Property Division

How does the court divide property in Ohio?

The court first has to determine what property in your marriage is “marital” and what is “separate”. In Ohio, marital property is divided equally among the spouses, unless that would somehow be inequitable. To find out what you stand to lose, it’s important to find a reliable Columbus high asset attorney.

The Court takes the following factors into account when dividing marital property:

Will the court give my spouse half of my business? How can he/she be my business partner?

The value of a closely held business that was created or grown during the marriage is generally considered a marital asset to be equitably divided. That does not mean that the court will make divorced spouses business partners together. A principal goal of divorce is to disentangle the parties. Putting them in business together wouldn’t achieve that goal. In many cases, a forensic accountant or business valuation expert determines the fair market value of a closely held business and that value is then divided between the parties in some equitable manner, either by giving the other spouse offsetting assets or requiring a buyout of the former spouse’s interest over time.

How do we split 401(k)s or IRAs?

When pensions, 401(k)s or other retirement benefits are to be divided, the tax-deferred status of such divided plans and benefits must be protected.  For many plans and benefits,  a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or similar qualified order is required.  IRAs can often be divided by an IRA-to-IRA transfer and need not necessarily involve a QDRO, but individual plans or financial institutions may have different requirements.

Will my spouse and I have to litigate the division of household items if we can’t agree on an even split?

More often than not, it’s actually more expensive to litigate the division of assets than to replace them altogether. That’s why the skilled divorce attorneys at Babbitt & Dahlberg make every effort to resolve property division disputes outside of court. Even an amicable dissolution is only possible once all property is divided and agreed upon.

Will I get credit for my down payment on our house in our divorce settlement?

When you bring property into a marriage, it’s considered separate property under Ohio law. That can include down payments. Although each spouse is typically awarded his or her own separate property, the question lies in whether such property is traceable and whether the original value has increased or decreased over time. That’s why at Babbitt & Dahlberg, we team up with our network of financial experts to help our clients receive everything they deserve from their investments.

How will savings accounts be treated during our divorce proceedings?

When a divorce is filed, the court often restrains the other spouse (and in some Ohio counties, both spouses are mutually restrained) from withdrawing from any savings accounts the couple has. This typically does not include checking accounts.

Either party in a divorce can ask the court to partially or fully release the restraint. If you are concerned about your savings account being restrained during your divorce, please make sure to mention this to us during your initial consultation with one of our Columbus divorce lawyers.

My spouse has thousands of dollars in student loans. Will I still be responsible for them?

Marital debt, like marital property, is divided equitably in Ohio. If the student loans were borrowed before the marriage, they will likely remain separate debt, but if the loans were borrowed during the marriage, they can be considered marital debt in some cases.

Get in touch with Babbitt & Dahlberg

Have more questions? To sit down one-on-one with a Columbus divorce attorney, schedule a consultation today by filling out our online contact form or calling 614-228-4200.