Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law
Get Your Consultation Today

To protect your safety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we offer telephone and video conferences, in place of face-to-face meetings. Please contact our office today to set up a remote consultation. For more information, read our blog post.

What is yours is mine and what is mine is mine too?

How to determine separate property in divorce 

When entering a marriage many spouses combine all their financial assets into joint accounts, buy property together, and proceed under the assumption of 'what is mine is yours' and vice versa. However, this age-old adage does not hold true in a divorce. In Ohio, during a divorce, the court divides into two categories; separate property and marital property. Once the property is categorized, the court then makes an equitable division of all property between the spouses according to the specific facts of the case.

Separate property is all property, either real or personal, that is traceable to one spouse. The spouse who is claiming to have separate property has the burden of proving that they either acquired that property prior to the marriage or obtained the property through gift, inheritance, or bequest during the marriage. Examples of separate property include but are not limited to; a down payment on a home made by one spouse prior to the marriage, jewelry received through a deceased parent's Will, or money in a retirement account that was invested prior to the date of marriage. In the instance of the retirement account, the calculation of the separate property would also include any passive interest on the premarital investment. 

In order to prove that property is separate, the spouse must present proof to the court. This proof may include bank statements, mortgage statements, a title of ownership, or the Will or Trust from which the property was inherited. The opposing spouse may provide a counterargument to show that the asset, which otherwise may be separate, was improved upon or co-mingled with marital assets in such a way that it is no longer separate.

The effect of designating property as separate generally means that the claiming spouse is entitled to all or a larger percentage of that property than if the property were designated as marital property. However, the court is not required to award separate property to the spouse claiming a separate interest. Rather, the Court may view the entirety of the assets subject to division and determine if the particular facts of a case make it inequitable for one spouse to retain the full asset. For this reason, it is imperative that there be solid record supporting the separate interest in the property and argument in support of division in favor of the claimant spouse.

This blog is intended to be general in nature and does not constitute legal advice based on your particular facts. To further discuss this, or other matters regarding your specific circumstances, please contact any of our domestic relations attorneys.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  1. Distinguished AV | LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
  2. Super Lawyers
  3. AVVO Rating 10.0 Superb
  4. Super Lawyers Rising Stars
  5. Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  6. Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  7. The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  8. The National Trial Lawyers | Top 40 Under 40

Get Your Consultation Today. Call 513-932-2115.

Rittgers & Rittgers answers its phones 24/7. Call us anytime to secure your consultation with one of our award-winning lawyers. You can rely on us for elite representation from our deliberately small, family-run law firm.

Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law

Lebanon Office
12 East Warren Street
Lebanon, Ohio 45036

Phone: 513-932-2115
Fax: 513-934-2201
Map & Directions

West Chester Office
9078 Union Centre Blvd.
Suite 350
West Chester, OH 45069

Phone: 513-932-9949
West Chester Law Office

Cincinnati Office
3734 Eastern Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45226

Phone: 513-932-7375
Map & Directions

Florence Office
7310 Turfway Road, Suite 550
Florence, KY 41042

Kentucky Law Office

Oxford Office
121 West High Street
Oxford, OH 45056

Phone: 513-524-5000
Fax: 513-524-5001
Map & Directions

Email Us Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us Today