Sentencing outcome underscores seriousness of hiding marital assets

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2018 | Firm News, property division

We note an obvious point on our website at the Illinois Law Office of Mitchell Highlander, LLC, LLC, where our attorneys have over a decade of experience counseling and diligently representing valued family law clients.

That is this: “Divorce can bring with it significant financial challenges.”

Actually, that is a statement that can logically be expanded to a post-divorce timeframe, because marital dissolution ushers in many material changes for divorcing parties as they embrace a new and independent chapter in life.

Obviously, coming to terms with evolved financial circumstances is one key aspect for a newly divorced individual. There is a lot to think about, with things being rendered far easier if a truly equitable division of marital property was achieved during divorce.

That is a notable goal for most divorcing parties, but it is sometimes easier said than done. A fair outcome can be especially sabotaged if one impending ex purposefully seeks to hide marital wealth.

That is unethical, to be sure, but it is also a legal taboo and a practice that a court frowns heavily upon and will respond to harshly.

Proof of that was recently borne out in the sentencing terms handed down by a judge in one state to a divorced husband convicted on multiple criminal counts linked with a prolonged pattern of asset concealment. That individual (a university professor) sought over time to disguise through forgery and other means the amount of money held in his university-sponsored retirement account. His aim in doing so was to reduce his wife’s fair share of that marital property.

The ex-husband must now comply for several years with strict probationary requirements which, if not adhered to, could land him in prison for a multi-year period. His sentencing also includes a mandatory stint in a state workhouse, as well as a $30,000 fine.

Divorce property division – whether linked with asset concealment or not – is generally a complex and often contentious matter. We welcome contacts to our law firm, noting on our website that a proven family law attorney can help “protect your rights and interests and help you move forward toward accomplishing your goals.”