics that spouses use to hide assets from one another when dividing their marital property.

When it comes to hiding assets, there are several tactics that high-net-worth spouses might pursue. The first is to insist that the asset doesn’t exist. They hope that in the face of a firm denial, the other spouse will fold. Other tactics can include creating fake debts to make it look like there are fewer assets in play. Sometimes, in a divorce, people will transfer assets to another party. The hope is that this will save them from the property division process.

An experienced divorce lawyer may see through these tactics. They’ll look for documentation to support the existence of hidden assets. One way of doing this is to look at documents that were generated for a mortgage closing. Another way is by looking at tax returns from recent years. These documents disclose a lot of information about assets. For example, in Schedule B of a personal tax return, assets like stocks that generate dividends are listed. Schedule A lists itemized deductions that can point to sources of income, too.

Divorce attorneys will also ask their clients to think about places where assets might be concealed. These could include wall safes or safe deposit boxes. In a divorce, a long-term partnership is being dissolved, so each partner deserves to have an equal portion of the shared assets. An attorney may help ensure that their client presents their case in the best possible manner.