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For higher-earning wives, the complexities of divorce

Ohio couples who are seeking a divorce will often need to negotiate the division of property. This is a delicate matter in all cases, but it can become increasingly complex when it is a high-asset divorce and particularly in cases where the wife earns more than the husband.

Though still a rarity, since generally women still earn only 78 percent of what their husbands make, women are getting closer to financial equality, and in some cases, their net worth and earnings are actually significantly higher than their husbands. Divorce in these cases means that women have certain things they need to consider. First, financial experts recommend that women keep an open and honest communication about finances with their spouses, since doing the opposite can actually lead to resentment and misunderstandings. They should also keep some of their money separate, perhaps in an individual account that the husband has no access to. Additionally, they should keep up their credit rating. One way to do this is by having an individual credit card that is active.

Even before a marriage is headed for divorce, women who have a high net-worth or higher earnings should consider a post-nuptial agreement that clearly defines each spouse's individual assets. This can mean protection later on if a divorce becomes an option, because in the absence of the agreement, the court will make the determination unless an accord can be reached through other methods such as negotiation or mediation. If the woman owns a business or is a partner in one, she should also should make sure that it is protected.

Even if a divorce is amicable, couples might find it advisable to separately retain family law attorneys. Negotiating a settlement might be easier with the assistance of experienced counsel.

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