As an Ohio family law attorney, Rick Marks assists clients with all aspects of property division in a divorce. For more than 25 years, Rick has dedicated his practice solely to family law. He has extensive knowledge of Ohio laws relating to division of property, which involves legally and factually complex issues for some divorcing couples. Rick assists clients in Portage County and Summit County.
In 1995, Rick Marks co-founded Marks & Chandler Co., L.P.A. with his wife, Beth Chandler-Marks. From the beginning, the law firm focused exclusively on family law. After Beth transitioned her practice to education law, Rick continued Marks & Chandler as a solo practice law firm, which it remains today. His practice has always been limited to family law.
Rick understands that division of property in a divorce is often a significant issue with life-changing potential. It affects your financial security and, in many cases, the future financial well-being of your family. Because property division issues can be extremely difficult, emotional, and stressful to navigate, counsel and support throughout the process is essential.
Rick’s compassionate, client-centered approach includes close communication with you throughout the entire process. He provides legal and moral support to minimize the stress of the situation and to help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family, both short-term and long-term. You can always reach Rick to ask questions or address concerns — including evenings and weekends.
The success of Rick’s approach to practice is demonstrated by the fact many of his clients come through referrals from former clients and other attorneys.
Ohio law provides for equitable division of marital property in a divorce. Separate property of a spouse is not subject to division, except that the court has authority to make a distributive award from separate property to achieve an equitable result. State statutes and case law governing equitable division are extremely complex.
The law defines marital property and separate property in detail. Marital property generally includes all real and personal property owned by and acquired during the marriage by either or both spouses. Separate property includes inheritances or gifts received by one spouse during the marriage, real and personal property acquired by a spouse before the marriage, property agreed upon as separate property in a prenuptial agreement, and personal injury awards exclusive of the part attributable marital assets. In a divorce case, the court has authority to determine what constitutes marital property and separate property.
With specific exceptions stated in the law, equitable division of marital property generally means equal division. However, if equal division would be inequitable, the court has authority to divide the property in a manner it deems equitable. The statute lists nine specific factors for the court to take into account and also provides that the court may consider any other factor the court finds to be relevant and equitable.
In most divorce cases, spouses reach agreement on the division of property through negotiations conducted by their lawyers. The terms are included in a separation agreement, which is subject to review and approval by the court and becomes part of the divorce decree. If the parties cannot reach agreement on property division, the court holds a hearing and determines an equitable division.
Negotiating an agreement is usually preferable to spending extra time and more money on a trial to determine equitable division, especially since the court’s determination of what is equitable cannot be predicted in advance.
When a divorce involves significant assets, disagreements over property division are not unusual. Issues may relate to whether specific property is marital or separate property. Or they may concern the value of an asset or of a spouse’s contribution to the value of the asset, which is a consideration under the statute. Division of some assets, like a business or a retirement account, can pose particularly complicated issues. If real estate is involved, including the family home, possession and ownership following the divorce can be a substantial concern.
To succeed in property division negotiations, you need a strong advocate with extensive knowledge of the Ohio property division laws. Rick Marks has the legal experience, knowledge, and strategic skills to represent you aggressively in matters relating to division of property in a divorce.
Rick makes sure that you fully understand the laws that apply to equitable division, including what constitutes marital property and separate property. That knowledge provides you with a solid foundation for making fully informed decisions on the critical issues that arise during property division negotiations.
At every stage throughout the process, Rick provides you with advice and support. He is always available to answer your questions or address concerns. His on-going communication and compassionate approach minimize the anxiety and emotional stress that are natural during the process of dividing property in a divorce.
In settlement negotiations with the opposing attorney and in court proceedings that are part of the process, Rick provides vigorous, effective representation as your advocate. He works hard on your behalf to solve problems and find resolutions for issues. He protects your interests to the full extent necessary in order to achieve a result that is fair and reasonable. If an acceptable resolution does not come through negotiations, Rick represents you aggressively at trial, providing the court with detailed evidence and legal arguments to support your position.
To talk with Rick Marks about division of property in a divorce or any other family law matter, please call (330) 677-9000 or use the online contact form. From his office in Kent, Rick assists clients in Portage County and Summit County.