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Hidden marital assets: when impending exes don’t play fair

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2019 | Divorce

Some soon-to-be former spouses in Ohio aren’t inclined to routinely engage in ethical conduct during the divorce process. Although many dissolutions feature relative civility between splitting partners, legions too are marked by uncompromising behavior and hard-ball tactics.

And underhanded conduct, as well.

Take hidden assets, for instance. A central goal of most divorces is an equitable splitting of so-called marital assets. That result can be achieved only when all property in play is identified, accurately valued and distributed in fundamentally fair fashion.

Checking off all those bullet points is a difficult – in some cases, impossible – proposition. A divorcing spouse who purposely seeks to hide marital property flatly undermines the integrity of the divorce process.

Understandably, family law courts frown upon that. When they suspect that underhanded behavior is on display, they will fully support efforts to spotlight it and hold a wrongdoer accountable.

Proven family law attorneys with a deep well of experience in divorce-linked property division can play a key role in identifying wrongful behavior and helping clients get their fair share of all marital property.

Spouses seek to intentionally hide wealth sources in all types of divorces, although purposefully depleting assets is understandably most common in high net worth divorces. We note on our website at the proven Springboro family law firm of Smith, Meier & Webb that deceitful individuals try to shield assets via a number of tactics, including these:

  • Putting assets into vehicles that they hope their impending ex won’t closely scrutinize, like pensions and trusts
  • Materially spending down wealth by buying pricey assets (e.g., jewelry, art, antiques)
  • Transferring money to third parties (often relatives)
  • Hiding assets in a family business

Experienced attorneys know where to look and who to work with (forensic accountants, for example) when tracking unlawful asset depletion.

A client’s timeliness in acting is obviously important when it comes to spotlighting a spouse’s attempt to hide assets and unfairly benefit in a divorce outcome.

Questions or concerns regarding hidden assets or any other divorce-tied property matter can be directed to attorneys at an established family law firm.