Ohio Separation Agreement
An Ohio Separation Agreement is entered into by husband and wife in a Dissolution of Marriage or an Uncontested Divorce. The Separation Agreement includes all the assets, property and debts of the parties.
An Ohio Separation Agreement is submitted to and adopted by the Court and becomes the terms of the dissolution of marriage or divorce. Husband and wife are ordered to fulfill all of the terms of the Separation Agreement.
Ohio Separation Agreement Clauses
An Ohio Separation Agreement should include clauses about:
- HOUSEHOLD GOODS– If husband and wife have already divided their household goods and the household goods are already in the possession of each party, a statement to that effect. If the parties have not yet divided their household goods, a statement as to what items each is receiving and when the division is to be made.
- This is often done by an attachment to the Ohio Separation Agreement which lists what each is receiving. The attachment should be signed by each party at the bottom. It is not necessary to list every item but all major items of furniture, household goods and personal property should be listed. Sometimes using a phrase like “half of the dishes and silverware, towel and linens” will suffice.
- If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the division, use some system of a lottery where each person alternates their pick of an item.
- MOTOR VEHICLES– All vehicles should be listed along with in whose name they are presently titled to and whether there is a debt on the vehicle or if it is free and clear of debt. If there is a debt on a vehicle, the name of the bank or finance company, and in whose name the loan is in.
- Vehicles which are later going to be transferred should include the Vehicle Identification Number of the vehicle and when the vehicle will be transferred (such as within 10 days after the loan is paid off). Mobile homes, trailers, boats and motorcycles are included in this section since they are titled items.
- FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS– If there are any joint checking or savings accounts, whether the account(s) will be the sole property of the wife, the sole property of the husband, or equally divided. A statement that each party is keeping their respective individual accounts.
- INCOME TAX– Whether husband and wife will be filing a joint return or separate returns if a tax filing is due. Two people who are still married at the end of a tax year can file either a joint or separate return. If a joint filing is to be done, how the refund or liability will be split.
- Sometimes a clause is used that the parties will file in the “most advantageous manner” to maximize either their refund or minimize their liability.
- PENSION AND RETIREMENT– If the parties have a retirement account(s), a statement of what kind of retirement account and what will happen to the account. Retirement accumulated before the marriage is “separate” property and not subject to division.
- Parties can choose to waive any interest in the retirement of the other. Retirement accounts are however marital assets and may have to be divided.
- If they are to be divided, language as to the division and whether a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or Division of Property Order (DOPO) must be prepared and by whom and who will pay the expense of preparation.
- LIFE INSURANCE– if there is life insurance with a cash value, what will happen to the policy. This is a whole life insurance which can be cashed in or loaned from. This does not include term life insurance or insurance through employment since this insurance has no cash value and is only payable upon death.
- DEBTS– all debts and who is responsible for each debt. Sometimes a clause is used in the Ohio Separation Agreement that each party pays their own individual credit cards and debts.
- SPOUSAL SUPPORT– whether there will be spousal support (or what used to be called alimony) from one spouse to the other. Another part of this website explains spousal support in Ohio.
- REAL PROPERTY– What happens to any real estate. Whether that real estate was acquired before or during the marriage, and whether there is a mortgage on the real estate and if so- to what bank and in whose name.
There are a number of general provisions which are included in an Ohio Separation Agreement which cover various subjects such as:
that the parties will not harass or interfere in the day to day activities of the other;
that neither will henceforth incur any debts or obligations upon the credit of the other;
that each party has entered the agreement knowingly and voluntarily;
that each party has made a full and accurate disclosure of all their real and personal property, debts and income;
that each party shall execute any and all deeds, and other documents and perform any acts which may be required.