The most contentious part of divorce proceedings typically becomes the division of property. If you plan to file for divorce in Ohio, you will want to know what assets will remain exclusively yours, especially your separate bank account.
Courts in Ohio attempt to divide the marital assets in divorce as fairly as possible since it is an “equitable distribution” state.
How are separate property and marital property different?
In Ohio, “separate” property includes assets and liabilities you acquired before marriage. Property gifted to you during your marriage also counts as property only you own. If you used funds you had before your wedding to purchase property, that would remain as separate property.
Any income you earned during your marriage would remain separate property unless you treated it as a marital asset by commingling the funds, paying your mortgage together or funding family vacations with your paychecks. This also applies to separate bank accounts you maintained.
In your divorce, your separate property will remain with you as the sole owner.
When is it not equitable to return everything?
An Ohio divorce court will fairly distribute the property, not necessarily in a 50/50 split. Factors that help the judge decide how to divide the marital estate include the health of each spouse, their incomes, the duration of the marriage and tax consequences of property division.
A judge might find that even if it is separate property, it is not equitable to return everything that belongs to you. For example, if your ex-spouse owns multiple vehicles, but you have primary custody of your minor child, the court may grant you one of the cars so you can drive your child.
The court will attempt for both spouses to have the resources they need to live as comfortably and sustainably as possible.