That is a term relevant to some divorces – especially high-asset decouplings – that is notably underscored on the website of one proven Ohio family law legal source.
And here is why: Reality simply dictates that some soon-to-be exes are less than forthcoming when it comes to divorce-linked mandates surrounding financial disclosure and transparency.
That is, they cheat. And that can catch a divorcing partner by surprise, much to his or her detriment.
“I do” vows at the commencement of marriage invariably spotlight a couple’s mutual commitment to sincerity and trust. Such aspirations are often out the proverbial window, though, when a high-net-worth marriage fails and spouses formally enter the divorce process.
The above-cited source duly notes that some divorcing Ohio spouses come to realize at that time– or at least suspect – that a long-time partner has been operating “in the dark about their feelings, their actions and their own assets.”
One in-depth national article stresses the material “loss of trust” that can emerge at such a time. Good-faith divorcing spouses who have never before doubted their partners can suddenly – and for good reason – become suspicious and begin to explore a potential trail of hidden assets.
Where might a divorcing spouse be hiding marital assets?
Wealth sources in high-asset marriages are often multiple and comparatively diverse. It thus stands to reason that the locate, value and distribute strategy employed by a spouse seeking to uncover hidden wealth will likely confront some complex maneuvering from a spouse trying to shield assets.
If you are a suspicious partner, notes the above-cited Forbes piece, you need “to start doing your homework as soon as possible.” A proven and results-oriented legal team with demonstrated advocacy in high-asset property division matters can help identify possible hiding spots for assets. Those often include these:
- myriad types of savings accounts
- retirement and investment vehicles
- deferred compensation
- offshore holdings
- asset transfers to third parties (e.g., friends and family members)
- creation of false/illusory debt
- muted property purchases
- assets claimed as lost or never existing
Those bulleted mentions denote just a sliver of possibilities taken advantage of by a manipulative spouse seeking to hide marital wealth. An experienced high-asset divorce law firm can help ensure that all potential repositories of hidden property are spotlighted.
Scrutiny on tax returns: a good place to start
Forbes soundly suggests that a suspicious spouse take a close and timely look at past tax returns, which can often reveal “potential red flags.”
A spouse might be deducting taxes on a property that a partner never knew existed. Similarly, interest and dividends might be accruing on never-disclosed assets. Filings related to a family business can reveal new sources of hidden wealth. So can information relevant to capital gains and losses on real estate, stocks, royalties and other holdings.
Ohio law mandates the accurate identification and fair distribution of marital property in a divorce. Seasoned asset-division attorneys can help ensure that a family law client fully secures those key benefits.