Legally ending a marriage requires couples to deal with a wide array of other legal matters, including property division and spousal maintenance. Contending with these types of complicated issues can be difficult, especially for those without legal representation, so if you or your spouse live in Ohio and have decided to end your marriage, it is important to contact an experienced divorce lawyer Massillon who can ensure that your legal interests are protected.
Couples who decide to end their marriages are required to grapple with a number of complicated matters, including how marital assets will be divided. Ohio is an equitable distribution state, which means that divorcing couples must divide their property in a fair and equitable manner. What qualifies as fair and equitable depends largely on the couple’s specific situations, including each party’s income and ownership of separate assets. It is also important to note that only marital property, or assets acquired during the course of the marriage, will be divided upon divorce. Separate property, which includes any assets obtained before the marriage took place, will usually remain in the possession of the original owner, unless a court decides that those assets became commingled during the marriage.
Spouses who are able to come to a fair out-of-court agreement regarding how their marital assets will be divided can avoid leaving this decision in the hands of a judge. Otherwise, a court will be tasked with assessing a couple’s financial situation and determining what qualifies as a fair and equitable division of that property.
Besides determining how marital assets will be divided, divorcing couples will also need to grapple with the issue of spousal maintenance, of which there are two types in Ohio — temporary and permanent. The former is usually awarded to one party at the beginning of the divorce process and ends when the divorce is finalized or a court issues a new support order. Permanent alimony, however, can be short or long-term. In Ohio, either spouse can request spousal support, but only those who can demonstrate a need for assistance and that the other party is able to make payments will qualify for spousal maintenance.
Ultimately, the amount, form, and duration of spousal maintenance will depend on a couple’s specific circumstances, including whether both parties are employed, whether the couple shares children, and the length of the marriage.
Couples with children who decide to divorce will only be permitted to legally end their marriage when a parenting plan that details how parental rights and responsibilities will be allocated upon dissolution of the marriage is in place. Furthermore, courts will only approve parenting plans that they deem to be in a child’s best interests, which in turn requires an analysis of the child’s relationship with both parents, the distance between the parties’ homes, and the child’s wishes.
If you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce, you need the advice of an experienced divorce lawyer Massillon. Please call us at Fout Law to learn more about how a dedicated attorney can help with your own case.