Understand the rules in Ohio, an equitable distribution state
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Understand the rules in Ohio, an equitable distribution state

Ohio is an equitable distribution state, which means that if a court is involved in your property division and divorce case, it will attempt to divide your marital assets in a fair, equitable manner. Unlike community property states, there is not a guarantee that either party will receive 50% of the marital assets.

Marital property is fairly easy to define. It is typically any property that you’ve gained during your marriage. This also includes marital debts, which are debts accumulated during your marriage. Dividing these assets and debts is a major part of a divorce.

What kinds of property are community property in Ohio?

The types of property that are community property may include:

  • Any property that is currently owned by both or one spouse
  • Retirement benefits
  • Real estate or personal property interests
  • Income

There is also another category for separate property. Separate property is property that you own yourself and do not need to divide during your divorce. Some types of separate property may include:

  • Passive income/interest from a separate property
  • Real estate owned prior to marriage
  • An inheritance given to one spouse
  • A gift from one spouse to the other during the marriage
  • Rent/property that is protected under a prenuptial agreement

The only property you need to divide is community, or marital, property. However, you may need to prove that some of your separate property is yours and not part of the marital estate. This is something to talk about with your attorney, especially if you have a complex situation. While Ohio does recognize separate property even when commingled in many cases, once it cannot be tracked as separate property, you could run into issues.

You can get help with dividing property and getting your settlement in Ohio

Dividing your property in Ohio can be complex, but having an attorney on your side to help you negotiate a favorable divorce agreement helps. You or your spouse may have invested more into the marriage than the other, and it’s worth taking the time to decide how to divide your assets in a way that is fair, not just even.