Columbus Divorce Lawyers
Helping Clients Throughout Central Ohio
Serving Clients in Ohio Including Throughout Franklin County and Columbus
While Ohio law provides a framework for property distribution in divorce, there is still significant room for flexibility. Does this flexibility work for a spouse or against them? The answer to that question will rely heavily on the quality and experience of the domestic relations lawyer representing them.
People throughout Central Ohio have relied on Kemp Schaeffer & Rowe for over 45 years. With our team of attorneys, backed up by a talented and dedicated staff, we have the knowledge and resources to fight for the settlement that our clients are entitled to under the law.
Call (614) 665-5833 or reach out online to set up a consultation.
Who Receives the Property in an Ohio Divorce?
Before dividing the assets, it is necessary to classify an asset as either separate or marital property. There is a presumption that all property owned by the spouses is marital property. The exception is separate property. Marital property is divided between the parties in a divorce, while separate property is not usually divided, except in the case where a party has committed financial misconduct.
The distinction between separate and marital property is relatively straightforward. Property owned before the marriage is considered separate, while property acquired after the marriage is considered marital. Gifts and inheritances may be considered separate property, even if they were received during the marriage. This will depend on the ability of the spouse asserting the claim of separate property to trace the property owned before the marriage, the gift, or inheritance and the passive growth or appreciation as to whether that spouse will be successful in being awarded his or her separate property by the court. Settlement negotiations can also turn around this distinction of marital versus separate property..
Determining what constitutes separate or marital property can be more complex than it initially appears. For instance, a 401(k) account belonging to one spouse may be considered separate property since it was obtained before the marriage. Still, any funds contributed after the marriage and the passive growth on those funds can become marital property. Similarly, a house owned by one spouse prior to the marriage may become marital property—at least partially--if a mortgage is paid or significant renovations are made during the marriage which increase the home's marital equity or fair market value. Tracing and proving these values to a court or to the other spouse’s attorney requires an awareness and sensitivity to these issues, which are regularly litigated by our attorneys
To determine which portion of an asset is separate or marital property, it is essential to analyze each asset's value thoroughly. This process requires asking the right questions, which is where the leadership of an experienced domestic relations attorney is invaluable. At KSR, we understand how to navigate complex asset division matters and ensure that our clients' interests are protected.
How Is Property Distributed in an Ohio Divorce?
Once all the property is defined, it must be distributed according to Ohio's equitable distribution laws. Separate property is returned to its original owner. However, marital property is subject to more complex rules.
It is important to note that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean an equal 50/50 division of marital property. Instead, it refers to a fair and just division of assets. While a 50/50 split may be considered the most equitable outcome in many cases, the more flexible terms of equitable distribution allow for several different possible outcomes and plenty of room for negotiation.
If the case goes to court, the power to define what is equitable will fall to the presiding judge. Our domestic relations lawyers strive for a negotiated settlement, but we don’t shy away from making an effective case in court when it’s necessary to protect the best interests of our client.
We couldn't be more thankful. Steven definitely made the process very easy and as stress-free as possible.- Maria J.
Steve is great and willing to help in any way he can!! Suzette doesn't skip a beat, and keeps it all on track!!!- Heather L.
Matthew is very professional & knowledgeable. He has helped me in many ways with obtaining shared parenting with my child. He is very professional with time management of deadlines in all cases and really is a overall great attorney to hire for all fam- Former Client
KSR is amazing and they are my go-to lawyers!- Don B.
I was very pleased with Mr. Yarmesch, He stayed in contact with me, and returned my phone calls and emails promptly. Most importantly he negotiated a satisfactory outcome.- Former Client