Nancy L. Sponseller

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Division Of Property In Ohio At The End Of A Marriage

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Thursday, September 25, 2014.

In Ohio, a marriage can end in legal separation, dissolution or divorce. With a legal separation, the marriage continues to exist though both parties live separately. A dissolution of a marriage is an amicable decision by both parties to separate the marital estate and handle any custody issues in an agreed upon manner. A divorce is when one party files for the end of the marriage and asks the court to handle any custody issues and the equitable division of property.

Marital property is anything that is owned jointly by the spouses. This could include anything acquired during the marriage, including wages, real estate, retirement plans, and bank accounts or stocks. Generally, marital property is split equally between the spouses. There are occasional circumstances that make an equal division of marital assets unfair to one party. If this is the case, the court can award one party more than the other to make the division equitable.

Separate property is anything that was owned individually prior to the marriage, inherited, gifted to only one spouse or awarded for personal injury, less amounts paid for lost wages or medical bills that would be considered marital property. In most cases, spouses will maintain any separate property. However, the court can offer a distributive award of separate property from either spouse if it is necessary for achieving a fair division of assets, particularly if one spouse was found to have hidden or disposed of funds that would have been marital property.

Trying to determine what is marital property and what is separate property during a divorce can be confusing. A divorce lawyer could explain the process of how each is determined and what an equitable division of assets might include.

Source: Ohio State Bar Association , “Divorce, Dissolution & Separation“, September 21, 2014