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How does Ohio law address financial misconduct during a divorce?

Property division in a divorce is not always smooth sailing. While most divorces involve complex financial negotiations, some couples must confront an even more daunting issue: financial misconduct. 

Financial misconduct can take many forms, including:

  • Running up significant debt on credit cards without the other spouse’s knowledge or consent
  • Hiding cash from a business or employment
  • Intentionally damaging an asset or selling it for less than its fair market value
  • Hiding bank accounts or other investments from the other spouse
  • Transferring property to a third party without the other spouse’s consent
  • Spending significant money on an affair partner
  • Losing marital money through gambling

Financial misconduct can turn the divorce process into a battlefield when it happens. Fortunately, Ohio law recognizes the importance of full financial disclosure, and spouses who engage in such misconduct can face severe consequences.

What the law in Ohio says

The law in Ohio is straightforward on financial misconduct during a divorce. If a spouse has engaged in financial misconduct, the court may compensate the offended spouse with a distributive or a greater award of marital property. 

A distributive award is a payment made from separate property or income not part of the marital property or spousal support. A greater award of marital property means that the court may give more than 50% of the marital property to the offended spouse.

Take appropriate action

Financial misconduct can affect not only your present situation but also your future financial security. If you suspect your spouse has engaged in questionable financial activity during your divorce, seek legal representation to safeguard your finances.

Remember, the burden of proof is on you, and having the proper guidance will help build your case and safeguard your financial interests.