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Understanding marital property laws in Ohio

If you are considering divorce, one of the most important things you can know is how Ohio divides marital property. Unlike some other states, it is not as easy as dividing everything in half. Before you accept a settlement at the negotiating table or let a judge decide who gets the vacation house and stock options, you should take the time to sit down with an experienced divorce attorney in the Westerville area go over every single piece of property you and your future ex-husband own.

One of the most effective ways to determine the value of your various pieces of real estate, investment accounts, and family business is to hire an appraiser. Determining the value of your assets can be very complicated, however between the advice of your attorney and a valuation report, you should be able to have a clear picture of what you can expect in a divorce settlement. Read further for more information about Ohio marital property laws.

Equitable division

As mentioned above, some states practice the principles of community property. In some of these cases, the court will simply divide the marital property in half and send the divorced on their way. Ohio, like most states, follows the principles of equitable distribution. This means that the court will look at various factors to determine a fair way to divide the property. However, fair does not always mean equal.

If you leave the property division in the hands of the court, the judge will examine your earning capacity, contributions to the marriage, standard of living, and even your physical and mental health during the determination process. Depending on your individual circumstances, you and your ex could walk away with very different property claims.

Marital property

In general, marital property is everything that you and your spouse acquired during the course of your marriage. This includes property that is either jointly or solely owned such as retirement benefits, real estate and personal property. It also includes income each of you earned during the marriage.

Separate property

There is some property that you may own that is separate from the marital property. For example, if you received an inheritance from a deceased relative, it will not be part of the property divided in your divorce decree or settlement. In addition, anything that you purchased or otherwise acquired before you got married is also separate property. This includes any income, such as interest or dividends, that the separate property earned or produced during your marriage.

If you are thinking about divorce, it is important to understand Ohio marital property laws. Take the necessary steps to protect your interests. Knowing what to expect during the process will help you make the proper decisions for your future.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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