Assets must be disclosed in the divorce process in Ohio. However, some spouses attempt to hide certain assets in a misguided attempt to avoid sharing them with a soon-to-be ex-spouse. An Ohio divorce attorney, however, will work to thwart such efforts and attempt to ensure that you exit your marriage with your rightful share of assets.
Understanding the Law
Make no mistake, hiding marital assets during the divorce process is illegal. The law is clear: marital property is subject to equitable distribution. It stands to reason that the only way to fairly divide property is to accurately and thoroughly review all property owned by both spouses. To intentionally fail to disclose property is to commit fraud – a serious crime in divorce court. When an Ohio divorce attorney proves an attempt to hide property to the court, the court may elect to punish the defrauding spouse by awarding 100% of the hidden property to the non-defrauding spouse or even entering a “punitive” type of award.
Importantly, hiding can be deemed to have occurred even when a spouse simply fails to cooperate with the process of listing and reviewing marital assets. This process is called “discovery,” and is central to the equitable division of marital property. If your soon-to-be ex is uncooperative in this process, he or she may be held in contempt of court or fined.
The same is true if a spouse attempts to hide an asset by transferring ownership to a third party. When one makes such a transfer of marital property in an effort to defraud a spouse, a “fraudulent conveyance” has been made. The court does not look kindly on this type of property hiding, either, and will undo the transfer, and either divide the property equitably, or punish the defrauding spouse by awarding the fraudulently conveyed asset to the non-defrauding spouse.
Contact an Attorney
If your ex is trying to hide assets, contact an experienced Ohio divorce attorney. You are entitled to an equitable division of marital property, and a dedicated attorney will work to make sure you get your fair share.