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On behalf of Kelly Law Office, LLC posted in high-asset divorce on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

When the topic of divorce comes up, one of the first things a husband or wife may consider is hiding their assets. Like bankruptcy, it’s against the law for spouses to hide anything that they own during a divorce.

One of the primary ways that sneaky spouses hide assets is by not sharing accounts. It’s not uncommon for husbands and wives to have separate retirement accounts or pensions through their jobs. They may seek to hide those funds too. Marital or rental properties may be in one or both spouses’ names or registered to a trust or corporation, causing them to become hidden.

Spouses may have separate bank accounts and credit cards. They may also have investment portfolios with stock options, restricted stocks or deferred compensation. There may be one or more life insurance policies that have a current cash value. One or both spouses may own or have an interest in a business, which may be left out of a divorce settlement if the other spouse doesn’t know about it.

A spouse can hide assets in a variety of other ways. They may purchase an antique that is difficult to value. They may purposely under-report their income on their tax returns or overpay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or creditors to receive a refund down the road. A spouse may delay signing new contracts or defer their salary, commissions or bonuses.

Some spouses may create fictitious debts by establishing loans and other expenses with friends and family. It’s also not unheard of for a husband or wife to set up an account in a child’s name using their Social Security number to hide some of their assets. Some spouses may even temporarily transfer stock or business interests to a friend or family to conceal their assets.

Ohio divorces are costly. It’s not uncommon for individuals who stand to lose the bulk of their net-worth to do whatever they can to hold on to what they already have. You risk losing more than you would have otherwise lost or going to jail if you do this, though. A high-asset divorce attorney will have the necessary experience to help you sort out who gets what marital property in the fairest way in your Columbus case.