Divorcing During Tough Times in Ohio

Is there such a thing as an ideal time to get a divorce?  Everybody gets divorced for different reasons, but usually at least one underlying reason is that you think it would be better to not be married than  remain married.  So is there a better time than others to do this?  There can be.

When it comes to happiness and getting out of a bad marriage, really it is always a good time to start the divorce process.  You only live once as they say and you deserve peace and happiness.  But what if times are tough, or you just lost your job, or you had to cash in your retirement account, is that a good or bad time to get a divorce?

One thing to keep in mind is that when you are getting a divorce, you split up the assets and the debts of the marriage.  For somewhat longer term marriages (10+ years), payment of spousal support may be an issue.  If you have kids from the marriage, the payment of child support will become an issue.  If you own a home with your spouse, then the division of the equity on the home will be an issue.  When you get divorced, then the Court looks to calculate what amount your spousal support or child support should be, then they are going to take a look at your income.  If the market is down and you've recently lost a lot of value in your retirement account or your home equity, well then that may present some circumstances that could work towards your advantage during a divorce.

Tough Times Economically Aren't Such a Bad Time To Get a Divorce

Would you rather divide up your retirement account at the peak of the market or during a bear market?  Most of the time you'll end up paying less to your spouse in a divorce property settlement when the stocks are down.  If your home value has recently taken a hit then the same principal applies.  If you recently lost your job then the cards may have changed to the extent where you would have been paying your spouse spousal support and now, due to your current economic circumstances, you may not have to pay anything at all, or your spouse may have to pay YOU spousal support.  The Courts will, of course, look at the whole picture of the history of your income and whether or not you are purposefully unemployed or underemployed.  Your income is also used to calculate what your child support should be.  What all of this means is that if you've been wanting to get a divorce but new economic times are bad and you're not so sure anymore if you should go through with it or wait, well sometimes it is a good thing to get a divorce when things are bad.  You will, of course, still have to figure out a way to pay for a divorce lawyer.

Columbus Ohio Divorce Attorney Helping Individuals Get Out of Troubled Marriages

When times are tough and you need out of your marriage then it is time to call a divorce attorney.  The divorce attorneys at Harris & Engler have offices in Columbus, Ohio and help clients across Central Ohio.  When you need a divorce, you need a good divorce attorney.  You can find one by calling (614) 610-9988.

Worthington Ohio Divorce Attorneys

The divorce attorneys at Harris & Engler have offices located on the north side of Columbus in Worthington, Ohio.  There are really only two options when it comes to a divorce: a divorce or dissolution.  A dissolution of marriage is usually a bit quicker and cheaper than a divorce but it requires both parties to agree on every aspect of property division and child custody and visitation issues.  Because a dissolution is usually cheaper and quicker for clients the attorneys at Harris & Engler will usually try to start things by trying to work things out as a dissolution if it makes sense under the circumstances to do things that way.  Otherwise, the termination of marriage will have to be done through a divorce.

The Importance of a Good Divorce Lawyer

The experienced divorce lawyers at Harris & Engler have the sole goal of getting you the best results possible in a divorce.  The best results are most often obtained by the guiding hand of an experienced divorce attorney who knows what things are worth fighting for and who fights for those things on behalf of their clients.  Much of the stress behind getting a divorce is in the uncertainty of the outcome.  The experienced divorce attorneys at Harris & Engler can offer you practical no nonsence advice to help you get the best results in your divorce and give you the best guidance for what to expect. 

The attorneys at Harris & Engler serve divorce clients in the Columbus and greater central Ohio areas and they can be reached by calling (614) 610-9988.

Ohio specific rules for how the house and other property is divided in Ohio

In Ohio, everything you and your spouse acquired during your marriage is subject to division in a divorce.  That includes your house.  That includes property that is owned separately and individually by you or your spouse (so long as the property was not owned before the marriage or it was inherited).  Ohio requires that all marital property be divided equally, unless it would be unfair to divide things equally.  In that case, the court will divide marital property however it would be fair to do so.

A house is usually the most significant asset a couple will acquire during the marriage.  The equity in a home, or the difference between what is owed on the mortgage and what the house would sell for, is marital property that is subject to division 50/50.

Do I have to sell the house if I get divorced?

Sometimes it is appropriate to sell the house in a divorce and sometimes it is not.  The main point is that the equity in the home is divided 50/50 in Ohio.  How that equity is divided could be done a number of different ways.  As a practical matter, only one spouse can live in the house after the divorce.  So whoever keeps the house will have to refinance the mortgage to be in their sole name.  When that spouse refinances, they may have to refinance in an amount sufficient to pay the other spouse for their share of the equity.  If only one spouse has good enough individual credit worthiness to refinance the mortgage in their sole name, then normally they would be the spouse to keep the home.  If neither spouse would be able to individually afford the home, then that would normally be a situation where the home was sold and the proceeds were split between the spouses.  If both spouses could afford the home individually and both spouses want to live in the home after the divorce, then that is a problem that would have to be resolved through negotiation or through the court.

Do I always have to split the equity in the home during a divorce in Ohio?

Not necessarily.  One of the biggest things that happens during a divorce is all the marital assets are rounded up and all the debts are rounded up.  Those can all be split in half or they can be divided in other ways so long as each spouse leaves the divorce with roughly half the value.  That means if a couple who is getting a divorce owns a home and has a retirement account and the equity in the home is roughly equal to the value of the retirement account, then maybe one spouse can keep the home and the other gets the retirement account.  Or they could both be divided in half.  The more assets that two people acquire during a marriage and the more one spouse has strong feelings about keeping certain assets the more complicated it is to get a divorce.  In that case, you need a good divorce attorney.

