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How do Ohio courts handle property division? (Part 1)

Who gets the house after the end of a marriage? Who gets the furniture, the family heirlooms or the retirement accounts? Property division can be one of the more challenging aspects of a divorce. Here in Ohio, state laws apply specifically to the process, and any residents considering or going through a divorce will find the information valuable.

Assuming that a divorcing couple didn't have a prenuptial agreement regarding any of their property, an Ohio court will look at all of the property acquired by both spouses during the course of the marriage as marital property and will seek to divide it between the partners in an equitable manner (typically by splitting it equally, as much as possible). The court will not look at certain marital property as belonging to one spouse or the other. For example, regardless of who contributed more to a retirement account during the marriage, the court would generally split those funds in half between the divorcing spouses.

Property division in an Ohio divorce

Ohio property division rules may seem simple on the surface. However, the unique facts of each situation can raise many questions, some of which can involve a high level of complexity.

Ohio law subscribes to the equitable division principle. This means courts try to divide property on the basis of fairness rather than enforcing a strict 50-50 split. In practice, equitable division often works out to equal division; however, certain factors can result in a different split.

Military survivor benefits for ex-spouses

Military service members, both active duty and retired, have the option of taking out what is called a Survivor's Benefit Plan. These plans are partially funded by the government and are set up to be deducted monthly from the military member's pay. If a service member elects to go without an SBP plan, then all benefits cease upon death of the retiree.

Upon initiation of one of these plans, a member has the option of designating a beneficiary of those benefits. This includes what percentage of the monthly amount he or she would like a beneficiary to receive after death. This percentage can be allotted up to 55 percent of the full monthly benefit, and will determine the monthly plan premium deducted from the member's pay.

What you can do about an international child abduction

International child abductions are classified into two categories by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. They are abductions FROM the U.S., and abductions TO the U.S. Both are covered under what is known as Hague Abduction Convention.

The Hague Abduction Convention is a treaty joined my many countries to secure the rights of children, as well as to protect them from the harm of international abduction. The list of 76 countries joined can be found here. Since sovereign nations cannot interfere with each other's court orders, the Hague Abduction Convention creates a central authority in each country who agree to work together to facilitate the location and return of a child. Essentially, it creates a central point to serve as the main contact for all parties involved, whether it be the child's parents, a governmental agency, or attorney.

Seven things to consider in a gray divorce

If you are over the age of 50 and are considering a divorce, you are not alone. It is becoming increasingly common for couples to divorce in their senior years. According to a study from Bowling Green State University, divorce after the age of 50—otherwise known as “gray divorce”—nearly doubled between the years 1990 and 2010.

When you are considering whether a gray divorce is right for you, there are several important factors to consider.

The importance of co-parenting effectively

When parents divorce in Ohio, it is usually the children who suffer the most. They now have two different households to live in. When parents cannot come together, it has a negative impact on the children who often feel as if they are stuck in the middle. This is not good for anyone. Parents need to work together and learn to co-parent effectively.

One key to co-parenting, according to GoodTherapy.org, is to understand each parent will have to give a little. They cannot both have things their way all the time. Giving up control, especially when it comes to children, can be difficult, but it is necessary. Parents have to trust in each other and that they each have the children's best interests at heart. In addition, it helps to set up boundaries and rules to make parenting in separate households easier and more uniform. When the kids know what to expect, it can lessen the stress on them. It is even better if the rules are the same at each house.

Child custody particulars regarding active military statuses

If you are one of many Ohio residents who also serve our nation's military, you may share the concerns of others regarding potential child custody problems and other issues if you are deployed. Like most parents, it's only natural that you worry about your kids from time to time; such anxiety often escalates for those serving overseas.

Nowadays, it's not uncommon for a service member to deploy two or three times in a single career. If you know this is a possibility and you do your research ahead of time, you may be able to create as smooth as possible of a transition for your children and also protect your parental rights while you're away.

Do the children have input on custody arrangements?

During a divorce, the focus of the court often goes on the children. You and your partner may be worried about dividing assets and the financial aspects of the situation, but in the end, the most important thing is that the children are heard. In Ohio, the court may give the children a chance to speak out when it comes to custody and visitation. This gives them the chance to voice their opinions and gives them some control over the difficult situation.

According to the Ohio State Bar Association, the court does not always listen to the children in a divorce, but it does usually give children a chance to speak if they are old enough. The court will typically focus more on what is best for the children verses their wishes in any situation. However, children may still be given the chance to explain what they want and why they feel that way. This can help the court when making the important decisions involved.

What to do if my spouse become uncooperative during divorce?

If you are contemplating divorce in Ohio, one thing you should give some consideration to is if your spouse becomes uncooperative. Sure, things may seem fine now. You and your partner have talked about ending your relationship but have been on the fence about it for some time. Whatever your reasons are for the delay, it is important for you to consider the possibility of them becoming uncooperative. 

Sometimes divorces do not go the way people plan. For one reason or another, some individuals become mean angry, irrational and determined to do everything possible to be disagreeable. Take some time to review the following steps you should take if your partner becomes uncooperative. 

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