Long Term Marriage Divorce in OhioDivorce of a long term marriage makes the divorce process a bit more complicated than for divorces of shorter term marriages. Mainly, over the course of a long marriage there are many more shared assets, which makes asset division more complicated. With shorter term marriages, couples have not had as long to comingle their assets. Furthermore, the longer a couple has been married, the longer they have been economically intertwined and issues of spousal support can arise.
If you've been married for over 20 years, then properly dividing your marital assets is a financial decision that will affect the rest of your life. The attorneys at Harris & Engler are experienced counselors for clients going through a divorce of a long term marriage. The law firm of Harris & Engler is located in Columbus, Ohio, and serves clients in Delaware, Union County, and Fairfield County.
The longer you've been married it potentially makes the stakes during a divorce even higher. Often, with a long term marriage, one spouse has elected to leave the workplace in order to take care of the kids or take care of the house. When there is a big income difference in a long term marriage, then it becomes more likely that spousal support would be awarded in the divorce. Furthermore, if one party in a long term marriage has been the primary earner, then there are likely to be retirement accounts and other assets listed in the primary earner's name only. You need an attorney experienced in divorces of long term marriages to make sure that you're on the best footing moving forward after the divorce is finalized.
Spousal SupportIn Ohio, there is no such thing as "alimony." In Ohio, alimony is called "spousal support." Basically, spousal support requires one spouse to make regular payments to their former spouse for either a definite or indefinite amount of time after the divorce is finalized. Spousal support typically comes into play when the parties have been married over 10 years. Spousal support is designed to help get the spouse who is receiving the payment to get enough money and time to get their feet off their ground on their own after the marriage is over. For instance, many households will have a stay-at-home parent who quits work to take care of the kids. In that situation, spousal support might be instituted in order to give the former stay-at-home spouse enough time to make themselves marketable enough to re-enter the work place. Spousal support is usually temporary, but for very long marriages (over 30 years) they may be permanent if the former spouse will be unable to re-enter the work place. You can read more about spousal support here. The attorneys at Harris & Engler are experienced in all aspects of long term marriage divorces.
Property DivisionOhio is an equitable property division state. Equitable means "fair" and does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split. However, many types of assets will actually be split 50/50 if doing so is the "fair" thing to do. Some things, like assets accumulated during the marriage will be divided up equally during a divorce. Other things, like retirement accounts and pension plans will be divided up equally during the marital time period. This means if one spouse had a retirement account before getting married, they will be entitled to 100% of those pre-marital assets, but whatever amounts were accumulated during the marriage can be divided 50/50.
An experienced divorce attorney can subpoena financial records to make sure there are no hidden assets. If you have been married for a long time and are starting to go through the divorce process, then you want to make sure that you are setting yourself up for the best case scenario for life after divorce.