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Karen Brinkman

Is It Marital, Separate Or Mixed Property?

Property division is one of the most contentious aspects of many divorces. The family law attorneys of Brinkman & Associates in Cincinnati work to protect clients’ interests while working toward a fair division of marital assets and debts.

Is this asset marital property, separate property or a mix of the two? This question needs to be answered for every asset you own.

What Is Marital Property?

Under Ohio law, marital property is property that was earned or acquired during the marriage. Separate property is that which was earned or acquired before the marriage. Gifts and inheritances can also be considered separate property. Depending on how separate property is handled and acquired, it can become marital property or a mix of the two.

The court will assume all assets are marital property unless we prove otherwise. When necessary, we will work with forensic accountants to establish the source and valuation of the assets. Asset division can also affect alimony, so it is imperative to correctly identify separate and marital assets and their income-generating capacities.

Who Gets The House?

For many couples, their home is their largest single asset. You will need to determine whether to sell it and divide the proceeds or refinance and buy out the other person’s share. You may choose to “give” your spouse your portion of the house in exchange for other assets or in lieu of spousal support (alimony). Our attorneys will look for creative solutions to managing the division of all real estate holdings.

Household goods, vehicles and funds on deposit, like bank accounts, are divided not by whose name is on the title or who bought them, but as marital property, separate property or mixed.

What About Investments?

Stocks and bonds, 401(k) plans, other retirement accounts and pensions can be more challenging to divide. We may hire an actuary to determine the present value of these assets, their value when they were acquired, and the value they gained during the marriage, or we may use qualified domestic relations orders to effectuate an appropriate division at the time of retirement.

We also deal with assets such as life insurance and tax refunds that may be paid in the future as well as businesses, boats, collections and other complex assets.

Work With Us To Protect Your Assets

Whether you have a simple, straightforward marital estate or one that is large and complex, you can rely on our lawyers to protect your interests in all aspects of property division. To learn more, please call us at 513-632-5310 or contact us by email.