Getting divorced confronts you with many challenges, but ending a marriage can be even more difficult if significant finances and assets like property or businesses are involved.

At Erb Legal, our high-asset divorce attorneys have experience representing clients in high-net-worth divorces in Northeast Ohio. Our divorce lawyers know how to navigate the disputes that arise during a high-asset divorce. Call (330) 446-3606 or use our online form to schedule a consult.

What Is a High-Asset Divorce?

No magic number in a bank account makes a divorce qualify as high-asset— generally, high-asset divorces involve any marital property with a high valuation. Many assets may be high-value, such as:

  • Owned businesses
  • Real estate
  • 401(k)s and pensions
  • Stocks and other investments
  • Family heirlooms
  • Vehicles
  • Trust funds

High-Asset Divorce in Ohio

Ohio courts attempt to equitably distribute marital property in divorces, which means the division may not necessarily be equal. Equitable distribution is often complicated for high-asset divorces since they involve assets that can’t be easily divided, such as real estate.

When awarding spousal support, the court may favor the lower-earning spouse. This can lead to further contention about what makes a fair distribution of assets, especially since the state considers each spouse to have contributed equally to acquiring marital property during the marriage.

How are assets split in Ohio?

The Cost of High-Asset Divorce

The more assets involved in the divorce, the longer it can take to distribute them. Your attorney may spend dozens or hundreds of hours working on your case and negotiating on your behalf.

It’s in your best interest to work with an attorney with experience in high-asset divorces who knows how to handle complicated assets. Hiring a less experienced but lower-cost lawyer could be more expensive in the long run. Having a high-asset divorce lawyer on your side provides the objective oversight to protect you now and in the future.

Dividing High-Value Assets in a Divorce

When assets can’t be easily divided, a few things could happen depending on the type of asset.

Businesses and Pensions

With a business or professional practice, one spouse may buy out the other’s share, or both spouses may agree to sell the business to a third party and split the profit.

It is important to note that Ohio law views contributions made by either spouse to a retirement account as subject to equitable distribution; any pensions will be divided like other assets.

Real Estate

Like dividing businesses, there are a few options for dividing real estate, such as selling the property and splitting the earnings or buying out the other spouse’s share.

Spousal Support

Spousal support or alimony is often awarded, so a spouse can maintain the standard of living they were used to during the marriage until they can obtain training or education to become self-sufficient. Alimony is often awarded to the lower-earning spouse.

How Will a Judge Divide Assets?

A judge will consider various factors when distributing assets in a divorce, such as:

  • Property gained during the marriage vs. individually
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • Spouses’ standards of living
  • Child custody and living arrangements
  • Abuse or neglect that occurred in the marriage

Can a Spouse Hide Assets?

Especially when high-value assets are involved, a spouse may try to hide assets for their benefit in the outcome of a divorce. Hiding assets can take the form of:

  • Underreporting or lying about income
  • Avoiding disclosure by keeping assets with a third party
  • Inflating expenses
  • Deferring salary increases or stock payouts

Although hiding assets is a common tactic in a high-asset divorce, the practice is illegal and punished severely if discovered. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, you must act quickly. Your high-asset divorce attorney will enlist the help of forensic accountants and other financial experts to uncover any hidden assets and unreported income that could impact the outcome of your divorce.

How Can a High-Asset Divorce Lawyer Help?

A high-asset divorce lawyer will shoulder much of the stress during a divorce. A NE Ohio high-asset divorce lawyer will work for you in several ways, including:

Drafting & Filing Legal Documents: The divorce process will likely begin in the Domestic Relations Court. In addition to legal documents, you’ll need to get appraisals for assets that are more difficult to divide, such as family-owned businesses. Once all assets have been evaluated, it can be easier to decide how they should be split.

Negotiating With Your Spouse: Interacting with your spouse can be emotionally challenging, especially if one party was a victim of abuse or neglect during the marriage. Your high-asset divorce lawyer is skilled at facilitating separation agreements, parenting plans, and other decisions to benefit you and your family.

Protecting Your Interests: Your spouse will have an attorney fighting for them in the divorce — to protect your assets and best interest, you deserve the same.

Protect Your Assets by Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

Whether you are a higher-earning spouse or separating from a partner who makes more than you, the high-asset divorce attorneys at Erb Legal are fierce advocates who can provide the support you need.

We can help you handle the challenges of a high-asset divorce. With our years of experience in Northeast Ohio, we will work toward getting the outcome you seek.

Call (330) 446-3606 or use our online contact form for a consultation.