Family

Getting organized for your divorce or dissolution

When you legally end your marriage, you will need to give the court details about your finances, property and debts. Here's the kind of information you will need to pull together to complete your dissolution or divorce forms.

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There are a few ways to legally end your marriage in Ohio, but they all share one thing in common: You will need to make sure your financial information is organized so you can fill out detailed forms. 

The court's job is to decide what's fair. Your job is to be honest and accurate and to provide as much useful information as possible. Otherwise, the court will not have the information it needs to make decisions that will impact you and your family.

Here's the kind of information you will need to fill out your forms.

Income

Use pay stubs and tax returns to pull together information about your income for the past 3 years. If you can, do the same for your spouse's income. 

Income includes: 

  • Overtime, commission and bonuses
  • Disability payments you or your spouse received
  • Social Security payments you or your spouse received
  • Unemployment payments you or your spouse received
  • Spousal or child support you or your spouse received

Assets

An asset is anything you own that has financial value.

Here are some examples of assets you might have:

  • Things you own, like furniture or your television
  • Bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds
  • Real estate or property that you or your spouse own
  • Vehicles that you or your spouse own

When you fill out forms to file for divorce or dissolution, you will need to include the value of these assets. To do that, you'll need to know their "fair market value" — that is, how much you could sell it for now. Try to find paperwork to show the "fair market value" of any asset that you have that's worth more than $500. For example, print out your bank statement or a page from eBay for a similar item.

For house or land values, you are required to give the "legal description" along with your fair market value. You can contact your realtor or your county recorder and county auditor's offices for these pieces of information.

Debts

A debt is money that you need to pay for something you already bought or a service you already used. For instance, consider:

  • Credit card debt
  • Money that you have to pay off to own your car or home
  • Payments that you are making on your TV
  • Student loans
  • Medical bills

Check your bills or account statements to find out the amount of your monthly payments and the remaining balance of the debt.

Expenses

You will need to know what your and your family's monthly expenses are. To figure that out, gather receipts or bank statements showing how much it costs each month to pay for:

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Food and utilities
  • Transportation and car payments
  • Child care and health care
  • Insurance
  • Credit card payments
  • Anything else that you pay each month

Keep your documents

Keep copies of the documents you use to figure out the amounts of your income, assets, debts and expenses in a safe place. Organizing everything in one place will make things easier if you need to bring your supporting documents to court later in the process.

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