In just about any
divorce, each spouse has a collection of items or assets that they value more
than anything else, and that might be up for grabs. This is especially true of
high asset divorces involving costly or highly-valued pieces of marital property. Since Ohio
uses equitable distribution laws, meaning spouses get what is fair, not
an equal share, anyone going through a divorce could lose an asset they
thought would remain their own. While there is nothing you can do to 100%
guarantee that you will keep a piece of property during your divorce –
a judge’s discretion has more power than you think – there
are ways to try to safeguard them.
If you want to protect your assets, following this tips could help:
Prenuptial agreements: Before you get too far ahead of yourself, did you get a prenuptial agreement?
You would be surprised how many people forget about this crucial legal
document that outlines what should and should not be done during their
divorce. Double-check and you could save yourself a lot of headaches.
Collaboration: If it is possible to do so without constant argument, working with your
spouse to divide your assets can actually help you keep them. Use a collaborative
approach to your divorce, or mediation with a neutral third-party attorney,
to fairly stake claims and engage in a little give-and-take. Sometimes
this is much more reliable than asking a judge to rule on the matter.
Defamation: Equitable distribution means getting what you deserve. Without getting
too vicious about it, if you have information of your ex-spouse’s
marriage-destroying behavior, such as infidelity, drug addiction, or
domestic abuse, bring it up with your attorney to discuss how it can be used in court.
The right argument could make the judge see things your way and disfavor
Appraisal: You will not know how much your largest pieces of property are worth unless
you have them appraised. Consider hiring a professional appraiser for
any real property, automobiles, and heirlooms. Otherwise, you could end
up holding onto something of little value in exchange for another asset
with actual value, such as a savings account.
Disclosure: Trying to hide your assets during divorce is a great way to end up losing
those assets and more. The court will eventually learn of all your assets;
this is a guarantee – maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually.
When someone is busted hiding assets, the court can penalize them by rewarding
more property to their spouse during equitable distribution. Always disclose
everything to keep the court’s approval.
Of Course, Legal Help Never Hurt
In any legal matter that you don’t fully understand – legalese
and changing laws can make comprehension anything but easy – retaining
legal counsel is always a good idea. If you’re entering a divorce
and aren’t sure what is going to happen to your property, Gounaris
Abboud, LPA can be of service. Our Dayton divorce lawyers can bring more
than 30 years of combined legal experience to your case, instilling you
with confidence that your best interests will be upheld as your divorce develops.
Contact us online or dial 937.660.8429 to schedule a
free case evaluation.