Finances typically play a significant role in any major life changes. Divorce is one of those occasions that need careful financial planning. Ohio is an equitable distribution state where property is generally divided as agreed by the spouses in a manner that will be fair in the eyes of the court. If no agreement is reached, the court will decide what it deems to be fair. Each spouse will want to take the necessary precautions to protect financial interests.
A firm understanding of marital assets — including account balances, safe deposit box contents and other joint assets — is essential. Moving assets, withdrawing large sums from the bank or making significant purchases at this time may not be a good idea. Individuals who are considering divorce will naturally want to ensure they can support themselves, and stay-at-home parents may need to prepare for a return to the workforce. While all this is going on, one spouse may want to leave the marital home; however, doing this without the explicit consent of the other spouse may lead to accusations of abandoning the family.
Decisions based on emotions can be detrimental, and keeping the family home because of emotional attachment could ruin post-divorce finances. The idea of simply selling everything and splitting the proceeds may have tax consequences. Dividing real estate, investments and other valuable assets is best accomplished with the guidance and support of an experienced divorce attorney, along with other professionals such as financial and tax advisors.
A seasoned lawyer can explain the need for a court order such as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) and any legal obstacles related to a 401(k) plan. Being realistic about post-divorce financial needs can help in the planning of a stable future. With proper planning, there should be no reason for a divorce to cause the financial ruin. Even though most divorces in Ohio do not involve the millions sometimes mentioned in celebrity divorces, financial stability remains an attainable goal.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, “10 Ways to Prevent a Divorce From Ruining Your Finances“, Maryalene LaPonsie, Accessed on Nov. 30, 2016