The following is a summary of Ohio property division laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Ohio Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

Explanation of Marital and Separate Property.

Marital property” means all of the following:

  1. All real and personal property that currently is owned and acquired by either or both of the spouses during the marriage, including, but not limited to, the retirement benefits of the spouses;
  2. All interest either or both of the spouses currently has that was acquired during the marriage in any real or personal property, including, but not limited to, the retirement benefits of the spouses;
  3. All income and appreciation on separate property, due to the labor, monetary, or in-kind contribution of either or both of the spouses that occurred during the marriage;
  4. A participant account of either spouse, as defined in section 148.01 of the Revised Code, with certain limits.

During the marriage” means the period of time from the date of the marriage through the date of the final hearing. If the court determines that the use of this date would be inequitable, it may select dates that it considers equitable in determining marital property.

Personal property” includes both tangible and intangible personal property.
Separate property” means all real and personal property and any interest in real or personal property that is found by the court to be any of the following:

  1. An inheritance by one spouse by bequest, devise, or descent during the course of the marriage;
  2. Any real or personal property or interest in real or personal property that was acquired by one spouse prior to the date of the marriage;
  3. Passive income and appreciation acquired from separate property by one spouse during the marriage;
  4. Any real or personal property or interest in real or personal property acquired by one spouse after a decree of legal separation;
  5. Any real or personal property or interest in real or personal property that is excluded by a valid antenuptial agreement;
  6. Compensation to a spouse for the spouse’s personal injury, except for loss of marital earnings and compensation for expenses paid from marital assets;
  7. Any gift of any real or personal property or of an interest in real or personal property that is made after the date of the marriage and that is proven by clear and convincing evidence to have been given to only one spouse.

The commingling of separate property with other property of any type does not destroy the identity of the separate property as separate property, except when the separate property is not traceable.

Property Division Guidelines.

The division of marital property shall be equal unless an equal division would be inequitable, in which case the court shall divide the marital property between the spouses in an equitable manner. In making a division of marital property, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the following:

  1. The duration of the marriage;
  2. The assets and liabilities of the spouses;
  3. The desirability of awarding the family home, or the right to reside in the family home for reasonable periods of time, to the spouse with custody of the children of the marriage;
  4. The liquidity of the property to be distributed;
  5. The economic desirability of retaining intact an asset or an interest in an asset;
  6. The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective awards to be made to each spouse;
  7. The costs of sale, if it is necessary that an asset be sold to effectuate an equitable distribution of property;
  8. Any division or disbursement of property made in a separation agreement that was voluntarily entered into by the spouses;
  9. If a spouse has engaged in financial misconduct, including, but not limited to, the dissipation, destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of assets;
  10. Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.

Each spouse shall be considered to have contributed equally to the production and acquisition of marital property.

-From § 3105.171 of the Ohio Statutes.


This information has been summarized from the Ohio statutes. You can find the full-text version of these and other Ohio divorce statutes online here: Ohio Divorce Laws.




IMPORTANT: Help Yourself Divorce is a paralegal service, not a law firm. Please don’t rely on this information for legal advice. Seek help from an attorney if you need legal advice.


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