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wadsworth divorce lawyerNearly everyone who goes through a divorce will have some concerns about their ability to provide for themselves once their marriage has been terminated. However, this can be an even larger worry if you are a stay-at-home parent. If you have chosen to put raising your children ahead of your career, this may have made you financially dependent on the income earned by your spouse, and depending on how long you have been out of the workforce, you may struggle to find and maintain employment following your divorce. In this type of situation, you will likely be wondering whether you can receive spousal support that will allow you to meet your needs and provide for your family.

Addressing Spousal Support in an Ohio Divorce

There is no guarantee that spousal support will be awarded to a spouse during the divorce process. These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis, so if you believe that you need financial support from your spouse, you will need to demonstrate that this support is needed and that your spouse has the ability to provide you with spousal support. When determining whether spousal support is appropriate, a judge will consider factors such as:

  • The income of both spouses, including any income earned through marital property allocated to a spouse during divorce

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Medina County divorce attorney asset division

When you and your spouse got married, you joined your lives personally and financially. Separating your lives through divorce also involves separating your finances. The division of assets and debts is often one of the most consequential aspects of the divorce process. The fewer assets and liabilities a couple has, the simpler this process typically is. Complex assets and investments or a high net worth will greatly complicate asset division during a divorce. If you have a complicated financial situation and you plan to end your marriage, working with a skilled divorce lawyer is highly recommended.

Marital and Separate Property that Has Been Commingled  

Ohio is an “equitable division” state, which means that marital property is divided fairly between the spouses based on factors including each spouse’s property, debts, and earning potential, the duration of the marriage, and tax consequences. Only property contained within the marital estate is divided by Ohio courts in a divorce. Property that is classified as “separate property” is assigned to the spouse who originally owned the asset. Marital property is the property that was acquired during the marriage. Separate property includes property acquired before the marriage, inheritance, passive income from separate property, and property acquired after a legal separation.

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Medina County divorce attorney asset division

While the overall divorce rate in the United States has declined over the past few decades, it has actually increased for one demographic: people over the age of 50. In these cases, which are commonly known as “gray divorces,” there is a wide variety of complex issues that spouses will need to consider as they legally dissolve their marriage, including determining how to divide marital property. This can be a major concern for those who are close to retirement age or who have already retired since they will need to determine how to maintain financial stability so they can support themselves once their divorce is complete. However, no matter your age, retirement savings and benefits are an important issue to address during the property division process in Ohio.

Dividing Retirement Accounts and Pension Benefits

Marital assets include any money or property earned or acquired by either spouse after they were married and before they were legally separated, and these assets must be divided as equally as possible between spouses during an Ohio divorce. If a retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA was created during a couple’s marriage, or if contributions were made to an account while the spouses were married, this account will typically be considered marital property. Likewise, if a spouse worked in a pension-eligible position while married, his or her pension benefits will be subject to division between the spouses.

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Wadsworth parenting time attorney

The divorce process includes a number of different areas that must be addressed before your marriage can be legally dissolved. This includes the division of assets, spousal support (alimony) determinations, and perhaps most importantly, drafting a parenting plan for your children. Building a parenting plan and creating “rules” for you and your former spouse can feel uncomfortable, and you may need to resolve a variety of disagreements. It is likely that you each have slightly different parenting styles and differing opinions on how to handle situations that come up involving your children. These discrepancies can be easier to discuss and manage as a married couple, but they may not be so easy to address and resolve once the divorce papers are signed. During your divorce, you will need to formulate a legal parenting plan that addresses how you and your co-parent will deal with child-related situations, work together to raise your children, and resolve any disagreements that may arise.

Specific Issues to Address

A typical parenting plan will include larger details, such as the parenting time (visitation) schedule and each parent’s rights and responsibilities for making decisions about how children will be raised, but it will also hammer out minor details. Below are some of the issues that the Ohio family court system allows you to address to make sure that your parenting plan fits your family’s needs:

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Medina parenting time attorney

The divorce process involves a variety of decision-making steps, all of which are meant to be permanent. In certain cases, you may be able to decide how to divide your assets, when you will spend time with your children, and how much (if any) you or your spouse will receive in financial support. The permanence of these decisions can add another layer of stress onto each prospective ex-spouse. You may be thinking, "How can I make decisions for my future when I do not even know what it will look like?" Although a divorce decree is meant to be permanent, there is some leeway. The terms of your divorce may be modified, if necessary, with the help of a skilled attorney.

Post-Divorce Modifications

Changes made after the completion of a divorce are typically tied to finances or parenting issues. Spousal maintenance is determined by comparing both spouses’ incomes and factoring in your lifestyles. In some cases, you or your ex-spouse could endure a large pay cut or lose your job, possibly warranting an increase or decrease in the amount of spousal support payments. Similarly, if one of you receives a raise or gets a job after being unemployed, the amount of spousal support could be adjusted, or it could be terminated altogether. Because finances and income can change greatly throughout your life, it is important to understand that the number you decide on in court is not set in stone if there is a significant change in circumstances.

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