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Thomas Kollin

Factors to consider during property division in Ohio

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Uncategorized

Going through a divorce is a significant event in a person’s life. Part of this process involves dividing the assets and debts that were acquired during the marriage.

Ohio follows equitable distribution laws for property division during a divorce. This means that marital property is divided in a manner that is fair, but that’s not necessarily equal in the event of a litigated process.

Marital versus separate property

All property must be classified as either marital or separate property so it can be handled appropriately. Marital property is acquired during the marriage and is subject to division. Separate property, which isn’t divided, is what’s owned before the marriage or assets received as a gift or inheritance.

Contributions to the marriage

The court considers each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, including financial and non-financial contributions such as caring for the home and raising children. This is particularly relevant when one spouse has sacrificed career opportunities to benefit the marriage or family.

Duration of the marriage

The length of the marriage can significantly impact property division. Longer marriages may see a more equitable distribution of property, recognizing the joint effort in building and maintaining the marital estate. Shorter marriages might result in assets being divided more closely to their status as separate or marital property, with less mingling of the two.

Custodial parent considerations

If the couple has children, the court may consider the custodial parent’s needs to ensure they have the resources necessary to care for the children. This could mean awarding the family home or a larger portion of the marital assets to the custodial parent to provide stability for the children.

Retirement benefits and pensions

Retirement benefits and pensions acquired during the marriage are considered marital property. Dividing these assets can be complex, requiring careful evaluation to ensure that both parties receive a fair share of these future benefits.

Debts and liabilities

The court will consider which debts were incurred during the marriage and assign responsibility for repayment as part of the property division process. Understanding how debts are classified and divided is essential for both parties to move forward financially after a divorce.

Property division requires a logical thought process so that appropriate decisions can be made in ways that aren’t driven primarily by emotion. Individuals who are going through a divorce should have a legal representative who can assist with this to protect their interests.