Signs that your spouse may be hiding property and assets

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Some spouses may be tempted to hide assets during a divorce, so it is important for people to be aware of the warning signs.

The Ohio State Bar Association states that marital property must be divided equitably between both spouses. This means that people in Ohio could receive less than, more than or half of the marital property and assets. Factors that can play a role in courts' decisions may include whether financial misconduct was engaged in by one of the spouses, the existence of debt and the amount of debt and the length of the marriage.

However, some spouses don't want to share the property and will take steps to hide it. Understanding the warning signs can help people protect themselves.

Financial secrecy

Spouses who are secretive about the marital finances may be more prone to concealing money and other property during a divorce. These people may manage the marital finances and handle all of the bills. According to Forbes, they also may refuse to give the other spouse passwords to online accounts or set up accounts only in their name. Having total control will give them the ability to transfer money to other places, buy property without their spouse's knowledge or even get involved with investing and other money-making ventures that provide side income.

Flamboyant spending

The purchasing of luxury goods, art, cars or taking trips to exotic locales can also be an indication that there are hidden money and assets. If spouses have a new significant other, they may feel the need to impress that person through showing the boyfriend or girlfriend a good time or buying gifts. It may also be a way for people to put the money into items that could be sold later for a profit after the divorce is finalized.

Claims of business failure

Businesses are often a large source of contention in a divorce and spouses may be determined to keep the other from receiving his or her fair share of the entity's value. To prevent this, they may suddenly start making statements that their business is financially struggling. Backing up their claims, they say that they have been forced to sell assets belonging to the business but in secret, have sold those properties to business partners or family members for just a small amount with the intent to buy it back after the divorce.

Lost financial records

In a divorce, each spouse is supposed to provide all information relating to their assets and financial situation. However, spouses who are hiding money may try to cover up their actions by declaring that they have lost financial records. For example, a spouse might suddenly announce that the computer or financial record-keeping software program has crashed and all of the information has been deleted.

There are many concerns and questions that people may have during a divorce. In such cases, they may find it helpful to speak with an attorney to understand their rights.