While it is illegal to conceal funds that are part of the marital estate in divorce, many spouses in Illinois wish they had more control over the joint finances when the time comes to separate. Even if divorce mediation settles the financial issues for the couple, both parties may nevertheless wonder if having access to their own funds would have made a difference in their separation and divorce process. In many cases, one partner may be completely unaware of how much the other earns and have little or no access to funds when he or she decides to leave the marriage.By setting up a "secret" fund, however, one spouse can have immediate access to cash in the event that he or she must leave the marital home, pay a family law attorney or pay for living expenses for several months while a mediation agreement is reached. While it is possible for him or her to petition the court for these expenses to be paid, it may be more feasible to have a sum of cash available immediately for these costs.
For couples ending their marriage, it may be too late to consider what should have happened prior to the wedding. If there is no prenuptial agreement in place, the high asset divorce may turn into a long and drawn-out battle. Paying an attorney to draw up a prenuptial is usually far less expensive than paying one to represent you in a heated divorce case. Moreover, prenuptial agreements protect both parties in the event of a separation or death. A good prenuptial agreement is designed to protect both partners and provide some financial security in the face of a sudden life change.
Business owners are often some of the most independently wealthy individuals in the country, and when they become involved in a high-asset divorce the stakes can be very high. Even for those who are not captains of industry, owning a business can present an opportunity to hide a great deal of income that may not become part of the marital property without careful oversight on the part of the separated partner.It is relatively easy for business owners to hide money, especially if they take cash for their services. Contractors, restaurant owners and others may find it easy to conceal a large amount of the money they take in, making it appear that they earn far less than they do. This is a favorite trick of those attempting to evade paying taxes but it is also used by those who want to keep assets away from ex-partners or who want to reduce the amount of alimony or child support they must pay.
Sometimes divorces go relatively smoothly. In those cases, both partners know what they want and are willing to divide their assets fairly or work out a good schedule for visitation with children. But in any divorce, there is the potential for conflict, and often these situations can best be handled through divorce mediation.For example, a couple may agree that divorce is the best option for them but may be unsure about who should leave the marital home. For some cases, it is better for both parties to stay in the home as they work out the details of their marital split. In other cases, the parties cannot get along well enough to make this possible and one partner must leave. Having a mediator hear out both sides and offer a reasoned solution can clarify matters for everyone involved and reduce the burden on both parties.