Cincinnati Asset Division Attorney Ready to Guide You
When a married couple files for divorce, one of the most complicated and pressing aspects of the process is dividing up their assets. It can be especially difficult when couples can’t seem to agree or have many assets. At Goldberg Evans LLC, a Cincinnati asset division attorney can help you understand what’s yours and your spouse’s, and they can work with you to devise a fair plan for splitting everything up.
Assets that can be divided
First, it’s important to understand which assets can be divided in a divorce. Generally, any property or asset acquired during the marriage is subject to allocation and division. This includes:
If you or your spouse own a business, it will need to be considered as a part of the asset division process. A family lawyer highly skilled in complex business assets can help you determine how to value the business so that it can be divided equitably or valued appropriately. For couples who are in business together, it can be a difficult process.
Depending on your business type, there are a few different ways to value it. Oftentimes, divorce attorneys will employ the services of financial experts who can properly value a business. Depending on the type of business, different methods may be employed. There are other complexities that may need to be considered, such as residual incomes and the concept of “goodwill.”
Note that if you have a prenuptial agreement, it may spell out how the business will be handled in the event of a divorce.
Retirement accounts are often one of the biggest assets that couples have. They can also be one of the most difficult to divide. There are a few different ways to handle dividing a retirement account, and your Cincinnati asset and property division attorney can help you figure out the best option for you.
There are different categories of retirement assets. Two primary categories are defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans. Generally speaking, defined benefit plans are traditional pension plans that are calculated by the plan administrator based upon years of service credit and income earned while employed. Defined contribution plans are plans such as a 401(k) plan, which accumulate based upon employee’s voluntary contributions, employer contributions, and gains and losses thereon.
One way to divide retirement is to have the account holder keep the entire account. The other spouse would then be compensated for their share of the account by getting other assets of equal value. This can be a complicated process, as tax consequences ought to be considered when valuing tax-deferred assets against other assets. Another way is to divide the account by way of a special court order. You may have heard the term Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO” for short) or Division of Property Order (“DOPO” for short). There are so many considerations that should be considered when dividing and valuing retirement assets. It is important that you are advised as to the nature of your retirement assets while going through any process for terminating your marriage. The attorneys at Goldberg Evans understand the complexities that come with dividing retirement assets.
Premarital Property and Separate Property
Premarital property is generally speaking any property that you owned or acquired before you got married. This can include a house, a car, furniture, or anything else. In most cases, the premarital property is not subject to division in a divorce.
However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you bought a house before you got married and then used marital funds to improve it, the house could be considered a “mixed” asset.
It is important to note that certain property can be considered non-marital if it was not owned or acquired by one spouse before the marriage. This is referred to as non-marital or separate property. Separate property may be acquired during the marriage that was received by way of gift or inheritance. These types of assets should be carefully considered when dividing a marital estate.
Conversely, marital property is any property you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. How marital property is divided will depend on the laws of your state. Ohio is an equitable division state, meaning that property is divided in an equitable, but not necessarily in an equal way.
A home may be the most valuable asset that a couple has. Sometimes a party may want to retain the marital residence, but that may not be financially feasible. Other times, both parties wish to retain the marital residence. In the event of a disagreement, the Court may order the house to be sold, and the proceeds (after customary costs of sale are paid, such as real estate commissions) be equally divided.
If one spouse wants to keep the house, they may have to buy out the other spouse’s share. He or she can do that by refinancing the mortgage in his or her individual name and giving the other spouse part of the equity.
Who will get the house in a divorce?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the laws of your state.
Can you be charged with abandonment for leaving the house?
This is a question that asset division attorneys get asked all the time. The short answer is “no.” There is no applicable crime to be charged within a domestic relations court. If one spouse leaves the marital home, that spouse will not necessarily waive any interest in that real estate. The Court may recognize that it would be best for some temporary reprieve for a spouse to leave the residence to avoid a situation of domestic violence. There may be things a spouse ought to consider before moving out of the marital residence such as “what will the parenting arrangements be?” and “how will the bills get paid?” Before moving out of the marital residence for a longer duration, it may be important to reach agreements on these questions so that the status quo can be generally maintained.
How can property be divided equally in a divorce?
In Ohio, the property is divided in a divorce based on the principle of equitable distribution. This means that the court will divide the couple’s marital property in an appropriate but not necessarily equal way. The court considers that both spouses contribute to the marriage (regardless of who earned the traditional paycheck) and will therefore divide the property in a way that is equitable to both parties.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, Ohio courts will usually award each spouse approximately half of the couple’s marital property. However, the court may award a greater or lesser share to one spouse if it is deemed equitable to do so.
Mediation is a good option for couples who want to reach an agreement but are having trouble communicating. A mediator is a neutral third party who can help you and your spouse agree on how to divide your property. An asset division attorney also can offer mediation services to couples.
Contact A Cincinnati Asset Division Attorney From Goldberg Evans For Legal Help
If you are going through a divorce and have questions about how your assets will be divided, contact Goldberg Evans LLC. We are talented Cincinnati asset division attorneys who can help you protect your interests.
Whether you’re dealing with a single residence or a more complex marital estate, we will make sure that everything is handled with the utmost professionalism during your divorce. Contact us today to get started!