There are two types of financial misconduct. The first type is where one spouse essentially wastes marital funds on non-marital expenses. The second type is where one spouse intentionally hides or otherwise fails to disclose marital assets. The courts treat each type of financial misconduct differently.
R.C. § 3105.171(E)(4) defines the first type of financial misconduct as the “dissipation, destruction, concealment, nondisclosure, or fraudulent disposition of assets”. This means that at some point during the marriage, a party used marital funds for non-marital purposes (i.e., on an affair, gambling, addiction), hid funds from his or her spouse, lied about what happened to marital funds, or otherwise sold or disposed of an asset, and hid the sale and the resulting proceeds.
R.C. § 3105.171(E)(4) allows the court to compensate the offended spouse with a distributive award. This means the court could give you more than half the marital assets or award you some of your spouse’s separate property as compensation for the financial misconduct.
R.C. 3105.171(E)(5) defines the second type of financial misconduct as the situation where “a spouse has substantially and willfully failed to disclose marital property, separate property, or other assets, debts, income, or expenses as required under division (E)(3) of this section.” The court may award the offended spouse with a distributive award up to three times the value of the non-disclosed asset.
Gathering evidence of financial misconduct involves careful review of financial records by experienced Divorce Attorneys who know the signs of financial misconduct, as well as knowing how to trace it. If you believe that your spouse has engaged in financial misconduct, contact one of our WSM Divorce Lawyers. We will work with you in developing a strategy to build evidence of your spouse’s financial misconduct as well as a plan for getting you the remedy that you are entitled to under Ohio law.