Ohio Divorce Lawyer Pursues Fair Asset Division Terms for Clients
Proven Canton attorney handles equitable distribution issues
During a divorce, assets that have been accumulated during the marriage must be divided fairly. This process is relatively simple if spouses agree to allocate bank accounts and other marital property evenly. However, disputes over investments, business shares and other complex assets could lead to a drawn-out conflict. At Douglas D. Jones Co., LPA in Canton, I have practiced family law in Ohio for more than 40 years and am well versed in the state’s equitable distribution law. My firm gives divorcing spouses the advice and advocacy they need to pursue an appropriate asset division arrangement.
Established family lawyer explains principles of marital property division
Under equitable distribution, if the parties can’t work out an agreement themselves, a court decides property division terms based on what the judge believes to be fair. This does not have to be a 50-50 split, as several considerations go into making the decision. These include:
- Marital and separate property — The first question to be decided is what constitutes the marital property that is subject to division. Typically, any asset that is obtained by either spouse during the course of the marriage becomes part of the marital estate. Separate property, including items owned by each individual prior to the wedding and gifts or inheritances left to one of the spouses, is not part of the asset division process.
- Factors used by the court — Anything that a judge considers relevant may go into his or her determination on how to allocate marital property. Several factors must be taken into account, such as the length of the marriage, the assets and liabilities of each spouse and whether the children’s primary caregiver should stay in the family home. Complex assets such as investments and ownership shares in businesses can be hard to value or divide. I consult with accountants, appraisers or other experts as needed to formulate a detailed, accurate picture of the spouses’ assets.
- Effect of an antenuptial agreement — If you and your spouse entered a prenuptial agreement (known in Ohio as an antenuptial agreement) that sets forth how property will be distributed in a divorce, that does not necessarily mean the court will enforce its terms. In situations where proper disclosures were not made, evidence of coercion is present or the language of the document provides encouragement to divorce, the court might not abide by the agreement.
Often, I can accomplish my clients’ goals through skillful negotiation of a property distribution settlement. However, if the differences cannot be bridged, I am always prepared to present evidence and arguments in court supporting a just outcome.
Contact a Canton lawyer to discuss your asset division issue in a free consultation
Douglas D. Jones Co., LPA provides knowledgeable legal counsel to northeast Ohio clients on asset division and other elements of the divorce process. For a free consultation regarding your options, please call 330-649-2372 or contact me online. My office is in Canton.