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How is marital property defined under the law?

If you get a divorce in Ohio, the court will divide any marital property between you and your former spouse. The court makes a ruling on what is and what is not considered marital property based on the Ohio Revised Code, which is the law of the state. The ORC outlines exactly what is considered marital property and defines exceptions that are separate property and not susceptible to division by the court.

Under the law, both of you do not have to co-own the property for it to be marital property. Anything owned by either of you is fair game. Generally, though, only property acquired during the marriage is marital property. There are some exceptions if your combined money is used throughout the marriage to maintain the property or if you made income on the property during the marriage. Even if you do not own property, having an interest in it still makes the asset yours and it may be divided in the divorce. This covers all assets, even things such as retirement accounts.

The law also specifies what is not marital property. Any inheritance, compensation and property acquired before you were married is not marital property. In addition, property is excluded if you received it as a gift and you have clear evidence it was a gift. Also, any property you acquire after a legal separation is just yours and not included in marital assets.

Understanding what is and what is not marital property is helpful as you plan your divorce and make decisions about property division. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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