UNDERSTANDING HOW ASSETS ARE DIVIDED
According to statistics from the Ohio Department of Health, there were 28,916 total divorces statewide in 2020. For all the parties involved, going through a divorce can be difficult and emotional. An important issue that will be addressed in divorce is asset or property division. If you're considering filing for divorce and want to understand how asset division is determined, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable Ohio family law attorney for detailed guidance.
At Heckert & Moreland we are dedicated to offering comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy to clients in family law matters, including divorce and property division. We are available to discuss your unique situation, help you understand the asset division process, and explore your available options. Our firm proudly serves clients in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout Central Ohio.
UNDERSTANDING ASSET DIVISION IS OHIO
Before a divorce can be finalized in Ohio, couples going through marriage dissolution need to identify their assets, determine how to divide them, and take the necessary steps to complete the asset division process.
Furthermore, Ohio is an equitable distribution state. This means that all marital property must be divided fairly and equitably between the spouses. However, this does not necessarily mean the assets should be divided equally. In order to achieve equitable distribution, the Ohio court will consider various factors.
MARITAL PROPERTY VS. SEPARATE PROPERTY
In an Ohio divorce case, assets are often categorized into two categories: marital property and separate property.
Marital property consists of all assets, income, liability, and debts accumulated by the spouses during their marriage. Marital property includes the marital home, cars, bank accounts, second homes, income, business interests, stocks, royalties, 401k accounts, retirement accounts, credit card charges, and every other asset acquired or debt incurred by the couples during the period of the marriage.
In contrast, separate property generally includes all assets owned or debts incurred by either spouse before the marriage. Separate property also consists of gifts, recovery from a personal injury claim, and third-party inheritances received by each spouse during the marriage.
WHO DETERMINES HOW ASSETS ARE DIVIDED?
The asset division process may either be uncontested or contested depending on whether or not both parties agree on how their property and debt are divided.
UNCONTESTED ASSET DIVISION
In an uncontested asset division, the spouses mutually agree on the important terms and conditions regarding how the couple's assets, liability, and debts will be divided. All agreed-upon terms will be properly documented in the marital dissolution agreement and filed with the Ohio court to be officially approved. An experienced attorney can help protect your rights and keep the conversation productive.
CONTESTED ASSET DIVISION
In a contested asset division, the spouses are unable to agree on one or more key terms regarding how their assets and debts will be distributed. A judge will intervene and help resolve such issues through the court process. During a court hearing, the presiding judge will give a final asset division order. An experienced family law attorney can help present your case diligently and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.
FACTORS CONSIDERED IN ASSET DIVISION
According to Ohio’s Laws and Administrative Rules, the court shall consider the following factors to determine equitable property division:
The length of the marriage;
The spouses’ assets and liabilities;
The benefit of allowing children (and the custodial spouse) to remain in the family home;
The liquidity of the assets;
The economic benefit of retaining intact an asset or an interest in an asset;
The tax consequences of the property division;
The costs of sale, if it is necessary that an asset be sold;
Pre- or post-marital agreements that addressed asset division;
Any retirement benefits of the spouses; and
Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.
An experienced divorce attorney can walk you through the asset division process and help you navigate key decisions.
LET US HELP YOU FIGHT FOR WHAT IS YOURS
Going through a divorce in Ohio involves several complex procedures. Trying to negotiate a divorce settlement or dividing property with your estranged spouse can make the entire process even more complicated. Therefore, when trying to determine property division in a divorce, consulting with an experienced family law attorney is crucial for proper guidance and to protect you and your family's best interests.
At Heckert & Moreland Co., LPA, our attorneys have the experience and resources to assist and guide individuals and families in the legal matters of divorce and asset division. Using our in-depth knowledge of the laws addressing equitable property distribution, we can guide you through the often complicated Ohio divorce proceedings.
Additionally, we will work diligently with all parties involved to help resolve asset division and other pending divorce issues peacefully and quickly. We will fight compassionately on your side to protect your rights, your family's best interests, and what is rightfully yours.
Contact Heckert & Moreland Co., LPA, today to schedule a simple consultation with experienced asset division attorneys. Our team can fight diligently to protect what belongs to you and help you make informed decisions regarding your divorce matters. We're proud to serve clients in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout Central Ohio.