What is a distributive award in Ohio marital property division?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | Divorce |

In an Ohio divorce, property is a frequent source of discord between the parties. People might be aware of what certain terms mean such as marital property and separate property, but there are other that might not be so familiar. A commonly understated part of a case is the law for a distributive award. This goes from one spouse to the other and can be made over time, in a lump sum or in fixed amounts. It can stem from real or personal property. However, it cannot be made from marital property and is not viewed in the context of spousal support. Since this might be confusing, it is important to have a grasp of it from the outset.

Key facts about distributive awards

The court can make distributive awards in several circumstances. It can be done to spur, force or enhance how marital property is divided. It can also use this tactic to create equity in how marital property is split in cases where this would be otherwise problematic or difficult to achieve. Financial misconduct is also a reason for a distributive award. If, for example, a spouse hid assets from the other spouse, this could be addressed with a distributive property award.

There are certain factors the court will consider when deciding if a distributive award is appropriate and how much it should be. That includes how long the couple was married; their assets and liabilities; if there is a family home, who wants it and if there are children who would live there with the custodial parent; the property itself and its liquidity; if retaining an asset or interest in the asset is economically desirable; tax concerns; how much it would be to sell it and if that is required for equitable distribution; if there was a separation agreement; retirement benefits that can be legally divided; and other factors that the court deems relevant.

Guidance may be imperative to reaching a fair outcome with property division

Distributive property can be complicated and lead to difficulties in the case. This is especially true for couples that are not on good terms as the case moves forward. Even in situations where the sides are cordial, this can be a topic for dispute. With this or any other aspect of marital property division, it is wise to know how these factors will be assessed. Some cases can be negotiated while others need to go to court. Regardless, it is useful to discuss the case with experienced professionals from the beginning to understand these terms and be fully protected.