The Suriano Law Firm LLC

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Central Ohio Family Legal Blog

Many women avoiding divorce due to financial fears

According to research, many women in Ohio and elsewhere decide to stay in unfulfilling marriages due to the desire to remain financially stable. For this reason, many women stay in dysfunctional or unhealthy marriages rather than moving forward with marital dissolution. This is especially true for mothers, as the cost of rearing children continues to rise.

Researchers recently reported that 52% of males and 65% of females have admitted to being stressed about money. This shows that money remains a major stressor for most people in the United States in general.  However, women appear to be more worried about their financial situations than men are.

Financial situation has impact on divorce

Deciding to get divorced in Ohio can understandably be emotionally challenging. Still, the process can also be financially life-altering, particularly when minor children are at the center of the divorce. Here are a few important things to consider to protect one's financial best interests before going through divorce.

Before filing for divorce, individuals would be wise to look at their incomes versus their spouses' incomes, their current expenses and their future expenses. Incomes include not only wages but also financial bonuses received from employers. Money from trusts funds, or family money, also counts as income.

Monetary mistakes during divorce can have long-term consequences

Experts say that the chance of getting divorced is 39%, which is a drop from the previously cited statistic of almost 50%. However, divorce is still relatively common, and when it does happen, it can be difficult to handle emotionally as well as financially. In Ohio or elsewhere, certain financial mistakes may make the divorce process even more challenging.

For starters, some individuals who are about to embark on divorce might contemplate selling their highly appreciated investments so that they can cover costs related to the family court proceedings. Unfortunately, selling these investments might spark hefty tax consequences. Furthermore, it may keep the seller from being able to accomplish his or her monetary goals long term.

2 options for your pension during divorce

Your retirement plan is simple: You're lucky enough to have a pension plan, and it's going to pay you enough money to live comfortably. As such, rather than saving for retirement, you have put your earnings into things like paying off the house, paying down your debt and buying the assets you need. Your goal is to have everything in order so that your budget works when you retire and your income changes.

One unexpected issue that you now face, though, is that your spouse asked for a divorce. They want to end the marriage before you even retire. You're close to retirement age -- it's a gray divorce, as the popular term puts it -- so you want to make sure the divorce does not derail your plans.

Divorce proceedings often the result of financial conflict

Money remains the top thing that married couples argue about. For this reason, it may not come as a surprise that conflicts related to money are often a reason why people decide to divorce. Here is a look at a couple of money-related issues in particular that are causing many couples in Ohio to break up.

First, some couples end up fighting over debt. For instance, perhaps one spouse had spent several years paying down debt on a credit card prior to getting married, while the other party racked up a large amount of debt in a short time during the marriage. The conflict that this causes can easily cause stress and v lead to divorce proceedings.

Divorce and dissolution can be complicated on multiple levels

The process of getting divorced can no doubt be overwhelming. On top of balancing the emotions that come with divorce and dissolution, people must navigate the financial aspect of this complex process. However, a few tips may help to make the divorce process easier for individuals to navigate in Ohio.

First, it is critical for spouses to know where they are financially prior to breaking up. This involves poring over tax returns as well as insurance policy documents and retirement policies. It also involves creating a detailed list of debts and assets that both parties have so that they can determine how best to split them.

Layoff can make divorce and dissolution more difficult

Ending a marriage is far from an easy process. Experiencing divorce and dissolution while going through a job layoff, though, is even more difficult both financially and emotionally. Fortunately, some tips might help laid-off individuals who are in the process of getting divorced to protect their financial best interests in Ohio.

Individuals who have been laid off from their companies may be wise to keep looking for comparable employment while going through divorce and seeking alimony. This puts these individuals in a position to assert that they should not be treated as having the same income levels they had prior to their layoffs, as the layoffs were not their fault, and they are sincerely trying to find new job positions. While they are searching for work, their future exes might have to give them more alimony until they have secured employment.

Careful preparation for divorce and dissolution can be beneficial

Ending a marriage is never an easy process in Ohio. The good news, though, is that when divorce and dissolution are inevitable, individuals who will be going through the process can take steps to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for it. Let's take a glimpse at a couple of these steps.

For starters, once people view divorce and dissolution as the most ideal choice for their situations, it is paramount that they commit themselves completely to it. They can do this by temporarily suppressing the emotions they are feeling and thinking more clearly and calmly about their situations. The most important question for them to ask themselves is what outcome they want from the divorce process.

Mortgage debt: What happens during divorce?

Shortly after getting married, you and your new spouse went to a mortgage lender and got a loan. You bought your first house. It was in a beautiful little neighborhood where you always wanted to live, and it felt like everything was perfect.

Unfortunately, the marriage did not last. After a few years, you and your spouse decided it was time to get divorced.

Splitting 401(k) in divorce and dissolution is straightforward

During a marital breakup, an individual may understandably be concerned about how to handle property division. Specifically, he or she might be confused about how to split years' or even decades' worth of retirement assets. Here is a look at how a 401(k) can be split during divorce and dissolution in Ohio.

Many employees today use 401(k)s through their companies to prepare for their retirement years. Figuring out a plan's value is generally straightforward since it features cash value, and as a result, splitting 401(k)s usually is not complicated, and parties may account for any separate property or passive growth when allocating the assets to each spouse. However, the court will choose to split this type of plan in the manner it deems proper by using a document called a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO.

Rising Star Susan M. Suriano WBA OHIO Women's Bar Association Woman Lawyer of Franklin County Young Leaders of Licking County

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