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In an Ohio divorce, what happens to marital property?

The end of a marriage will signal many significant changes in the lives of an Ohio couple. If you are about to file your divorce petition or you already initiated this process, your priority will likely be to secure a final order that allows you to have stability and security well into the future. This includes a fair division of marital property and debt.

One aspect you may be most concerned about as you move forward with divorce is what will happen to your marital property. Your personal assets are important for your continuity of lifestyle, and you may be unsure of how you can protect your future financial interests in this complex process. One smart step may be to take the time to learn about how property division works according to Ohio divorce law.

Your rights, your stuff

Marital property is anything bought, collected or accumulated over the course of the marriage. Marital property assets are subject to division in a divorce, which means that both parties may have a rightful claim to it. Ohio law requires the equitable division of marital property, which means it will be fair but not necessarily a 50-50 split. 

One of the most important steps in the property division process is to identify what counts as marital assets. It is critical to carefully identify all property that could be subject to division and determine accurate values. Some of these items may include:

  • Personal property and all real property, including retirement accounts
  • Real estate interests owned by one or both spouses
  • All types of income, compensation and financial accounts
  • Any business interests and assets

Property division can be an emotionally complex process, and spouses do not always agree on who should get what. In fact, it is possible your spouse could attempt to hide assets or inaccurately represent their true value. It is in your interests to remain vigilant and fight for a fair final order.

Protect your rights from the very beginning

There are certain ways you can protect your rights during the property division process. In addition to taking a careful inventory of all marital assets, you will find it helpful to seek legal guidance regarding how you can pursue an equitable division of marital property. 

Whether it is through litigation or out-of-court negotiations, you would be wise to keep your focus on what will be best in the future, not necessarily on how you want to react in the moment. There is a lot at stake, and you would be prudent to keep a strong future as your goal.

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