Central Ohio Divorce Attorneys

The attorneys at Harris & Engler help individuals who need a divorce attorney in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio.  If you live in Central Ohio and need a divorce attorney, then you can talk to one today by calling (614) 610-9988.

Columbus Ohio Divorce and Family Law Attorneys

The Central Ohio divorce and family law attorneys at Harris & Engler help clients in Columbus, Delaware Ohio, and greater Central Ohio with all of their divorce, child custody, and family law issues.  Harris & Engler has attorneys ready to serve you who are well experienced in divorce, child custody, and all Ohio family law.  The divorce attorneys at Harris & Engler primarily practice family law in Franklin, Delaware, and Union counties, but ultimately help clients needing an experienced divorce attorney all around Central Ohio.

The divorce attorneys at the Columbus Ohio based law firm of Harris & Engler focus on obtaining the best results as possible for their clients as efficiently as possible.  When looking for a divorce attorney you need someone who you can count on to answer the phone or return your phone call and to be there for you for the little emergencies that sometimes happen when going through a divorce.

You have your own goals to get out of your divorce and the attorneys at Harris & Engler can help you get there.  You can call to discuss your case or schedule a consultation by calling (614) 620-9988.  

How to Answer a Divorce Complaint in Ohio

Someone has got to be the first to file for divorce.  If you've received a big envelope from your county court of common pleas with a summons and divorce complaint, then that means your current spouse was the one to file first and you've got to file what is called an "answer" to the divorce complaint.  Probably the most difficult aspect of the process of filing a complaint for divorce in Ohio or filing an answer to a divorce complaint is filling out all of the affidavits that have to be filed along with the divorce complaint or answer.

Filling Out Affidavits To Go With The Divorce Complaint or Answer

Every county in Ohio has slightly different requirements for what affidavits have to be filed with a divorce complaint or answer.  The number of affidavits also depends on whether or not there are minor children of the marriage.  In Franklin County, Ohio, in order to file a divorce complaint or answer for a marriage when there are no minor children born of the marriage, then each spouse has to fill out and file an Affidavit of Property and Affidavit of Income and Expenses.  If there are minor children of the marriage, then in order to get a divorce in Columbus, Ohio, you also need to fill out a Health Insurance Affidavit and a Parenting Proceeding Affidavit.  

In order to obtain a divorce in Delaware County, Ohio, you need to fill out all the same affidavits as in Franklin County, plus a few more.  If there are no minor children to the marriage, then you also have to fill out a supplemental affidavit that basically lists your education level and job experience.  If you have minor children to the marriage, then you have to fill out all of the above affidavits plus a supplemental parenting proceeding affidavit.

All of the affidavits required to get a divorce in Ohio can be found on the Supreme Court of Ohio website here.  For Delaware County, all of the affidavits can be found here.  Ohio also requires divorcing parents of minor children to take a parenting class before the divorce can be finalized.  Each county may have their own parenting class program.

Mutual Restraining Orders and Motion for Temporary Orders

There are a few other documents that are often filed at the time of the divorce complaint or answer.  These are a motion for mutual restraining orders and motion for temporary orders.  A mutual restraining order is basically a court order that puts a freeze on each party's ability to move around their bank accounts or other assets.  It can be useful to prevent any financial wrongdoing while the divorce case is ongoing.  

A temporary order is a court order that can cover a range of things like child support, spousal support, and child visitation while the divorce case is going on.  Temporary Orders are just temporary court orders that the Judge puts in place while the divorce case is ongoing.  Whenever the Judge decides on the main issues of the case, or when the parties to the divorce reach an agreement, then the final court order replaces the temporary order.

The Answer and Counter-Claims Of a Divorce Complaint in Ohio

In general, in any legal proceeding, when you file an answer you've got to respond to each allegation made in the Complaint.  Each allegation is usually divided into a separate paragraph.

In Ohio, there are various different legal grounds to obtain a divorce.  It may surprise someone receiving a divorce complaint to see listed things like adultery, extreme cruetly, gross neglect of duty, or that the parties have lived separate and apart for at least one year.  Whatever specific case of action that is listed as the ground for divorce is ultimately not important.  All that is needed to obtain a divorce in Ohio is that the parties agree that they are "incompatible."  However, usually more than one ground for divorce is listed as a safety measure of listing possible alternative grounds for the divorce in case one of the grounds is too difficult to prove at trial.  

It is usually a good idea for the recipient of a divorce complaint to file their own counter-claim along with the answer requesting a divorce.  This ensures that  divorce can still be obtained if there end up being problems with the filer of the divorce complaint and their case.

Central Ohio Divorce Attorneys

A divorce can be complicated, or it can be relatively simple.  It all depends on the actual people involved, how much stuff and how much debt they have, and how willing or unwilling those people are to make an agreement.  The only reason you should ever go it alone in a divorce without an attorney is if you are not able to afford an attorney and you have no one to help you with the expense.  But even then, you should reach out to the Legal Aid Society of Columbus to see if your income level qualifies you for free legal assistance.  For everyone with the financial ability to do so, they should hire a local divorce attorney.  You are simply going to get a better resolution to your divorce with a lawyer.  If you need a divorce attorney and live in the Central Ohio area, then call the law firm of Harris & Engler.  The divorce attorneys at Harris & Engler have offices in Columbus, Ohio, nearby to Delaware, Ohio, and they help with divorces all over Central Ohio.
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Disclaimer:  Harris & Engler offers this website and the content on it for informational purposes only, as a service for our clients and friends.  The contents of this site are not considered legal advice for any purpose, and you should not consider them as such advice or as legal opinion on any matters. 

With Offices Located at: 30 Northwoods Blvd., Suite 350, Columbus, Ohio 43235
Phone: (614) 610-9988  Email: [email protected]