Nancy L. Sponseller

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How is property divided in divorce?

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Friday, August 15, 2014.

When the courts are seeking to divide marital property fairly in an Ohio divorce, residents might not understand the meanings of the terms used, as they pertain to property division. Like the majority of states, Ohio follows the principles of equitable distribution. The court will attempt to divide marital property equally between the two parties. If that is not possible, however, it will be divided in the manner in which the court deems fair and equitable.

The courts have determined that marital property consists of property accumulated by both people during the marriage, including deferred compensation, investments, insurance and retirement benefits. In addition, it includes appreciation on property over the length of the marriage. It could include either active or passive income and tangible or intangible property.

The courts have also defined separate property that a person brings to the marriage. This includes an inheritance, even during the marriage, and appreciation and passive income obtained from separate property brought into the marriage. In addition, separate property is considered property obtained by a spouse after a separation or excluded by a premarital agreement and any personal injury payments. Still, the division of assets is often one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce.

When a couple ends their marriage, the equitable distribution of marital property can often be challenging, especially in high-asset divorces. The couple might not have a prenuptial agreement, which could complicate matters further. It should be noted that every couple’s situation is different, and thus what may appear to be fair and equitable in one case may not be so in another situation. A family law attorney will provide guidance to a client in this regard.

Source: Ohio Revised Code, “Equitable division of marital and separate property – distributive award“, Aug. 5, 2014