Ohio Property Division Factors

In Ohio, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Court of Common Pleas within the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage or Decree of Divorce.

Ohio is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Court of Common Pleas will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the Court of Common Pleas to be fair.

When making a property award, the court shall consider the following: (A) The length of the marriage;  (B) The assets and liabilities of the spouses;  (C) 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; (D) The liquidity of the property to be distributed;  (E) The economic desirability of retaining intact an asset or an interest in an asset;  (F) The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective awards to be made to each spouse;  (G) The costs of sale, if it is necessary that an asset be sold to effectuate an equitable distribution of property;  (H) Any division or disbursement of property made in a separation agreement that was voluntarily entered into by the spouses;  (I) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable. (Ohio Code - Sections: 3105.171)

Since Ohio is an "Equitable division" state, all marital property will be divided in an equitable fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses. What does "equitable" mean? Equitable can be defined as "what is fair, not necessarily equal." To automatically believe the marital property would be divided 50-50 would be a wrong assumption in any equitable divsion state. You can also read more about Ohio property division in the Ohio state statutes located at: