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Divorcing couples in Ohio should be aware that the majority of states will split marital property based on what is deemed equitable. However, this should not be mistaken for equitable distribution, which takes into account the facts of the case and the needs of both parties in the determination of how the marital assets will be divided.

The marital property in the divorces that occur in community property states are divided as equally as possible. Factors such as which party possesses more separate property, contributed more assets to the marriage or may hold the blame for the end of the marriage are not used to determine the division of the marital assets.

Community property generally includes any assets that were bought with the money that was earned by either party during the marriage. Such assets are to be split evenly in a divorce. Exceptions include any assets that are established as separate property through a written agreement, like a postnuptial agreement.

The family courts in common law property states handle the division of marital property differently. They prioritize the manner in which the property is divided that is most equitable to both parties. They will consider the means and needs of both parties and who is at fault for the end of the marriage.

Divorcing spouses will have the chance to come to an agreement regarding the division of their marital property in the states that adhere to the equitable distribution principle. Any agreement that is reached is still subject to the approval of the court.

A family law attorney may advise clients of what legal strategy should be used to obtain the desired divorce settlement terms regarding the division of marital assets. The attorney might litigate to protect the interests of clients regarding the division of real estate or financial accounts.