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Is Ohio a Fifty / Fifty State?

By April 5, 2021April 22nd, 2021No Comments

Since Ohio is not a “community property” state, courts here follow the “equitable distribution” model when splitting up assets, property, and debts during a divorce. The court will decide who owns any of the former and how it entered into the marriage. While Ohio is generally a “50/50” state, the court technically does not have to equally divide the assets and debts.

Business Assets & Divorce

If a quality prenup was established before the marriage became official, then the agreement should protect the most important business assets. A good prenup can establish the business assets’ value and clearly define which property or value should be passed onto children or other heirs. If no agreement was put into place, then a divorce negotiation could potentially split up these significant (and often valuable) assets. One good option to write into the prenup is a predetermined entitlement that each spouse would get relative to the business’s value at the time of the divorce.

Retirement & Divorce

Most retirement vehicles are open to split during a divorce. Before ever reaching a judge, the court will encourage the couple to settle on each particular asset’s approximate value. If the spouses cannot settle on an agreed value, they may consult an outside expert—such as an accountant, real estate appraiser, or pension valuator—to assist them.

Inheritance & Divorce

Ohio court will look at the following when determining how to split inheritance during a divorce:

  • Whether the inheritance was acquired during the marriage and the potential intention for each spouse
  • Whether the inheritance is traceable (sufficient documentation to verify the nature of the asset)
  • What happened after the inheritance – was any part used for marital purposes or otherwise gifted to the spouse?

From there, the court will decide how much of the inheritance goes to each spouse.


Garretson & Holcomb, LLC is here to serve the needs of those facing divorce in West Chester, Mason, and Hamilton and across Butler and Warren counties. Call 513-862-6600 today to learn more about how we passionately defend those with interests to protect through the divorce process.

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