Gregg R. Lewis

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Gregg R. Lewis
Trusted Family Law Services In Columbus

What to do when fifty-fifty does not work in divorce

| Oct 4, 2019 | Complex Property Division |

Many marriages in Ohio have some contested assets. Family law attorneys typically refer to the problems that arise as complex property issues — disagreements that are not easily settled by a half-and-half split of the asset in question.

Divorce is not simple. However, these types of property tend to further complicate the process. Examples could include retirement accounts, unique works of art and parcels of real estate. Inheritances, trusts and items of sentimental value could also come under contest during a divorce case.

By way of context, the Ohio Revised Code mandates equitable property division during divorces. The court would typically review any proposed divorce agreement from this standpoint. For those involved in complex, high asset the forces, this provides an opportunity to essentially trade value held in one asset for value in another.

For example, imagine a divorce that had a contemporary art collection and a lakefront property of equal value among its assets. Assuming both parties could reach an agreement, one spouse could take the art collection while the other took the lake house. While this would not technically be an equal exchange, as both parties received different assets, the court would potentially find it equitable.

As mentioned on FindLaw, sometimes the main issue with the complex property division is whether the asset in question is marital or personal property. Some examples of this include certain forms of income, such as royalties. Especially in terms of alternative compensation, such as executive bonuses, it is often important to determine the precise purpose of the payment — whether it was intended as a signing bonus, a reward for performance or an incentive to produce future results, for example.

The FindLaw resource underlines the complexity and diversity of potential property division issues in divorce. As these cases become more complicated, it often becomes more important to investigate every issue fully so that everybody gets a fair deal.