Hidden Assets and Financial Misconduct

Ohio courts are interested in preventing parties from taking advantage of their spouse by hiding assets during a divorce or dissolution process. For this reason, both parties must always file a sworn affidavit setting forth all of their assets and debts. Both are entitled to rely on the accuracy of these affidavits. The potential, however, for a party to either intentionally or unintentionally fail to disclose all of their assets remains.

The Court does not take steps to independently verify the accuracy of a party’s statements in their affidavit. Therefore, it is important that your attorney take the proper steps to ensure that a full disclosure of assets has been made. This is usually accomplished in the process referred to as “discovery.” But sometimes an opposing counsel or their client is reluctant or unwilling to provide the necessary information. When that happens, it may be necessary to ask the court to intervene or for your attorney to find alternative ways to get the information, such as through subpoenas to third parties.

It is crucial that your attorney is both diligent and knowledgeable about the steps that should be taken in your case to ensure that you have a full picture of the marital estate before proceeding with the divorce or dissolution.

Sometimes, one of the parties has been guilty of financial misconduct in the misuse of marital funds, such as spending funds on a boyfriend or girlfriend or gambling away significant funds without the other spouse’s knowledge. Because financial misconduct can significantly impact the marital estate and thereby the property available for division by the court, it is important that issues of financial misconduct are properly identified and handled.  If you suspect financial misconduct or if you are being accused of financial misconduct by your spouse, you will need an attorney capable of properly analyzing and establishing the facts necessary to establish or disprove the claim.     

The attorneys at Edward F. Whipps & Associates are detail-oriented and skilled at properly analyzing financial and other records to determine if there are potential claims of hidden assets or financial misconduct. They also have well established relationships with accounting and other financial experts who may be helpful in presenting these issues to the court.

To arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced attorney at a mutually convenient time, you may contact us by calling our downtown office at (614) 461-6006, our Dublin office at (614) 461-6007, or filling out this online contact form.

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