One of the main concerns of divorcing couples is the process of property and asset division. In Ohio, the courts divide the marital property as they consider fair. Your separate property, which is the property you acquired before your marriage, is not subject to distribution. However, you must know that there is a way in which your separate property can become martial.
What is marital property?
In divorce, the courts will divide your marital property between you and your spouse in a way that they consider fair, although not necessarily equal (50/50). Marital property is all real and personal property acquired during the marriage, and separate property is everything you acquired before. Things that include marital property are:
- Money earned during your marriage
- All things and property bought with money earned during the marriage
- Your retirement savings
- All interests acquired during the marriage
- A business if you established it during the marriage
Anything you acquired during the marriage will be divided in a way the court considers fair. You must also know that, in some instances, your separate property could become marital property, in which case your ex would receive a share of what was once your separate property.
When separate property becomes marital property
The property you acquired before the marriage is separate property, and you have the right to keep it intact without giving a share of it to your future ex. This, unless your spouse contributed to your separate property with labor, monetary or another kind of contribution. For example, if you bought a house before the marriage, but you used marital assets to make repairs, the court may consider the house marital property.
What you can keep
Ultimately, you must know that not everything that you acquired during the marriage is subject to distribution in divorce. Inheritance, income acquired from separate property, gifts from your spouse, and anything bought with separate property assets will not be divided. This, unless you comingled your marital and separate assets.
The court will divide your marital property. In some cases, they may also divide your separate property if you spent marital assets on it. If your ex wants to take something from you, you have the right to defend yourself and avoid handing your lawful property to them. They worked for those assets, and you can fight for what is yours in court.