When you and your spouse divorce in Ohio, you must divide all the property that the two of you acquired during your marriage as equally as possible between you. Sometimes, however, a precise 50-50 property split would be unfair, leaving one of you at a disadvantage. FindLaw explains that in such a situation, you instead must divide your marital property equitably.
There is no one-size-fits-all definition of what constitutes a fair and equitable property division. Rather, the court takes a variety of factors into consideration when making that determination, including the following:
- How long you have been married
- The value of your marital assets
- The liquidity of your assets, i.e., how easily they can be converted into cash
- The desirability of awarding your family home to whichever one of you gets custody of your children
- The tax consequences of the property division to each of you
You and your spouse divide only your marital property when you divorce. You exclude the separate property that belongs to each of you individually. Separate property consists of anything you owned prior to your marriage and any income it produced during your marriage. It also includes any inheritances or gifts you received during the marriage, as well as anything you designated as separate property in your prenuptial agreement, assuming you have one.
Your marital property consequently includes the following:
- All the real marital estate and personal property each or both of you own, including your respective retirement benefits
- All interests that each or both of you have in a business, real estate investment or personal property
- All the appreciation or income produced by your separate property that is attributable to your spouse’s contribution, labor, etc.
- All money in your respective deferred compensation accounts
While this information is not legal advice, it can help you understand what constitutes a fair and equitable division of your marital property when you divorce.