How Is Marital Property Divided In An Ohio Divorce?
Ohio statutes define what constitutes “marital” property and what constitutes “separate” property. Marital property is property acquired during the marriage, which can include real estate, personal property, businesses, bank accounts and retirement plans, regardless of the name of the spouse on the deed, business entity, title or account. Marital property can also include the increase in the value of separate property due to a spouse’s work or contribution of marital money to the increase of a property’s value (for example, the increase in the value of a pension or retirement plan).
Separate property can include monies or items received as an inheritance, property owned before the marriage, a gift during the marriage that is proved to be made only to one spouse and an award for personal injury (except any part that compensates for lost wages during the marriage).
By applying the rules in the statute, the court determines what is and is not marital property. Marital property is to be divided equally unless the court explains in writing why an equal division of property would not be fair.
The court also has the authority to make a “distributive award” of the separate property of one spouse to the other spouse. When one spouse has engaged in financial misconduct such as hiding property, wasting money on a nonmarital purpose or disposing of money fraudulently, the court may make an award out of the separate property of the offending spouse or make a greater award of marital property to compensate the other spouse.
To discuss your goals and concerns regarding property division or spousal support, please call 937-552-5947 or contact us by email. Dungan & LeFevre‘s divorce attorneys Michael Jurek and Jack Hemm have offices in Troy and represent clients throughout the Miami Valley and Ohio.
What Is Spousal Support?
“Spousal support” is the phrase for what used to be called “alimony.” It is awarded to help sustain one spouse after a property division has been awarded. Some factors used in determining spousal support are the ages and health of the husband and wife, the length of the marriage, the earning ability of each party, and the standard of living during the marriage. The court may also consider any other factors it finds relevant. Typically, the longer the marriage, the longer the duration of the spousal support award. Since each case is unique, it is important to obtain personalized legal advice on the issue of spousal support and obtain a professional opinion as to how the facts of your case could be handled under Ohio law.
What If I Or My Spouse Owns A Business?
A business owned by you or your spouse can be considered marital property which is subject to an equitable division by a court. In instances involving business ownership by a party, we may determine the necessity of engaging the services of a forensic accounting expert to conduct an analysis of the value of the business, as well as the cash flow and income of the business available for support. We may also retain appraisers, actuaries and other valuation experts, if necessary, to ascertain the fair market value and characterization of other marital assets. Our attorneys are experienced in handling divorces and dissolutions involving privately held businesses and have garnered an outstanding reputation in this area.
What Are Temporary Orders?
The court may issue temporary orders to be in effect while a case is pending and before a final decision is made. The spouse seeking temporary orders files a motion with the court for such things as the use of the marital residence, parental rights, child support, spousal support and who is responsible to pay marital debts (house or rent payments, car payments, insurance, utilities, etc.). These temporary orders are not necessarily what the court will award as a final order when the case is resolved.
Why Choose Dungan & LeFevre?
Issues of property division, support and custody are frequently complex and fact-specific to your own case. These issues can not only be overwhelming, but financially stressful and emotionally draining. We can help ease the process by sharing our knowledge, explaining the process to you and guiding you through tough decisions. We work to resolve every case as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible. During these highly charged emotional times, it is crucial to have strong, committed and intelligent legal counsel protecting your legal rights and pursuing your objectives. Dungan & LeFevre‘s attorneys Michael Jurek and Jack Hemm both practice in the field of Domestic Relations and Family Law, and are available to discuss your legal issue with you at your convenience.
To discuss your goals and concerns with an experienced divorce attorney, please call 937-552-5947 or complete our contact form. We have offices in Troy, Ohio, and represent clients throughout the Miami Valley.