Protecting Your Assets: Strategies for Property Division in Ohio

Going through a divorce is never an easy process, and one of the most contentious aspects of it can be the division of property. In Ohio, the law requires an equitable distribution of marital assets, which means that the property must be divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. If you are facing a divorce and want to ensure that you protect your assets, it's crucial to understand the property division process in Ohio and take appropriate steps. In this blog post, we will discuss five essential tips to help you navigate property division and protect your assets.

1. Understand the difference between marital and separate property

In Ohio, property is categorized into two types: marital and separate property. Marital property includes assets acquired during the marriage, such as real estate, vehicles, investments, and retirement accounts. Separate property, on the other hand, includes assets acquired before the marriage, inheritances, and gifts. Knowing the difference between these two categories is essential to protect your assets during the property division process. To learn more about the distinction between marital and separate property in Ohio, check out the Ohio State Bar Association's guide.

2. Gather documentation for your assets

Proper documentation is crucial for proving the value and ownership of your assets during property division. Make sure to gather all relevant financial records, including account statements, tax returns, and property deeds. This documentation will help you establish the value of your assets and support your claims during the negotiation process. Additionally, having organized records can save you time and money when working with an attorney.

3. Obtain professional appraisals for high-value assets

For high-value assets such as real estate, businesses, and valuable collectibles, it's essential to obtain professional appraisals to determine their fair market value. This information will be crucial during the property division process to ensure that you receive an equitable share of the marital assets. The American Society of Appraisers can help you find a qualified appraiser in your area.

4. Consider tax implications of asset division

When dividing assets, it's essential to consider the potential tax implications of each asset. For example, retirement accounts and investment properties may be subject to capital gains taxes or early withdrawal penalties. Working with a financial advisor or tax professional can help you understand the tax consequences of various asset division scenarios and make informed decisions that protect your financial interests.

5. Consult with an experienced attorney

Finally, one of the best ways to protect your assets during property division is to work with an experienced family law attorney who is familiar with Ohio's property division laws. An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process, advocate for your interests, and ensure that your assets are protected.

At Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., we understand the importance of protecting your assets during a divorce. Our knowledgeable attorneys are well-versed in Ohio's property division laws and can help you develop a strategy that ensures an equitable distribution of your marital assets. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you protect your assets during the property division process.