Under Ohio law, family law judges are only permitted to legally terminate a marriage when a couple has negotiated a number of issues, such as the division of their assets, whether one spouse will pay alimony to the other, and if a couple has children, how parenting time will be divided. While some couples are able to come to out-of-court settlement agreements on some or all of these issues, this is not always possible, in which case, a judge will be required to step in and resolve the issues on the parties’ behalf. Unfortunately, this can be a complicated and time-consuming process, so if you and your spouse have decided to get divorced and have questions about resolving a divorce-related issue, it is important to speak with an experienced Perry Heights divorce lawyer before filing your petition.
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is determining how marital assets will be divided upon dissolution of a marriage. Fortunately, because Ohio is an equitable distribution state, all marital property must be divided fairly and equitably upon divorce based on the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s assets and liabilities, and the liquidity of the parties’ assets. Marital property includes:
Excluded from this category, however, is separate property, or all real and personal property that was acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage, inherited by one spouse during the marriage, as well as any passive income or appreciation acquired from separate property, assets excluded by a valid prenuptial agreement, and any gifts that were given to only one spouse.
Spousal support is a term used to describe payments made to a spouse or former spouse for that individual’s sustenance and support. Alimony awards can take a number of forms, although the most common include real or personal property, or a sum of money, payable in installments or in a lump sum. When determining what form an alimony award will take, or for how long it will be awarded, the court assesses a variety of factors, including the income of both parties, each party’s earning abilities, the ages and physical health of the parties, the duration of the marriage, and the standard of living established during the marriage.
>Couples with children must also come to an agreement on their care and maintenance before a court will grant a divorce. When parents are unable to come to an agreement, however, a court will step in and divide parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the couple’s children on the parties’ behalf. This includes determining whether a parenting order requiring the parties to share some or all aspects of parental rights and responsibilities is appropriate for a family, or whether one parent will be awarded sole legal and physical custody. These decisions are always based on what a court deems would be in a child’s best interests.
For help with your own divorce-related questions and concerns, please contact the experienced Perry Heights divorce legal team at Fout Law today.