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Divorce and property division: What you need to know

Going through a divorce is more than difficult. Raised emotions, complicated histories and a spider web of laws and regulations make divorce proceedings one of the most difficult experiences you may have to manage. One of the most complicated aspects of the process is splitting everything between you and your spouse. Here is what you need to know about property division in Ohio.

Control over property division

In Ohio, courts recognize couples' rights to settle property division on their own. When both parties are able to come to a mutual agreement, they can fill out a separation agreement. Any terms settled within the agreement will be upheld by the court, giving the divorcing couple complete control over the property division. When circumstances are not so agreeable, then there is a system in place to enable the legal system to mediate the settlements.

Types of property

If the court has to decide the division, a series of guidelines will be used to determine how everything is divided. One of the biggest factors is differentiating between marital and separate property. In general, marital property includes anything that was acquired after marriage. Housing, vehicles, liquid assets, retirement benefits and just about anything else of financial value commonly fall into the marital property category. Assets acquired individually or before marriage are categorized as separate property. Some common exceptions to this rule include inheritance, which is usually considered separate property, and property that appreciates as a direct result of a spouse's involvement. If you own a house before marriage, but your spouse manages it in a way that increases its appraisal value, then it can cross into the domain of marital property.

Deciding how to split

Once all of the property in question has been properly categorized, the court will split ownership of the marital assets. In Ohio, the decision is made by first assuming both parties were equal contributors and deserve an equal split. From there, arguments and evidence can be demonstrated to help the court decide the fairest distribution. The biggest considerations at this point will be child custody, cost of division (some assets have to be liquidated before they can be split and liquidation can be expensive), tax laws, length of marriage and sustainability. In cases where one party might not be able to support themselves immediately after divorce, spousal support or adjusted property divisions may incur. The same processes are applied to debts and liabilities as well.

Additional considerations

A few other factors can have a big impact on the overall split. Premarital agreements will always be considered, but it may not be the final factor in divisions. Legal penalties are also a big consideration. A common practice in divorce is for parties to try to change ownership of valuables to prevent them from being assigned to the spouse. This is actually a fraudulent transfer. This and similar behaviors are punishable by law, and will usually result in an unfavorable distribution of property at the least.

If you are facing divorce in Ohio, contact Rieth Antonelli & Raj at 216-861-2222. Our attorneys will answer your questions about property division, look out for your best interests and guide you throughout the divorce process.

Solutions To Family Conflicts

Rieth Antonelli & Raj is a highly regarded boutique law firm focused on the practice of divorce and family law in
the greater Cleveland area. We successfully resolve property division, child custody, spousal support, child support and related problems.

Although we resolve many cases through collaborative negotiations and other out-of-court methods,
our skilled lawyers are fully prepared to protect clients' interests in courtroom proceedings when necessary.

Get A Free Consultation TodayOur firm’s goal is to always achieve an outcome that works for you and your entire family.

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