In Ohio, divorcing couples who are unable to come to an out-of-court agreement regarding property division, child custody, alimony, or child support must petition the court for divorce, which means that they will ultimately put these decisions in the hands of a judge. In these cases, it is extremely important that the parties involved provide extensive and adequate evidence to the court regarding each spouse’s assets, debts, as well as what would be in a child’s best interests when it comes to visitation and dividing decision making responsibility. Retaining the best divorce lawyer in the area can be crucial to the success of this endeavor, so if you live in Ohio and are considering divorce, please call our office today for assistance.
When couples are unable to negotiate and reach an out-of-court agreement about who will retain ownership of what assets, family courts must step in and make this decision on their behalf. In Ohio, courts are directed to ensure that a divorcing couple’s assets and debts are equitably divided. During this process, a couple’s marital assets and separate property will be identified, with the former referring to property that was accrued during the marriage, and the latter referring to assets that were purchased or otherwise acquired before the marriage took place. While marital assets must be divided equitably upon divorce, separate property remains in the sole possession of the original owner. There are, however, certain assets that, even when acquired during marriage, qualify as separate property, including:
Otherwise, assets acquired by a couple during marriage will need to be divided equitably. When determining what would qualify as an equitable division, courts assess a number of factors, including: whether one of the parties is retaining primary custody of the couple’s children, whether one party earns a higher income than the other, who is retaining the family home, and the length of the marriage.
Although Ohio courts used to award primary custody to one parent upon divorce, in recent years, judges have started allocating not only parenting time but also decision making responsibility between two parents on an equal basis. However, courts are usually only allowed to award shared parenting when at least one of the child’s parents requests it and if it is deemed to be in the child’s best interests, which requires an analysis of the child’s school and home record, as well as the parents’ employment situations, the distance between their residences, and each parent’s willingness to help foster the child’s relationship with the other.
To speak with an experienced Ohio divorce lawyer about dissolving your own marriage, please contact Fout Law at 330-437-7455. You can also schedule an initial consultation with a dedicated member of our legal team by completing and submitting one of our brief online contact forms.