Equitable Distribution

Serving the greater Columbus, Franklin county and Central Ohio areas.

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Family Law specialists with over 59 years of experience.

The concept of equitable distribution is defined in the Ohio Revised Codes § 3105.171.

Many people know that Ohio is an equitable distribution state when it comes to dividing assets in a divorce. However, many also don’t know precisely what that means. It’s true that you can’t grasp the concept simply by reading into the term ‘equitable distribution.’ There are a number of other terms that must be understood before we unpack the concept of equitable distribution of assets after divorce in Columbus, Ohio.

For instance: What is marital property?

Understanding Marital Property under Ohio Law

When it comes to distributing assets in a divorce, there are two kinds of assets: Assets that are property of each individual spouse and assets that are property of the marriage. Property that was acquired before the marriage or is the product of an inheritance will remain the property of the individual spouse. All property that was acquired during the marriage is considered “marital property” and that is what the court will consider when it comes time to divide the property between the two spouses.

Equitable Distribution Does Not Necessarily Mean Equal

The court will begin with the presumption that the most equitable kind of distribution is an even split. However, spouses may bring arguments as to why an even split is not necessarily equitable. Equitable here means fair. There are a number of reasons why an equal distribution may not be fair. There may be considerations such as child support and alimony that will also need to be taken into account. Furthermore, there are a number of other factors that the court will consider when dividing property. These include:

  • The relative earning power of each spouse. In cases where there is a large disparity in the earning power of one spouse versus another, the court will seek to ensure that the spouse without a great deal of earning power is cared for. This is particularly true when one spouse has devoted their time to raising children and keeping house. It will be assumed that this spouse will also have primary custody of the children, so child support and alimony will play a role as well.
  • How much the marital property is worth. The judge will need to consider the overall value of the marital property when determining whether a 50/50 split will put a spouse with less earning power in a difficult financial situation.
  • Whether it makes financial sense to keep the assets together or divide them. If by dividing an asset, the asset loses value or it doesn’t make financial sense to divide an asset, the judge will have to make a determination as to whether or not it should remain with one or the other spouse. Real estate, for example, is not necessarily an asset you want to divide.
  • Fault in a divorce. The court can consider fault in Ohio. By pursuing a fault-based marriage, you can essentially leverage the other spouse in issues such as custody and property division. This becomes an important factor to consider when a judge rules on issues such as property division and alimony.

Mediation and Litigation

When a divorce goes through litigation, each spouse is required to submit their assets to the court. In this case, that information becomes public record. For obvious reasons and especially in high asset divorces, divorcing couples will not want to make their financials public. In order to avoid this, the couple will mediate the process of dividing assets. In other words, they won’t force the court to rule on property division, alimony, and other issues.

On the other hand, the couple will require a court ruling when it comes to issues of child custody. The court will preside over the decision in order to determine the best interests of the child.

Client Reviews

Had free consultation. Advice given was taken, and resulted in change of mind in the other/opposing party. We therefore did not need to retain. Should opposing party resume original opinion, we will retain.

Kit

I was in a terrible custody dispute with my ex. I was very upset and afraid of my ex. Rodd listened to everything I said and remembered everything I said. He was aggressive in court and used the information I gave him very well. We won the case and my ex has backed off.

anonymous

I wanted an easy divorce from my wife. She wanted a fight. Rodd and I discussed fair terms for a dissolution. Because he was pro active and stayed on top of the case, my wife and I finally reached an agreement and had a dissolution. I highly recommend Rodd.

anonymous

I hired Linda Lawrence because I have a business and I wanted to protect it in my divorce. Linda is top notch and knows about business finance and assets. I was able to keep my business and not have to pay my wife anything from it. Hire her.

Linda

I hired Linda Lawrence because I needed an aggressive attorney. Linda was able to stand up against the other attorney and was very aggressive in court. It was an expensive divorce case, but that was because the other attorney was very aggressive and Linda was very thorough. I had great results in my case and highly recommend Linda.

Joy
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Having the Right Attorney Makes All the Difference

Regardless of whether or not you choose mediation, litigation, or anything in between, it’s important to understand the role your attorney plays in the process. Our job is to advocate on your behalf and ensure that your interests are accommodated when the divorce is finalized. This means protecting property that you want to keep and ensuring that your needs are met financially. In some cases, alimony can be used as a tradeoff in cases where you do not want to give up a certain property but the court would require a better financial outcome for the other spouse.

The Columbus, Ohio equitable distribution attorneys at Lawrence Law Office have helped numerous spouses protect their interests in a divorce. Our attorneys act as tireless advocates for our clients. Give us a call or contact us online to set up an appointment today.

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Our Practice Areas

Family Law

Attorneys for Divorce, Child Custody & More At the Lawrence Law Office, we are committed to helping families in conflict find creative solutions that focus on addressing their goals and...

Divorce

Columbus & Delaware, OH Divorce Lawyers In Ohio, there is more than one way to separate from your partner and dissolve your marriage. A divorce is typically a contested proceeding, with each side...

Contempt and
Enforcement and
Post divorce

When working through your divorce with an Ohio family law attorney, chances are your divorce agreement made allowances for child support. spousal support or

Business owner
divorce

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

Child Custody

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

High Asset
Divorce Cases

Helping With Child Custody, Visitation & Support Updates Or Modifications Sometimes circumstances substantially change after a divorce and require parents to revisit an existing...

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