Spousal Support (Alimony)
Ohio's current law defines spousal support as "the payment or payments to be made to a spouse or former spouse that is both for sustenance and for support of the spouse or former spouse." The court may order spousal support in a divorce action, including temporary support during the time the divorce case is pending. Spousal support may be paid by either husband or wife, depending on the circumstances.
Division of Property
In Ohio, each spouse is considered to have contributed equally to the production and acquisition of marital property. The laws require that the division of marital property be equitable which, in most instances, means equal. There are often disputes as to the value of an asset or whether all assets are truly marital. Ohio generally returns all separate property to the rightful owner.
The retirement benefits of the spouses, including IRAs, 401(k) plans, pensions, deferred compensation, savings plans and the like are considered marital property and subject to division by the court. Generally the court will only divide the benefits acquired during the marriage.
In order to divide qualified retirement benefits, there must be a separate court order. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) directs a retirement plan administrator to distribute the benefits according to the percentages agreed upon by the parties and/or required by the court.
Antenuptial Agreement (Prenuptial)
A prenuptial agreement is a written contract between a man and woman contemplating marriage and is intended to limit or modify certain marital rights. Such an agreement is often requested by an individual seeking to protect assets brought into a new marriage or attempting to benefit children from an earlier marriage. Courts require very strict financial disclosures before such an agreement may be signed.
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