Ohio Divorces are Rooted in Equitable Division
There are a few ways in which Ohio is different from neighboring states with regards to divorce.
Some states are either no-fault or fault-based. In a no-fault state like Indiana, Kentucky, California, or Florida, a person wanting a divorce is not able to declare grounds based on the spouse’s fault. Neither side is seen as “to blame” for the divorce, in the eyes of the law. This is often couched in the phrase “irreconcilable differences.” Both sides have their reasons, and those differences cannot be fixed or negotiated.
In Ohio, a person seeking divorce has the choice of pursuing a no-fault divorce, or one alleging fault. This fault could include adultery, cruelty, or abandonment. By alleging fault, that person is hoping that the court will view their side of the separation more favorably.
Ohio is also different from some states in that it aims for equitable distribution of marital assets. The aim of Ohio courts is to distribute assets in a way that is fair and equitable. This does indicate that the division of that property would be 50-50, necessarily.
Equitable Does Not Mean Equal
The Ohio courts focus on division of marital property. “Separate property” is anything that is marital property. This might include property either spouse acquired before the marriage, an inheritance left to either spouse, or any personal injury settlements.
Marital property, then, is income “due to the labor, monetary, or in-kind contribution” of either spouse that happened while they were married. This also include any interest that either spouse has in property or retirement benefits acquired by “either or both of the spouses” during the marriage.