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What property can you keep in an Ohio divorce?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Property Division

In Ohio, the concept of “equitable distribution” is used when dividing marital property. This applies to both debts and assets.

Marital property is anything that you and your spouse acquired from the date of your marriage until your divorce is finalized. This includes things like real estate, retirement benefits and more.

However, what about the assets you had before your marriage? For example, did you already own a house or have an inheritance from a grandparent? Will these things be included in the divorce property distribution process?

What are you entitled to keep in an Ohio divorce?

In Ohio, it’s accepted that if you owned something before you got married and never used it to benefit your spouse or if it was an inheritance or given to you, then it’s considered separate property and not part of the equitable distribution process.

Some of the most common examples of assets you will likely be able to keep total ownership of during your divorce include:

  • Compensation for personal injury lawsuits (the exception is monies awarded for lost wages)
  • Bonds or stocks owned before getting married
  • Vehicles, boats or real estate you owned before getting married
  • Gifts given just to you with proof (i.e., a boat you received as a birthday gift even if it was received while you were married)
  • Inheritances from relatives
  • Personal wedding or engagement rings
  • Anything included in a prenuptial agreement or agreed that it belongs to just one spouse

It’s worth noting that some assets sit in “murky” water for equitable division. Things like retirement accounts, stock, and premarital bank accounts may be viewed as marital property, even if they are just in your name. Because of the complexities, you need to have your records to show what you owned and why it should not be part of the equitable division process.