Why Hiding Assets Can Backfire

It is commonly understood that when a marriage ends, the couple's assets are subject to division. Not surprisingly, in some cases a spouse will seek to protect an especially prized asset — a painting, an investment portfolio, an automobile and the like — by hiding it.

Of course, this is illegal. And there are serious consequences to attempting such maneuvers. Offenders will often have to pay a penalty to the wronged spouse. Likewise, they will lose the court's goodwill, and it is likely that their actions as proceedings continue will be met with greater scrutiny. Moreover, hiding an asset is, in many cases, unnecessary. An experienced lawyer is often able to help spouses keep the assets they value most highly.

To learn more about the consequences of hiding assets and to get help if you believe your spouse is engaging in such activity, reach out to an attorney at Hartley Law Office, LLC. Headquartered in Dayton, we serve throughout western Ohio. We are adept at helping our clients track down assets that have been concealed from legal proceedings and ensuring that they obtain their fair share.

How Assets Are Hidden

There are a number of means by which an individual may attempt to conceal an asset. The titles to real estate holdings and automobiles, for example, might be signed over to family members and friends. Large sums of money can be withdrawn from a joint bank account and transferred to an individual one (perhaps offshore). Physical goods — expensive artwork and other items — can simply be stashed. That is, an individual may ask someone trustworthy to hold onto an asset until legal proceedings have finished.

Likewise, in efforts to reduce spousal support or child support payments, an individual may artificially deflate his or her earning statements. Self-employed individuals can easily doctor their apparent income. Others can manipulate their tax withholdings and retirement contributions to make their true income more difficult to detect.

Setting Things Right

When necessary, our firm works with a network of private investigators, forensic accountants, financial analysts and other professionals who are trained at detecting when an asset may have been concealed and successfully tracking it down.

We understand the importance of maintaining financial independence after divorce and retaining control over one's most important belongings. We understand how to achieve this legally and successfully.

If you need help, schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers by calling 937-312-9130 or filling out our online contact form. We're here to answer your questions and address your concerns.