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Hidden business assets, income common in Columbus divorces

Spouses often trust married mates without question, up until the time divorce is a possibility. Even then, spouses may have no reason to lose confidence in one another. While many Columbus high-asset divorces are not acrimonious, many are. The reason frequently involves marital property.

It's natural during divorce for a mindset to change from "we" to "me." Your futures will be separate, including finances. Each spouse wants the best result from a divorce agreement. No one wants to believe a person they've shared years or decades with - a partner they thought they knew - would try to cheat them financially. It can and does happen.

Lawyers see signs of deception during divorce negotiations. A small business that was flourishing when the marriage was intact suddenly develops serious financial difficulties. A business without value and a spouse without income aren't assets. You can't split what you don't have.

Many spouses hide business wealth. Some start months or years before a divorce occurs, at the first sign of relationship trouble. A business owner has the power to control the way a company's finances and his or her income are perceived. Sometimes, it takes a forensic expert to determine a business's true value.

Forensic accountants are hired to find and assess the value of assets. The reports they make can reveal secret income and hidden profits that rob a fair divorce settlement. Legal experts say the truth is in the financial details, which are a forensic accountant's specialty.

Time and litigation fees are also weapons in high-asset divorces. One spouse may try to wear down another with constantly-shifting legal maneuverings. One court delay after another depletes the energy to fight and adds to legal costs. Giving up and giving in are the goals.

Not all spouses hide assets during divorce, but enough do that lawyers want clients to be aware of the possibility of financial trickery.

Source: forbes.com, "If Your Husband Owns A Business, Watch Out For SIDS (Sudden Income Deficit Syndrome) Once Divorce Proceedings Start" Jeff Landers, Oct. 10, 2013

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