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Stopping financial deception in a divorce

| Feb 26, 2019 | Divorce |

Some spouses going through divorce in Ohio may attempt to hide their wealth in an attempt to shield it from property division. High-conflict divorces are sometimes notable for efforts on the part of one spouse to funnel away income, hide investment funds or otherwise deprive the other spouse of their stake in marital property. However, while these people are willing to deceive their spouses, they may be less prepared to file a fraudulent tax return. Divorcing spouses may learn a good deal of important information by examining tax documents.

In the first place, W-2 records should contain not only the amount of income a person received but also the funds that they had withheld from their paycheck. Some people may establish a new 401(k) plan, deposit excess funds into a health savings account or use some kind of other defined contribution plan that they do not disclose. By reviewing the W-2s, it should be possible to see all of the plans that exist through the employer. In addition, some people, especially in professional work or independent businesses, may actually overpay their taxes. While the IRS holds on to the funds, they could always file corrected returns years later and reap the benefits while single. This is another reason it is important to review marital tax returns, especially when moving towards divorce.

The schedules attached to a tax return may also be important as they highlight income from interest, dividends and capital gains. These records may reveal the existence of otherwise undisclosed investment and brokerage accounts that should be considered marital property.

Couples who decide to divorce often do so because of financial differences or mistrust. A family law attorney can help a divorcing spouse to uncover financial deception and achieve a fair outcome on matters like property division and spousal support.