A marriage often requires two individuals to merge their lives together. When a marriage happens between Ohio residents, they may pool their wealth, join their property interests, and share their incomes for the benefit of their partnership. Marital partners may operate in such a way that everything they acquire is jointly theirs rather than owned by one or the other of the partners.
In divorce, property is generally viewed in the same merged way. When married people end their union, their shared or marital property must be divided in an equitable manner. Marital property is not always easy to identify and this post will briefly discuss what it may include.
Marital property does not include property that individuals acquired before their marriage and kept separate from other property. It also does not include property that is gifted or inherited by only one marital partner. Rather, marital property is property that is acquired during the marriage and is used for the benefit of both partners. Therefore, marital property can be real property or personal property. It can be tangible, such as a car or piece of art, or it can be an investment or retirement account.
While marital partners may keep their individual separate property after their unions end, their marital property must be divided up between them. In some divorces, the parties may work together to negotiate the terms of their property division; this may not be possible in all divorces if the parties cannot find common ground. Whether through settlement or division by the court, property matters are important to divorcing parties. Help with these and other divorce-related issues can be sought from trusted local family law attorneys.