After your wedding, you share everything with your spouse. You will combine your bank accounts and pool your money to cover your expenses. When you purchase new items, you won’t think of them as yours or theirs but rather shared property between the two of you in most cases.
Both of you own the couch in the living room and the television, and both of you invested in your new kitchen appliance set as well. However, when you file for divorce, you cannot divide those physical belongings. You will have to find a way to divide your financial accounts and belongings that is fair for both of you.
What assets do you get to keep in an Ohio divorce?
You can retain your separate property
Items that you owned prior to marriage, inherited from a family member or received as gifts are often your separate property. You usually don’t need to share those assets with your spouse in the event of a divorce. There may have been property that you protected with a marital agreement, in which case whatever you designated as your separate property in that contract with your spouse would also remain your separate property in the event of a divorce.
You can expect to receive a fair share of the marital property
Items that you bought together with your spouse and the income that each of you earned throughout the marriage is your marital property that both of you share. A judge will apply the state’s property division rules to the inventory of assets that you provide the courts. They will decide if you should split your retirement account or use it to balance the shared equity in your home. They will decide who keeps the dog and how to handle your shared debts as well.
If there are specific assets that are part of your marital estate that are your priority when it comes to property division, you may want to consider collaborative divorce. Mediation or direct negotiations to reach a settlement can help ensure that both spouses have a say in the terms of the property division outcome. When you settle on your own, you can set specific terms. Otherwise, you will have to wait for a judge’s decision, which can be unpredictable.
Understanding how property division works in an Ohio divorce can help you prepare for your financial future.