How Will My Property be Divided?
A Columbus Lawyer Can Help
For an uncontested divorce or dissolution of marriage to occur, the division of property must be mutually agreed upon by both spouses. If such an agreement cannot be reached, the court will decide on the division of property. In the case of Ohio, equitable distribution is the standard employed by the court. This does not necessarily mean that each spouse will receive an equal share. Rather, the presiding judge will determine how to most fairly and equitably, divided the marital property based upon the review of the statutory factors.
How Does the Court Divide Marital Property?
When a judge needs to consider how marital property will be divided, there are many factors that are evaluated, such as:
- The length of the marriage
- Can the property be liquidated?
- Retirement benefits that do not include Social Security
- If sold, how much an asset would be worth
- Tax consequences for each spouse following a property disbursement
- The desire of a spouse to keep an asset due to interest
How Do Courts Determine the Value of an Asset?
If each party cannot agree on which assets are to be divided, then the judge must divide based on what is fair and equitable. However, if the value of the asset is hard to determine, such as a home or car, then an appraisal must be made from an expert assigned by the court. This process is usually time consuming and costly, unless the spouses agree to accept the value determined by the expert.
Help Ensure Your Property is Protected
With so much authority and discretion given to the judge, it is imperative that you have a knowledgeable legal advocate by your side. At Richard L. Morris Co., L.P.A., we have over 30 years of family law experience in Columbus and Gahanna. If you're preparing for a
anywhere within Franklin County, we can represent your property interests in court.
The following, if acquired during marriage, are considered marital property:
- All personal property
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Retirement plans
Separate property includes:
- Property owned prior to marriage
- Property gained through inheritance
- The income appreciation of separately-owned property
- Personal injury settlements
Despite these categorical distinctions, the lines between marital property and separate property can easily be blurred. For instance, if the income appreciation of a separately-owned property benefited from a marital contribution, that could influence final distribution. Likewise, if a personal injury settlement included compensation for lost wages or medical payments, that could change its property status. Financial misconduct by one of the spouses can also shift a property settlement dramatically.
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