One concern that may arise as you navigate your divorce is the fear that your spouse is hiding money or assets. In Ohio, concealing assets during a divorce is illegal.
A fair settlement depends on a complete and honest disclosure of all marital assets. Here are some key points to consider.
Signs your spouse could be hiding money
In Ohio, assets acquired during a marriage legally qualify as marital property belonging to both individuals. In most cases, courts divide marital property equally, leading to some individuals illegally attempting to “hide” assets away for themselves. A judge can penalize a spouse found guilty of hiding assets by awarding a larger share of the marital assets to the other spouse.
A sudden decrease in income might be the first sign your spouse is diverting funds. If your spouse’s income drops without a clear reason, such as a job loss or business downturn, they could be hiding money. Unusual withdrawals or transfers from bank accounts or investments can also signal trouble. Monitor financial statements for any large, unexplained transactions. Additionally, new credit card charges or increased spending could indicate your spouse is converting money into tangible assets, making it more difficult to trace.
Ways to uncover hidden assets
If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, first, gather as many financial documents as possible. Bank statements, tax returns and investment accounts can provide a detailed picture of your marital finances.
Next, keep a watchful eye on your mail. Often, financial institutions will send notifications of new accounts or major transactions.
Most importantly, pay attention if your spouse becomes overly secretive about finances or begins managing them without you.