When couples are emotional during a divorce case, they do not always make reasonable decisions, but ultimately many important decisions must be made throughout a divorce. Sometimes, one spouse will purposely do different things to make the other one’s life difficult or in an attempt to harm them in some way.
One thing a spouse may do is try to hide assets or dissipate them in some other manner in order to keep them from the other spouse. In Ohio, the division of assets must be “equitable.” This generally means that the marital assets and debts will be equally divided between the spouses. So, if, for example, one spouse has more money in a 401(k) or other bank account, they that spouse may need to pay out a portion of the funds so each spouse receives the same amount at the end of the divorce.
However, equitably does not always mean “equal.” If one spouse has engaged in financial misconduct, the harmed spouse may receive more assets to correct the harm to them through the other’s misconduct. Examples of financial misconduct are: hiding assets from the other spouse during the divorce; extensive gambling losses; money spent on illegal drugs; money spent on a lover and other reasons. The burden is on the harmed party to prove how much money was misused and how much they should be entitled to as a result.
Every divorce in Ohio is different, despite the fact that all deal with similar issues. For example, while all couples are required to divide their assets, the outcome of the asset division will vary greatly depending on the amount and types of assets, as well as the conduct of both spouses during the marriage and divorce.