Fair Spousal and Child Support Requires Accurate Financial Accounting

Posted on in Divorce

When parents divorce, the dissolution of the marriage must be formalized in a court of law, and decisions must be made regarding the allocation of parental responsibility, child support, and, when appropriate, spousal support. When, in a contested divorce, spouses cannot agree on child and spousal support, a full and fair financial accounting of income and assets is absolutely essential. In obtaining such an accounting, Illinois law provides spouses and their attorneys with processes which allow them to discover all income and assets relevant in establishing child and spousal support orders.

“Discovery” is the Legal Process Used to Determine Assets and Income

It is not uncommon, when a marriage is in disrepair and it becomes apparent that divorce is on the horizon, for one spouse to attempt to hide assets and other sources of income with the intention of lowering their anticipated child and spousal support obligations. Such efforts, however, not only stand in contradiction to the principle of equitable division of marital property mandated by Illinois law, but a spouse’s attempts to avoid paying their fair share of financial support can lead to a variety of legal consequences, including being held in contempt of court.

When one spouse attempts to hide income or assets, the other spouse, with the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney, may compel them to disclose complete and accurate financial information. In this formal process, the legal tool of “discovery” is central. Specific forms of discovery include depositions (oral testimony), interrogatories (written answers), requests for documents, and court ordered inspections of financial records. The reason why the word “compel” is appropriate with regard to the discovery process is because discovery is conducted under penalty of perjury (lying under oath), which can result in grave legal consequences.

Compelling Discovery When Cooperation is Lacking

The hiding of assets is anything but a game. The state of Illinois is serious about the equitable division of property and the fair provision of child support and spousal maintenance in matters of divorce. If your spouse is hiding assets and income or has lied about assets and income during the discovery process, they may be found in contempt of court, fined, and even sentenced to jail time.  Powerful legal tools exist for you to obtain a fair and equitable divorce settlement, and the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC will put them to use whenever appropriate. Contact a West Chicago divorce attorney at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.