Is my spouse entitled to half of my 401k earnings over the 3 year period tht we ere married?

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Is my spouse entitled to half of my 401k earnings over the 3 year period tht we ere married?

Also, she contributed to the down payment of a house that’s entirely in my name, so is she entitled to a reimbursement of her contribution or any equity in the home?

Asked on June 24, 2012 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

Brad Micklin / The Micklin Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney because she may be entitled to both but she also may not be entitled to either. All of the assets that you acquire while you were married will be divided in a process called equitable distribution.

Equitable distribution is the principle that divides assets and debts. This does not mean equal distribution but, instead, is determined by the court after considering a number of factors. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to, the length of the marriage, the contributions of both parties to the acquisition of assets and debts, the ability of the parents to earn once divorced, childcare responsibilities of either parent come, any other assets available to contribute to support, and any other factor that the court considers relevant.

Despite these issues, the equitable distribution of assets and debts in a divorce case are commonly equal because there rarely reasons to deviate.  Some common reasons to deviate are unequal contribution to the acquisition of assets and debts, a grossly disproportionate ability to earn support once divorced and other reasons deemed equitable by the court. 

 The 401(k) sounds like it is an asset that will be divided equally based on the contributions acquired during the course of your marriage. With regard to the house, she may be entitled to contribution or she may be entitled to the division of the equity. however, in this market there's a good chance there's not much equity and she may not be entitled to anything.


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