Divorce may provide your finances with a fresh start, especially if they were an issue in your marriage. As a first step in clearing things up, begin taking an inventory of your assets in preparation of dividing them under Ohio’s equitable distribution laws. Property purchased and income earned during a marriage generally belongs to both spouses in the Buckeye State.
Dividing assets in an equitable manner may require negotiation. To keep an asset or the cash left in a shared account, you may need to work out some details before the court finalizes your divorce. If your income enables you to maintain a house, for example, you may need to “buy out” your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s share.
Working out “trades” to acquire marital assets
Not everyone has the means to purchase a family home or refinance a mortgage in their own name. Depending on the items included in your shared assets, however, you may have an option to “trade” some of them to keep the house.
As noted by U.S. News and World Report, a divorce may include giving up your right to a share of your spouse’s retirement benefits. If the value you may have received from a retirement account adds up to an equal or greater value than your house, the court may view it as a fair trade.
Splitting shared stocks and bonds
You may need to sell assets such as stocks and bonds to split the proceeds equitably. Their current market value typically determines whether you gain or lose by selling them. It is possible that the timing of your divorce may not work in your favor when you sell a business or other financial asset. You may, however, have an opportunity to negotiate with your spouse to obtain a fair portion of their value.