Aside from having to grapple with the emotional aspects involved in ending a marriage, divorcing couples must also resolve a number of complicated issues, including how their marital property will be divided, whether spousal maintenance is appropriate, and how parenting time will be shared. Resolving these and other divorce-related issues can be extremely difficult, especially when negotiation is impossible, so if you are thinking about ending your marriage, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced Greentown divorce attorney who can advocate on your behalf.
When it comes to distributing property upon divorce, Ohio courts are directed to implement the legal theory of equitable distribution, which involves dividing a couple’s property on an equitable basis. However, this rule only applies to marital assets, which are all assets that were acquired by a couple during marriage, regardless of whose name is actually on a title or deed document, or who paid for the property in question. Assets that were acquired before marriage, on the other hand, are considered by courts to be separate property, which means that the asset will remain in the sole possession of the original owner. There is an exception to this rule, however, that applies when an asset that qualifies as separate property is commingled with marital assets to such a degree that it becomes marital property.
Ohio’s equitable distribution rule makes it especially important for divorcing couples to take a careful inventory of their assets, including their value and their source. It can be particularly helpful in these cases for a family to retain a forensic accountant who can help identify and value a couple’s assets, which in turn makes it more likely that any settlement agreement will be fair.
After deciding how a family’s assets will be distributed upon divorce, courts may need to determine whether awarding spousal support is appropriate, which requires an assessment of a number of factors, including:
After assessing these factors, a court will then determine whether alimony is appropriate, and if so, what form it will take. For instance, while many alimony payments are made via check, they are not always made in installments, but could also be paid in one lump sum. Alternatively, a court may choose to award one party, a larger share of the couple’s assets in lieu of regular alimony payments.
Obtaining a divorce is a complicated process that usually requires assistance from a legal professional. For help filing for divorce, or for negotiating a property division settlement or alimony award agreement, please contact a member of the dedicated Greentown divorce legal team at Fout Law by calling 330-437-7455 today. You can also reach us by filling out and submitting one of our brief online contact forms.