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Top considerations when dividing debts during divorce in Ohio

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce involves many wrinkles. For example, debt division by itself has quite a few nuances.

In Ohio, spouses need to account for several factors to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of their debts.

Joint and individual debts

The first step is to identify all joint and individual debts incurred during the marriage. Joint debts, commonly mortgages, car loans and credit card balances, are liabilities that both spouses are responsible for. Individual debts, on the other hand, are debts solely in the name of one spouse.

It is also important to identify separate debts that one spouse incurred before the marriage or after the date of separation.


In some cases, assets can offset debts. For instance, couples may opt to offset joint debts by assigning certain assets to one spouse in lieu of assuming a portion of the debt burden. In Ohio, the median value of a home is $183,300. This is often a couple’s largest asset.

Equitable distribution

When dividing debts, Ohio courts consider various factors. They include the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s income and earning capacity, contributions to the marital estate and any dissipation of assets or debts. However, many divorcing couples can negotiate a settlement agreement on debt division without court involvement.

Child support and alimony obligations

Child support and alimony obligations take precedence over other debts during divorce proceedings. The parties should address these financial obligations first to help ensure the financial stability of both parties post-divorce.

By addressing these considerations, divorcing couples can navigate debt division with more clarity and fairness.