It’s estimated that 1 in 3 first marriages will end within ten years in Ohio. If a marital disagreement leads to divorce, there are many issues that you may have to resolve before your marriage officially dissolves.
Not only do you have to deal with child support and alimony, but you also have to divide property. Aside from splitting up assets and debts, you also have to decide who gets items that carry sentimental value like artworks, jewelry, and more. It can be challenging to do this on your own.
This is why you need an attorney who is familiar with property division in Cleveland. They will defend your rights and protect your interests in property division matters. To learn more about property division in Cleveland and the benefits of hiring an attorney, below is a comprehensive guide.
Property Division Laws in Cleveland, Ohio
Ohio is not a community property state instead, it advocates the equitable distribution model following a divorce. This means the court will divide your property by whatever they consider to be fair and equitable. This does not mean the result will be a 50/50 split.
In some cases, one spouse may be given more marital property than the other. The parties can agree to split everything amongst themselves. But if the parties cannot agree on what they want to divide, their divorce lawyer can negotiate with the court on their behalf.
The Process of Property Division in Cleveland, Ohio
If your property division case goes to court, the judge will have the final authority to determine how property should be divided between the parties. Here is what the process may involve:
Step 1: Identify All Property
First, all property between you and your former spouse must be identified. In this case, you may have to make a detailed list of all debts, property, and assets that belong to both you and your spouse.
Step 2: Classify the Property
After identifying the property, the Court will determine whether the property is separate or marital. Marital property is all property you and your spouse acquired during the marriage. It may include personal property and retirement benefits you obtained in the course of your marriage.
On the other hand, separate property is any non-marital property you obtained before the marriage or after legal separation. This can include an inheritance or gifts you received during your marriage. For separate property, you need to be able to trace the property and have documentation that proves sole ownership like a deed, invoice, or will from an inheritance.
Step 3: Place Value on Property
Once you’re done with classification, the property may undergo valuation. The court will assign a fair market value to all the marital property after it is presented with valuations from both sides.
Step 4: Distribution of Property
Next, the court will distribute the property fairly. They will do this by evaluating:
- The duration of your marriage
- Assets between you and your ex-spouse
- The liquidity of the property
- Both party’s incomes and taxes
- The debts and liabilities between the two spouses
- The retirement benefits
- The economic desirability of keeping an asset together
- Whether the family house should remain with the spouse with child custody
- The costs of sale if both of you wish to sell an asset first before distributing it
- Any agreement that addresses property division
How a Cleveland Property Division Lawyer Can Help
Divorces involving assets and property divisions need an experienced attorney. Here’s how they can help you.
Offer Legal Expertise
Although state laws govern property division in divorce, judges preserve discretion in how to allocate property to each spouse. This is why you should hire a lawyer to protect your interests.
The attorney will have an in-depth understanding of Ohio divorce laws regarding property division and will advocate in order to you get what you want. Even if you wish to have a greater share of assets than your spouse, they can find ways to present to the Judge that your request will lead to equitable distribution.
Can Help With Valuation
To determine a fair and equitable division of property, you and your spouse have to determine the value of the assets. Having a Property evaluation may be necessary. The process can be challenging and may lead to disagreements between you and your spouse.
Cleveland property division attorneys understand this challenge. They have access to qualified valuation experts that can help you determine the value of your property. From investments in stocks and bonds to artworks and property, the attorneys can offer impartial reports on the value of each asset.
Shield Your Emotions
A good divorce lawyer won’t take your emotions to court. They obtain information about your property division calmly and professionally and ensure you get the best possible judgment. They can also offer proper mental health resources to help you deal with your divorce.
Deal With Marital Debt Division
Most couples accumulate debt during their marriage, including credit card debts, car loans, and mortgages. Usually, the court will split the obligation to repay these debts between you and your spouse.
Can Help Uncover Hidden Assets
Unfortunately, your spouse can attempt to conceal assets to avoid sharing them with you. Some common ways they can hide assets in a divorce include:
- Cashing out investments or banks accounts to hide the money
- Gifting assets to family members or friends
- Transferring assets to their business
- Moving assets to other countries
Luckily, Cleveland property division lawyers can help expose any hidden property, ensuring you get your fair share.
Consult with a Qualified Cleveland Property Division Lawyer
Are you ready to file for a divorce? Need help dividing your assets?
Dividing property after a divorce can be quite a hassle. This is why you need someone you trust on your side. Our experienced Cleveland property division lawyer can help you get an equitable share of the property. Contact us to book a consultation.