Just as all marriages are unique, so too is every divorce. For couples with a high net worth, this can be particularly true with respect to property division. And while divorce can be a contentious event, it doesn’t have to be, and working together can have significant advantages.
Property division basics
At the beginning of every divorce proceeding, one of the first things a court will do is seek to classify all of the couple’s assets and liabilities as either separate or marital property. Anything which is owned entirely by one spouse is considered separate property and will typically remain with that spouse once the divorce is final.
Everything else is considered marital property, to be divided between the spouses. Since Ohio is an equitable distribution state, marital property will not necessarily be divided equally. Instead, the court has the authority to divide the property in any manner which it deems fair, under the circumstances.
The potential problem for high-asset couples
For couples with a high net worth, assets tend to be complex. They may have multiple pieces of real estate, stocks, business interests and other less-common assets. When a divorce is contested, how those assets are divided is completely up to the court. Additionally, the record of that divorce, and those assets, becomes public record.
But if a couple can still communicate effectively and work out an agreement, both of these issues can be avoided. The couple themselves understands their property better than anyone else and knows how best it should be divided. This allows them to retain agency over the division.
And once you have an agreement, it can be approved by the court and incorporated into the final divorce decree. This keeps the details of your divorce and property division private, rather than open to the public.