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Understanding separate property in an Ohio family law case

In an Ohio family law case, there will be a seemingly limitless number of issues that will come to the forefront. While children and support issues will generally take precedence, it is important to remember how property division is dealt with. This is true if it is a high-asset divorce or one of more modest means. Keeping certain properties can be a financial concern, related to residential circumstances or of sentimental value. Having legal assistance can be critical for a just and satisfactory resolution.

Marital property and separate property can be confusing. Knowing what will be categorized under the law as separate property is one of the fundamental factors in a case. The court will assess the case to determine separate property. It is defined as real and personal property and interests in them for both spouses. If a spouse has inherited property whether it is through descent, devise or as an inheritance, it belongs to that person. If property was acquired prior to the marriage, this will be deemed as belonging to that person in the divorce.

If there was passive income that the person did not make any effort to attain or property appreciated in value during the marriage, that still belongs to the spouse who brought it into the marriage. If there was real or personal property or interest in real or personal property after there was a legal separation, that too will belong to the spouse who received it. When the parties had a prenuptial agreement (referred to in the state as an “antenuptial” agreement) and real or personal property was listed, it will be considered based on that agreement.

Personal injury awards to a spouse will be separate property. Gifts or real property that were given to a spouse after the couple was married and can be proven to have been given to that person individually will be separate property. Commingled assets do not destroy the separate property being identified as such. Any family law case can have its complexities. Property division is one that can sow discord and lead to dispute. When addressing this or any other family law concern, legal help can be important to handle the case.