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Fairly dividing assets is crucial when older Ohio couples divorce

In Ohio, property is divided equitably upon divorce - which does not necessarily mean equally.
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    January 24, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Many people in Columbus, Ohio, have noticed the media attention given in the last few months to the growing number of couples over 50 who are choosing to divorce. One issue that is especially important for an older couple divorcing to handle correctly is property division, including the division of assets like retirement investments. Anyone who is considering a divorce, especially at a more mature age, can benefit from understanding how assets like retirement funds and benefits are divided in an Ohio divorce.

Ohio property division laws

In Ohio, property is divided equitably upon divorce. Property may not be divided perfectly evenly between the couple, but it will be divided in a manner that the court deems equitable based on the circumstances of both spouses.

According to the website of the Ohio State Bar Association, retirement funds and benefits accrued before a couple married are exempt from equitable division. However, if they were accumulated during the marriage, all of the following will be equitably divided:
- Benefit plans.
- 401(k) accounts.
- IRAs and Roth IRAs.
- Social Security.

Each of these assets may be split in half between the couple, or each spouse may be awarded different funds or benefits in a way that makes the overall distribution equitable. Although the specifics of the division sometimes have to be decided in court, some spouses can arrive at a settlement together. However, spouses who choose this route should keep a few things in mind.

Considerations for dividing assets

Where property division in a divorce is concerned, it is always best for each spouse to consult with an attorney before agreeing on a settlement. The Huffington Post points out that, sometimes, divisions of assets like retirement investments may not be as equitable as they seem.

One often-overlooked consideration is whether retirement accounts are pre-tax and how any money withdrawn will be taxed. Spouses who receive equivalent amounts held in accounts of different types may walk away with considerably different amounts of money once taxes or penalties have been factored in. Spouses also need to carefully evaluate the value of their house and other shared property before agreeing to accept that property over other assets in a settlement.

Divorce is becoming more common among couples that are nearing retirement age, and it is extremely important for these couples to pay close attention to the way that their assets are divided. Maintaining the same standard of living is difficult for any divorcing couple, but for people who do not have many working years left to make up for money lost, ensuring a financially stable outcome after the separation is critical.

Anyone who is preparing for an Ohio divorce at any age should make sure to speak with an attorney about the relevant state laws and the different available settlement options.

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