Atkins and Atkins Attorneys at Law, LLC

How to divide a business in a divorce

When Ohio couples who are also business owners get a divorce, deciding what to do about the company can be difficult. The couple can continue to run the business together, they can sell it or one can buy the other one out.

For the first option, the couple will usually need to have a relatively amicable relationship. If they do not and they still want to keep the business, they might be able to restructure it so they do not have direct contact with one another. They should also decide what role each of them will play in the company. If the couple decides to sell the business, they might want to wait until they can get what they agree is an acceptable profit. They should agree about the minimum offer they will accept and what the terms are. In some cases, they may not be able to wait for the most profitable offer and may need to sell for less than is ideal for financial reasons.

How is spousal support determined in Ohio?

Everyone goes into marriage with the intention to stay together forever. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but if the situation becomes untenable, sometimes splitting is the best call. Yes, divorce is full of emotional decisions, but there are also financial considerations to account for as well.

Marriage is a partnership. And just like a business partnership, when dissolved, the goal is for both partners to come out equitably for the work they put in.

The effects of income on divorce

Money can be an issue for many couples in Ohio. In some cases, it's because husbands are insecure about their wives earning more money than them. Studies show that women who make more than their husbands are more likely to get divorced.

While women's income relative to that of men has increased in the last few decades, societal attitudes do not appear to have changed as rapidly. In 1981, just 13% of women who lived with a partner earned half or more of the income. A 2017 Pew Research Center study found that this was true for almost one-third of cohabiting couples. However, the study also found that only one-quarter of Americans believed that it was extremely important for mothers to provide income for their kids. About 40% of respondents believed this of fathers.

The advantages of a trust over a will in an estate plan

A trust instead of a will could be the right choice for some people in Ohio who are creating an estate plan. A trust can offer more privacy and can distribute assets to beneficiaries more quickly because it does not have to pass through probate as a will does. However, a trust can also hold assets if there are reasons a beneficiary should not immediately receive them.

For example, if a beneficiary has special needs and receives government benefits as a result, getting an inheritance could mean an end to that assistance. A trust can be set up to provide for a loved one with special needs, but since the assets remain in the trust's name, the government benefits are still available. Another situation could be one in which a beneficiary is a young adult and likely to be irresponsible with money. A trust might stipulate that the beneficiary should be 35 or some other age before receiving distributions. A trustee could also be put in charge of periodically making distributions. Some types of trusts do not permit creditors to seize assets. A trust could also be set up to provide in-home or nursing home care.

Tips for creating an effective estate plan

According to a Caring.com study, only 42 percent of Americans have created any sort of estate plan. For Ohio residents who don't have an estate plan, it is best to start one by creating a will. A will can dictate who receives certain assets or who is allowed to be a guardian of a minor child.

It is worth noting that a beneficiary designation trumps language put in a will. Therefore, it is important to review beneficiary designations on a 401(k) or other assets. Those who are concerned about going through probate may be able to avoid it by putting assets into a trust. Trusts are managed by a trustee, and he or she will make decisions based on rules that are made when it is created.

Selling, keeping or splitting a business in a divorce

Owning a business can mean that a couple in Ohio has an additional complication when it comes to dividing property in a divorce. The first step they will need to take is having the company valuated. Once they know what the company is worth, they might want to sell it, but one person might also buy out the other, or they might continue to run it.

Selling may present some difficulties because it could take some time, and this might slow down the divorce process. While waiting for the business to sell, the couple will also have to decide how they will continue to run it and whether one of them will step aside.

Divorce, taxes and claiming dependents

When completing their tax returns, Ohio residents can claim qualifying dependents and encounter almost no issues. However, in situations in which multiple taxpayers are claiming the same dependents, such as when separated or divorce parents both claim their children, the process can quickly become complicated, forcing the Internal Revenue Service to examine the returns and decide which claim to allow.

Being able to claim dependents can be beneficial: Parents may be able to claim the Head of Household filing status. They may also claim related tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Estate planning can be important for everyone

Some Ohio millennials may think estate planning is only an important topic for older, wealthy people with multiple heirs. Even many older adults who are single or do not have kids might feel that they do not need a will or other estate documents. However, making a plan can provide benefits to people at all levels of wealth or stages of life. In addition, it can provide peace of mind.

Estate plans do more than just encompass documents that direct the disposition of goods like wills and trusts. They can also lay out who is responsible for making decisions when a person is incapacitated. One of the most important documents for every adult to have is a health care advance directive. In some cases, this may be more important for single people. This kind of document can lay out a person's expectations for lifesaving measures in case they are incapacitated after a severe accident or injury. It can also name another trusted person responsible for making medical decisions during incapacity.

Staying calm during a divorce has long-term gains

A divorce proceeding can be one of the most emotionally taxing legal events a person can experience. Many divorced individuals in Columbus, Ohio, can attest to this fact. However, becoming lost in one's emotions can have a detrimental effect on the divorce, including the property settlement and parenting plan. Techniques are available that can assist in minimizing the turmoil and making the most of a turbulent situation.

Many experts recommend recollecting on the marriage and identifying stressors that may have led to the divorce. There may be financial, child rearing or other issues that often were the trigger point for hostility and the cause of a communication breakdown. While reexamining the trigger points, individuals should consider other ways to approach the subjects.

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Atkins and Atkins Attorneys at Law, LLC

490 City Park Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215-5780

Phone: 614-398-3277
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