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How Does an Ohio Judge Address Division of Assets in a High Asset Divorce?

 Posted on November 02, 2022 in Divorce

Wayne County divorce lawyerTraditionally, in the past, when a couple married, whatever assets they each brought to the marriage and whatever assets they amassed together were typically shared. If the couple divorced, then the court would make the final decision on how those assets would be distributed between the two spouses.

Today, many couples execute prenuptial agreements (or in some cases postnuptial agreements), and/or they keep the majority of their assets separate. This usually makes the division of assets fairly straightforward in the event the couple divorce. But even with prenups and separate financial accounts, there are still many couples who choose the traditional route of commingling assets. How does Ohio law address those divorces, especially if the couple has a high net worth?

Equitable Distribution Method

Under Ohio law, the marital estate is distributed according to the equitable distribution method. Keep in mind, however, that equitable does not necessarily mean equal, as is the case in states that use the community property method that divides the marital estate in half. The court’s goal of equitable distribution is to ensure the couple’s assets are divided fairly, and fairly does not always mean equally. Some of the factors the judge will consider include:

  • How long the couple was married

  • The age and health of each spouse

  • How much each spouse contributed to acquiring marital assets and property

  • How much one spouse contributed to the education and earning power of the other spouse

  • Each spouse’s future earning ability

  • Each spouse’s sources of income

  • The future financial needs of each spouse

  • If spousal support will be paid to one spouse

This process can be somewhat complex if the couple has a large number of assets. To ensure their financial future is protected, a person going through a high-asset divorce should make sure they have a skilled divorce attorney who has extensive experience in high-net-worth divorces advocating for them.

Negotiations for a Final Settlement

In order to come up with a final divorce agreement, the parties will typically negotiate – through their attorneys – to come up with a fair agreement that they can present to the court for approval. During this process, it is important to keep in mind that for every asset a spouse insists they want, the value of that asset will need to be offset for the marital estate total.

For example, if you and your spouse own an expensive art collection that you absolutely cannot part with, your spouse could end up with a significant chunk of ownership of the marital stock portfolio or other assets with the same value as the art collection. For each of these offsets, the critical question to ask yourself is how each one will affect your financial future and security.

Call a Wayne County Divorce Lawyer for Legal Help

If you have made the decision to end your marriage, call The Law Office of Whitney K.S. Miller, LLC at 330-725-4114 to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our seasoned Medina, OH divorce attorneys. We offer free consultations in most cases.


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