When a couple in Ohio ends their marriage, they are likely to have to go through asset division. According to the laws in Ohio, marital assets, which are assets accumulated over the course of a marriage, are to be divided equitably, although this often ends up being interpreted as equally. In general, the marriage is considered to be from the time of a marriage ceremony until the date that the marriage is terminated by the court, although this may be considered a shorter period if a couple had been separated for a while before the divorce.

Nearly all assets obtained while a couple is married are considered to be marital assets and eligible for property division. It does not matter which party has ownership of property, such as a pension or a home. Assets that are not considered marital assets are those that an individual entered a marriage with, items that are gifted to one person and inheritances.

The court generally assumes that all property is marital property unless someone is able to provide evidence in the form of a paper trail that the item in question belonged to an individual before the marriage took place. Debts are not divided up in such a clean manner, and they may be divided in two, left to the individual with the loan in their name, divided on a basis of each person’s income or assigned to the individual who created the debt.

Exceptions can be made in divorce cases by presenting a compelling argument to a judge, especially in the case of how debt is split up. A family law attorney could represent someone in court and argue their case in an effort to increase the chances of an equitable division of assets.

Source: Ohio State Bar Association , “Divorce Courts Divide Assets and Liabilities Equitably“, September 14, 2014