When a person in Ohio is going through a divorce, they may be very worried about how their property will be divided between them and their ex. And, while property obtained during the course of the marriage is, in general, subject to property division, property that is deemed separate will not be subject to property division, and will be retained by the spouse who owns it.
What is considered to be separate property? According to Ohio law, there are a number of different types of property that will be deemed separate. One is an inheritance to one spouse only, even if that inheritance was obtained while the spouses were married. In addition, property that a spouse obtained before getting married will remain the property of that spouse. An award from a personal injury lawsuit made to one spouse only is generally also considered to be separate property.
If a spouse receives any sort of passive income or appreciation from property that is deemed to be separate will also be considered separate property. Property obtained after the couple has legally separated is separate property, as is property listed as such in a lawful prenuptial agreement. If it can be shown by clear and convincing evidence that a gift made to one spouse while married was meant to be given just to that spouse only, then that gift will be considered to be separate property.
Keep in mind, too, that sometimes, separate property commingles with marital property. As long as such commingling doesn’t lead to the destruction of the separate property, and the separate property remains traceable, that separate property will continue to be considered separate property.
So, people in Ohio who are worried about losing property in a divorce can take heart that certain types of property are considered separate property and will not be subject to property division. However, anyone with questions about property division in Ohio would be well-served to discuss the matter with an attorney.