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Dayton Divorce Law Blog

Divorce rates, up down or somewhere in between?

For years, we have heard the statement that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Yet, according to some studies, the actual divorce rate has been falling since the 1980s. But so is the marriage rate. And among some demographics, the divorce rate may actually be increasing.

The overall divorce rate does appear to be falling, as the number of divorces processed through family courts in Ohio and all other states provides a reasonably accurate number, assuming the states manage to collect all of the divorce cases that complete in their courts.

Valuation complexities during a high-asset divorce

With a divorce, many issues will develop, that you never considered when you were happily married. If you have high income and a high net worth marital estate, there may be many financial issues that could have a significant effect on your eventually divorce settlement and property division. They may be invisible and may not be very relevant when you are married, but can become critical during a divorce.

If you or your spouse own a business or professional practice, the minutiae of how the entity is valued may not be relevant. As long as it is producing an income stream, and assuming you have no interest in selling, the overall value of the business is unimportant.

When is it a good idea to ask for alimony in a divorce?

If you're like a lot of our Ohio readers, then this may be the first time you are going through the divorce process. If you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed, you're not alone. A lot of people experience these feelings. There are a lot of things that go into the dissolution of a marriage process, leaving most people feeling a little lost and with a lot of questions.

Because Ohio family law does allow divorcing spouses to request spousal support, also known as alimony, this can leave you with a really important question: when it is a good idea to ask for alimony in a divorce? Like most questions posed on this blog, there is no single answer because every person's situation is different. But if we look at how the law determines whether such payments are appropriate, we may be able to provide the clues you need to answer this question yourself.

Divorce and your finances

Divorce for those older than age 50 has increased markedly in the last two decades. People often express surprise when a couple married for 20 or 30 years head for divorce court. It really should not be so shocking, as the societal sanctions for divorce have fallen, fewer individuals are willing to "endure" a bad, sterile or empty marriage simply to keep up appearances.

But across that spectrum, there is also a wide spectrum of options available that range from divorce to something less than that. Why you might want to avoid a traditional divorce, is money.

A very large settlement

Call it a problem of foresight. While Harold Hamm may have been astute enough to recognize the development opportunity with the area known as the Bakken Shale formation, he was not omniscient. He could not foresee, although he likely hoped, that it would make him into one of the wealthiest men in the United States.

He also could not foresee decade's into the future and see that his bride would become his ex-wife and receive a $1 billion divorce settlement.

If he had, he no doubt would have done things differently. 

Unvested pension military benefits are marital property

The property division portion of your divorce is very important. It is where the division of your marital assets occurs, and that equitable division will form the foundation for your financial future.

Of course, the actual determination of what is an equitable property division in a particular circumstance can be a complex calculation that demands an examination of the current assets of the couple, such as bank accounts, stocks and other investments and real property. 

Avoid expensive mistakes in your divorce

For most people, divorce is best viewed in terms of the past tense. Few enjoy the process itself. The gathering and filing of documents, the preparing for depositions or court hearings, the waiting for a decision and the happiness after a favorable outcome or the turmoil deciding whether to appeal are not most people's idea of a good time.

So, how to best complete the process as quickly and efficiently as possible? By completing the process with minimal delay has an additional benefit. Not only do you move on with your life, but you save money by doing so. 

Wealthy, divorced women face additional complexity

As divorce become more common among the elderly, more women will have to take control of their finances. When you are on your own, advice from friends and family or financial advisors can be helpful, you need to become comfortable managing your money.

In addition to the higher prevalence of "gray divorce," more women within that cohort will have substantial marital property to divide during a divorce. This is a good thing, and for any woman from a family with significant investments, real estate holdings or business ownership, it is important to be aware of the scope of your net worth.

Do you understand how divorce will change your finances?

A divorce resets your world, in ways both great and small. From removing your wedding ring to how you spend time with your children and what your retirement may look like, a divorce can change a great deal in your world.

Your financial health could be very different after a divorce, and it is important to make certain that you understand the economic ramifications of the financial decisions you make during your property division process.

Alimony in Ohio

One of the reasons why a divorce is difficult and sometimes painful is that there is no template that works for all divorces. Each one is unique and different. Just as the dynamic of each couples' marriage is different, so too is the manner in which they divorce.

Even if you reviewed the final divorce settlements of a dozen other couples, their property division, spousal support, child custody and child support arrangements would probably look very different from what you may consider optimal.

An item like child support can vary tremendously from couple to couple, depending on the number of children, the custody agreement and the income of the parties. Similarly, spousal support is highly variable.