Making Sure You Get The Assets And Property To Which You’re Entitled
When your marriage is coming to an end, you not only have to face the emotional aspects of your separation, but also the prospect of identifying and dividing your marital and nonmarital property and assets. Unfortunately, this process isn’t always easy, especially in high-asset divorces.
At Wolinetz, Horvath & Brown, LLC, we do everything we can to help couples disentangle their lives and move forward cleanly. Life doesn’t end just because a marriage does, and we firmly believe the people of Ohio deserve the opportunity that only a fresh start can provide. From our office in Columbus, we’ve helped numerous couples face divorce head-on. Although it’s always unfortunate when good things come to an end, we’re proud to make it possible for people to adopt healthier stances and move forward with confidence and peace of mind.
How Do Ohio Divorce Property Laws Work?
As a separate property state, Ohio makes a distinction between communal, jointly owned and marital property. Items that you and your spouse acquired during marriage such as real estate interests, personal possessions, income and retirement benefits are marital property that may be subject to court-ordered division decrees. Separate property, on the other hand, belongs to the person who owned it at the beginning of the marriage and may include:
- An inheritance that goes to you alone
- Real estate interests or personal possessions you owned at the time of your marriage
- Items that were explicitly designated as separate property in a prenuptial agreement
- Gifts that were given specifically to you or your spouse but not both of you
High-asset divorces can be contentious, especially when your ex-spouse disputes your assessment of which properties are marital and which are separate. Talking to one of our Columbus asset division lawyers could make it easier to move past such disputes in an amicable way and help you work through asset and property division issues equitably and preserve your lifestyle.
Dividing The Family Home
The home is an often contested aspect of any divorce. Most people purchase a home as a couple. It then follows that he home is a marital asset and will be divided equitably. In most cases, even if only one spouse’s name is on the title, if the couple lived there while married, the home will be viewed as belonging to both spouses. If the couple cannot agree as to who should retain the home, then the court will divide it. This may mean that it will have to be sold.
Of course, there are exceptions. If the home was purchased by one person before the marriage and never considered a marital asset because the couple did not live there, or if the home was written into a prenuptial agreement as belonging solely to one spouse, this may change the way the court views ownership. It is always best to consult the family law attorney working on your case in these matters.
Will I Be Able To Keep My Retirement Plans?
In Ohio, all the assets that were acquired and placed into retirement accounts during the marriage are considered marital property. Unless the prenuptial agreement says otherwise, these assets will be divided equitably, per Ohio law.
The Little Things
There are some things that do not have much monetary value but do have sentimental value. It is best to keep a record of who brought what into the marriage. Some things obviously belong to one person, such as jewelry that was gifted or inherited or a collection of guns that belonged to one spouse’s parent or grandparent. But other things, tangible and not, can lead to disputes. It’s best to make a list and try to work out who gets what when ownership is unclear. These items include appliances and furniture, email accounts, vehicles and family pets.
Pets Are Property
Ohio law treats pets as property. This means that pets will be “divided equitably” during a divorce. It is best to attempt to work out who gets the pet between the spouses or create a shared visitation or ownership plan outside of court. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement, then who gets a dog, cat or other pet will be left to the court to decide.
Sometimes, You Need Innovative Solutions
Dealing with divorce might require you to think outside the box or do some in-depth legwork. For instance, it may be necessary to prove the origins of certain properties in court, which could mean you have to interpret estate documents or unearth long-lost records. You may not have the time for such tasks.
Depend on the attorneys at Wolinetz, Horvath & Brown, LLC, to help you separate cleanly. We’re prepared to guide you with solutions that keep everyone as happy as possible, and we’ve built a name for ourselves by managing tough divorce cases professionally. Call 614-362-8847 now or email us online to schedule a consultation.