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Splitting up? Splitting of assets can be a hurdle

Married couples typically comingle the assets they accumulate during their marriage. That is one of the biggest reasons the divorce process can be so tricky: It essentially involves untangling these assets, even though the ownership lines are blurred.

Any items you purchase with your spouse while you are married are marital property. A few tips may help you to navigate the complex process of the splitting of assets when going through divorce in Ohio.

How does Ohio handle asset division?

The state of Ohio is a marital property state, which means the judge will weigh arguments from both you and your spouse regarding how to split your assets. The judge then applies formulas to figure out how to divide your property. This is different from what happens in community property states, where a judge will divide down the middle all assets that a couple has acquired.

What kinds of assets do we need to divide?

During property division, it is easy to become engrossed with dividing big-ticket items, such as the family boat, house and car. However, many other assets require attention during this type of family law proceeding. These assets include the following:

  • Real property: business property, rental property and undeveloped land, for example
  • Personal property: coin collections, furs and jewelry, for instance
  • Financial assets: cash on hand, stocks and bonds, and retirement accounts, for example
  • Business assets: a sole proprietorship, a professional practice and other business interests, for instance

What about debt?

In addition to dividing property, you may have to divide liabilities, such as debts, as well. This debt might include a joint credit card, an outstanding bill for a service or good purchased during your marriage or even your mortgage. Obligations related to handling debt following a divorce will depend on multiple factors, such as your and your spouse's individual incomes.

If you and your spouse are willing to strive toward a divorce settlement that satisfies both parties via an alternative to traditional divorce litigation, such as mediation, you can avoid further court intrusion when it comes to the splitting of assets. This can make the divorce process a lot more amicable in Ohio and increase your chances of attaining an outcome that will be in your best interests in the short and long terms.

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