Ohio Divorce FAQs – Property Division

This is about property division in divorce in Ohio, including the general rule for Ohio property division, what effect the length of marriage and conduct of the parties has on property division after divorce in Ohio, how separate property works in Ohio, and treatment of the marital home and retirement plans in divorce in Ohio.

This information is from Thomas J. McGuire, theDivorceInfo Network Lawyer for Ohio. Click here to visit his web site.

What’s the general rule of property division (equitable distribution, community property, or legal title)?

Property division in Ohio is the courts start with an equal division, and then it is the parties’ responsibility to demonstrate that an unequal division is equitable based upon the parties’ relative financial conditions.

What effect does the conduct of the parties have on property division?

Should the either party engage in misconduct of marital property during the course of the divorce, the marital property that was sold, or destroyed will be included in that parties’ distribution. Should either party not follow obey the court’s orders regarding payment of marital debts, then the court may also deduct those amounts from the property division of that party.

What effect does the length of the marriage have on property division?


Is there such a thing as separate property? What does it take?

Any property that was acquired prior to the marriage or was gifted to either party in his/her name would be deemed separate property. Further, any settlements derived only in one parties’ name would be deemed separate property.

In order to show that property was separate, one would need to demonstrate that is was acquired prior to the marriage or that it was gifted to one party and not the other.

Any special rules for the marital home?

The marital home is included in the division of property. Should the parties not agree as to whom shall retain the marital home, the court may order it sold and the proceeds divided equally between the parties.

How do retirement plans get divided?

Retirement and pension plans are divided equally assuming that they were opened during the course of the marriage. If the retirement or pension plan predates the marriage, then only the marital portion is divided equally. The marital portion is any contributions, plus any gains or losses that have occurred to the plan between the date of marriage and the date of separation. The plans are divided pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

Other issues in Ohio: