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3 assets to approach carefully during dissolution negotiations

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Marital Property Division

The end of a marriage in Ohio doesn’t have to involve a messy divorce. Spouses have the option of pursuing dissolution instead of a litigated divorce. Dissolution proceedings involve spouses reaching an agreement about property division, custody matters and any other outstanding marital issues that they might otherwise litigate in a divorce.

Only those who settle their disagreements amicably are eligible for dissolution in Ohio. Some people are so eager to minimize conflict or speed up the end of a marriage that they accept unfavorable terms. While seeking to compromise and cooperate is beneficial, people still need to advocate for a fair and appropriate outcome during dissolution negotiations. For example, the three assets below may require very careful consideration to ensure a fair and reasonable outcome in an Ohio dissolution.

The marital home

The most valuable asset that spouses acquire together is often the home where they live. They may have spent years paying toward the principal balance on a mortgage and fixing up the property to modernize it. What the couple originally paid for the home may not be a reflection of what it is currently worth. Spouses need to ensure that they know the current fair market value of the home so that they can receive a fair and reasonable portion of its equity or other assets that are worth a comparable amount.

Retirement savings

People almost exclusively depend on the assets they set aside for retirement after they stop working full-time. Social Security retirement benefits are typically not enough to live on comfortably. Dividing retirement accounts and pensions is an important aspect of any dissolution in Ohio. Locating and properly valuing retirement resources is important for someone’s financial stability later in life. Even accounts that are held only in the name of one spouse may be subject to division.

Financed vehicles

It is common practice for people to purchase vehicles using financing instead of paying cash outright, especially if they purchase newer vehicles. Dealing with a valuable asset that has a loan attached can be a very complicated matter. Spouses may have to consider whether they can afford the financing on their own after the divorce. Even a vehicle registered in the name of one spouse could be part of the marital estate. While there is still a loan attached, spouses have to address not just the equity that they have accrued in the vehicle but also the need to continue making payments on it for the foreseeable future.

Other high-value resources, such as investment accounts or business holdings, can also complicate the property division process in an Ohio dissolution. Identifying the assets that could cause disputes and prevent an amicable dissolution may help people better prepare for dissolution negotiations accordingly.