Protect What Is Yours in a Divorce
In the state of Ohio, marital property is subject to an "equitable division" upon divorce. "Equitable division" does not mean that each spouse receives the same amount in assets and property; rather, it refers to what the court believes is a fair and equitable distribution of marital property after taking into account a number of factors. If one or both spouses own a business, its worth will need to be determined and provisions included within the divorce settlement to ensure that eligible assets from it are divided appropriately. Additionally, pension plans, 401(k) accounts, and other retirement funds must be divided through the filing of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).
At Rittgers & Rittgers, our divorce attorneys work closely with clients in order to ensure their financial interests are protected during divorce and the division of marital property. If you would like more information regarding divorce and the division of marital property — and marital debt — contact the family law attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers today.
Factors That Play a Role in the Division of Marital Property
While each divorce is different, in general, the court will take the following kinds of factors into consideration when dividing marital property:
- The length of the marriage
- The earning potential of each spouse
- The debts of both spouses
- The assets of both spouses
- The tax implications for each spouse regarding the division of marital property
- The terms of a separation or prenuptial agreement if one or both is in place
- Whether the custodial parent should be allowed to live in the marital residence
- The liquidity of any property to be divided
Property that is not subject to division includes property owned before a marriage, an inheritance, equity in separate property, personal injury settlements or awards, and gifts given to a spouse. Additionally, if a prenuptial agreement was signed, certain property listed in it may be excluded from division.
Retirement Funds and the Division of Marital Property
Retirement funds must also be divided if they are subject to the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The division of assets earned through a pension plan, 401(k), or retirement savings account requires a Qualified Domestic Relations Order be filed with an employer's plan administrator. Our divorce attorneys will work with you to get the results you deserve.
Questions Regarding Marital Debt? Rittgers & Rittgers Can Help.
In many ways, the division of marital debt is as important as the division of marital assets. If your name is on a credit card, loan or account, you can be held responsible for it — even if it was never used by you. If your ex-spouse agrees to pay off the debt for an account but fails to do so, a creditor can still come after you, regardless of what your divorce settlement says. That's why it's important to carefully consider how marital debts will be discharged. You may want to consider negotiations to pay off debts in exchange for certain assets if you believe you or your ex-spouse may not be able to pay off a debt. Our attorneys can review your situation and discuss the best options available to you.
Dividing marital property is an important part of the divorce process. Don't make a mistake that could leave you in a vulnerable position moving forward. Choose an attorney with the skill and dedication to protect your interests. Choose Rittgers & Rittgers.