Understanding the basics of dividing property in an Ohio divorce

Dividing your property can be one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce. Not only can it be upsetting to divide your property with your soon-to-be ex, it can also be very complicated to understand how to do it. 

In this post, we will explain some of the basic elements of how property division works in Ohio and what you can expect from the process.

Equitable division

Property division laws vary by state, though most states -- including Ohio -- are equitable distribution states. This means that parties will divide eligible property in a manner deemed equitable, or fair. This is different from community property states where each party receives half of the marital property.

In other words, while the division can be equal in an Ohio divorce, it may not be. Various factors can affect whether one person receives more property. This might include tax consequences as well as each person's individual assets and debts.

Types of property

There are two types of property when it comes to divorce: separate and marital. Marital property includes everything acquired by either spouse during a marriage, including debt, and will be divided in a divorce. 

Separate property is anything belonging to one person before the marriage, or specific assets like inheritances or gifts given to just one spouse. Separate property will generally remain with the individual in a divorce. However, separate property can become marital property in a number of ways, which can make it eligible for division.

Reaching resolutions

In most cases, divorcing spouses will make decisions on how to divide their property outside of court in mediation. This allows parties to retain control over the outcome and work together to negotiate and reach solutions.

However, the courts could decide property division in some cases. For instance, if parties cannot agree or if they have complex assets or a sizable estate that is too complicated to divide outside of court, a judge may be the one to decide these matters.

While this post can provide a helpful overview of the process of dividing property in a divorce, every case is different. As such, discussing your specific situation with an attorney can be wise.

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