More Than 40 Years Of Positive Solutions In Divorce Proceedings
At Gregg R. Lewis, Esq. - Harry Lewis Co., LPA, we have assisted people in the Columbus metro area with uncontested and contested divorce for more than four decades.
We recognize that divorce cases are personal, and so you want a divorce attorney who will handle your case personally. As a family-owned law firm, we take pride in providing one-on-one guidance through all stages of difficult family law problems.
From property distribution to spousal support to child support to child custody agreements, we will tirelessly advocate for you. If you need to dissolve or terminate your marriage, you can rely on our trusted counsel. We strive to make every aspect of the dissolution or divorce process as painless as possible, and to help you reach a favorable outcome.
In A Divorce, Preparation Is Critical
One of the most important steps in a divorce occurs before you ever file any papers. The step? Preparation. The days, weeks or even months before you file for divorce grants you invaluable time to gather financial documents, seek hidden assets and disentangle yourself from your spouse’s financial and legal matters. You can also take proactive measures regarding your post-divorce finances.
The more time you have to prepare for your divorce filing, the better. You should contact Harry Lewis Co., LPA, as soon as possible so an experienced Columbus divorce lawyer can help you prepare.
Make A Painful Process As Painless As Possible
Divorce is never easy. However, at Harry Lewis Co., LPA, we use our years of experience to relieve your stress and emotional pain as much as possible. By providing wise advice, accurate expectations and strategic service, we can help you move forward with your life as soon as possible. We are skilled in all means of resolving disputes at the end of a marriage, from divorce mediation to litigation.
Dividing Property In Ohio
Getting divorced in Ohio usually necessitates numerous other legal processes, such as those related to child custody and child support. But one of the biggest aspects of the divorce itself is division of property, assets and debts.
Property division may not seem all that important at first, because it is hard to care about possessions during such a difficult ordeal. But property division is about more than just who gets the dishes and who gets the furniture. The most significant items to be divided often include:
- The marital residence (family home) and other real estate
- Retirement assets: pensions, IRAs, 401(k) accounts and more
- An investment or stock portfolio
- Family vehicles that are jointly owned
- Allocation of marital debt
Your divorce may also include alimony, or spousal support, payments, which would typically factor into decisions about property division.
How Property Is Divided: Equitable Vs. Equal Distribution
Like most states, Ohio uses the “equitable distribution” model of property division. This means that courts are instructed to divide marital assets equitably, which doesn’t always mean equally. Courts can deviate from a 50-50 split to account for things like unequal earning potential, one spouse’s significant nonmonetary contributions to the family and more. The goal is to ensure that both spouses have the resources they need to live as comfortably and sustainably as possible.
Which Property Gets Divided In Divorce?
In Ohio, marital property is what will be subject to division. As a rule of thumb, martial property is typically property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. There are some notable exceptions, however, including an inheritance or other gifts given to only one spouse, and any property listed as separate in a prenuptial agreement.
Anything acquired prior to marriage is considered separate property. It is important to note, however, that your spouse may have a partial stake in certain premarital assets if those assets were paid for or increased in value with marital funds.
Two examples could include real estate and retirement accounts. Let’s say that you bought a house and opened a 401(k) account before getting married. While married, however, you continued to make mortgage payments and retirement contributions with marital funds. When getting divorced, your spouse would likely be entitled to a portion of those two assets because marital funds had been used to pay them off or to increase their value.
At first, the property division process can feel complex and overwhelming. The good news, however, is that the right attorney can greatly simplify these complicated ideas and guide you through the process from start to finish.
What Documents Are Required In An Ohio Divorce?
There are several key documents that everyone must provide to secure a divorce. Common documents include the petition for dissolution, confidential disclosure of personal identifiers, affidavits of income and expenses, and property, acknowledgment of legal representation and the decree of dissolution.
Where Do I File For Divorce In Ohio?
Proper divorce filing is a critical step in the process, and requires that you file for divorce in the proper location. You can file for divorce at the Court of Common Pleas in your county. In Franklin County, the address for the Franklin County Government Center is 345 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215.
Should You Divorce With Or Without A Lawyer?
When spouses consider an amicable divorce, they question whether or not they need an attorney. Without the guidance of a lawyer, a spouse risks giving up more than necessary in asset division, missing out on a fair custody agreement and considerably extending the time it takes to resolve a divorce. No matter what kind of divorce you are pursuing, make sure you have an attorney on your side.
Which Type Of Divorce Is Right For You?
There are four primary types of divorce to consider when ending your marriage. A divorce is the standard method of enlisting the aid of the court to end your marriage. Dissolution refers to when a couple ends things on their own. An annulment is a process of undoing a marriage, making it as though it never happened, and a legal separation is a court order that requires a married couple to live separately and can specify matters of child support, visitation, and custody.
Within each of these types are different options as well. For example, is it more appropriate to file a fault-based or no-fault divorce? A skilled divorce attorney can help you review your unique needs and help you decide which option is best for you.
Talk To A Compassionate Attorney About Divorce
You do not have to prepare for a divorce on your own. Schedule a consultation with Harry Lewis Co., LPA, to get the assistance of our attorney. To schedule your initial consultation, call 614-721-6175 or send us an email.