No one begins a marriage thinking of divorce, but it is a possibility. If an Ohio couple does choose to end their marriage, one of the things they will need to deal with is the division of property. While for some couples, this is not a complicated issue, for others, particularly those with high assets, there might be a lot of negotiation involved.
Keeping clear, organized, up-to-date records on the nonmarital property that a spouse wishes to keep separate is vital. This property can include real estate owned by one of the spouses before marriage or gifts or inheritance received individually. Additionally, nonmarital property should not be commingled with marital property, and should never be used to purchase marital property or pay marital debts.
Mixing up marital and nonmarital property might lead to the latter losing its status. For example, if a person uses their nonmarital savings to pay a marital debt, that money might not be considered nonmarital any longer. Similarly, if a person deposits income earned during marriage into an account of nonmarital funds, that account might then be considered a marital asset during a divorce. If a property bought before marriage increases in value during the marriage, due to the use of marital funds to repair, maintain and improve a property that was bought before the marriage, an ex-spouse might be eligible to receive their share of this appreciation.
High asset divorces can be emotional, but some planning might save a couple a lot of aggravation, complications and expenses. In such cases, their respective family law attorneys may find it easier to negotiate a comprehensive settlement agreement.