One of the biggest issues involved in a divorce is the division of property. Many Ohio couples are up front about all of their assets and debts, but there are those who believe its okay to hide assets or exaggerate debts during a divorce. Any attempt to avoid litigation will automatically be thwarted if one spouse discovers the other is hiding something.

One study conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education has discovered that approximately one-third of all adults have lied to their spouse about a financial issue. Of that one-third, women were more likely to say their husband was the one lying about finances. The study further indicated that 58 percent of those surveyed admitted to hiding money from their spouse; 54 percent admitted to hiding a purchase they said was minor; and 30 percent admitted to hiding a bill from their spouse.

Outside of any moral objections, the deception may also turn out to be illegal. Signing a financial affidavit under false pretenses can lead to legal consequences ranging from paying a fine to jail time. In addition, judges have the discretion to award any hidden assets to the injured party.

The best course of action when disclosing assets during a divorce would complete honesty. In most cases, hiding assets never ends well for the party hiding them. Further, if an Ohio couple has any desire to avoid litigation during their divorce, making sure that both parties are completely honest about their financial situation is paramount. Anything less would not only be unfair, but also practically ensure that the couple ends up in court.

Source: Forbes, "What Are the Consequences Of Hiding Assets During Divorce?" Jeff Landers, Nov. 14, 2012