When you file for divorce in Ohio, there are a host of issues that must be negotiated in the final divorce settlement. In addition to alimony and child custody, property division may be one of the most difficult topics to tackle when organizing the final decree. It can be hard to determine if all property and assets are disclosed and who is entitled to what.
During a divorce, all marital property is distributed in a fair and equitable fashion, whether it is by the judge who is presiding over the case or through mediation. Yet, not all property and assets are considered marital. There are some items, referred to as separate property, that may remain in the sole possession of the original owner, even after the divorce is finalized.
If you owned property prior to becoming married, and the title of that property remains in your name, it may stay with you in the settlement. The property may become marital, however, if you revised the title of home to include your spouse’s name. In addition, any inheritance money you received before, during or after the marriage may be considered separate property. It must remain in your name an cannot be put into a bank account with your spouse’s name attached.
Other types of separate property include the following:
- Gifts given to you by a third-party before, during or after the marriage
- Compensation received from a personal injury lawsuit
- 401k plan or stock option contributions made prior to the marriage
It is important to keep this property from co-mingling with marital property to ensure it is ineligible for division in the divorce.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.