What is considered separate property in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2022 | Divorce |

Married couples in Ohio share a life together. They may have separate bank accounts or have property solely in their name, but they still share their life together. If they end up going through a divorce, they will need to divide the life they shared together. This is not always an easy process, but one that must be completed as people start their separate lives as single individuals.

Couples only need to divide the marital property during the divorce. This is generally considered all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. It does not matter which spouse earned the money or which spouse purchased the property; if either spouse acquired property while the couple was married, it is considered marital property.

Property that is deemed separate property

Each spouse is generally allowed to keep their separate property. This includes most property that people owned prior to the marriage, but can also include some property that was gained during the marriage as well. Ohio statutes state that the following property is considered separate property:

  • Inheritances and gifts received by only one spouse during the marriage
  • Property acquired by a spouse after a legal separation
  • Passive gains of separate property (increases in fair market value or investment gains due solely to the market) made during the marriage
  • Property that was deemed separate property pursuant to a valid prenuptial agreement
  • Personal injury awards, except for the portion that is attributed to lost income or compensation to replace marital property

Property division can be a complicated part of a divorce in Ohio. People need to gather their assets and determine the value. Then they need to determine which property is marital and which property is separate property. This can become difficult, especially if some separate property is mixed in an account or property that is marital property. The spouse seeking to keep the property separate may need to trace the nonmarital property in order to keep the separate property separate. Experienced attorneys understand how to divide property in divorces and may be able to guide one through the process.