Nancy L. Sponseller

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Uncovering and dividing complex assets in a divorce

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Monday, March 31, 2014.

Ohio residents who are going through a divorce may be having a hard time keeping track of all of the property that needs to be divided. Some marital assets such as partnership interests or shares in a company may not be listed as income on tax returns, and it may be hard to determine the value of these assets if they are not currently liquid.

One divorce specialist and director of financial planning recalls the case of one couple that owned a company together. The specialist helped the parties figure out a way for each of them to continue holding shares in the company. These types of resolutions may be less risky than having a judge order an equitable division of the assets. If one spouse is ordered to pay the other money for that spouse’s share of a business or other asset, the spouse receiving the payments may lose in the long run if the business goes up in value. On the other hand, the spouse ordered to make payments may be hurt if the business goes bankrupt and loses value.

Clients may arrange to split ongoing investments while taking measures to safeguard their financial interests. For instance, spouses could agree that one party will hold onto an investment while the other will be named in an agreement and receive all documents for the investment.

Some spouses may have a less-than-amicable split in which an agreement to maintain an investment without liquidating it is not possible. In this case, a family law attorney may need to ensure that those spouses are not cheated out of any of their interests. Family law attorneys may conduct discovery and issue subpoenas to obtain another party’s financial documents. It may be necessary to dig deeper into a spouse’s business if a party believes that the other spouse may try to hide funds.

Source: Financial Planning, “Finding Hidden Assets: Digging Deep in HNW Divorce“, Andrew Pavia, March 24, 2014