Are my investments protected during a high net worth divorce?

Family Law specialists with over 59 years of experience.

It depends on what you mean by “protected.” You certainly can’t insulate investments from equitable distribution during divorce. Some of our clients wrongly think that property is marital only if both spouse’s names appear on the investment account. However, what matters for purpose of dividing marital property in Ohio is when you obtained the asset. A court will look past who opened the account or whose money went into the investments.

If you opened investment accounts before getting married, then those are your separate property. But if you opened the accounts after marriage, then they are marital property, which must be divided before you can divorce.

Investments have an added wrinkle—they tend to appreciate while you are married. This means that you might have an investment account that you opened before marriage which has grown considerably while you were married. An account opened for $200,000 might have grown to $450,000 by the time you divorce. The increase in value is $250,000.

Some states consider this increase to be marital property subject to distribution. In Ohio, any passive increase is typically considered separate property, so it is yours to take with you after divorce.

Some confusion exists because you might have opened investment accounts while single but continue to increase your investments when married. For example, you might have bought mutual funds while single. After marriage, you continue to buy additional shares. These additional shares are not “passive” increases, so you need to meet with an experienced high asset divorce lawyer for help identifying which assets are separate and which are marital.

Client Reviews

Had free consultation. Advice given was taken, and resulted in change of mind in the other/opposing party. We therefore did not need to retain. Should opposing party resume original opinion, we will retain.


I was in a terrible custody dispute with my ex. I was very upset and afraid of my ex. Rodd listened to everything I said and remembered everything I said. He was aggressive in court and used the information I gave him very well. We won the case and my ex has backed off.


I wanted an easy divorce from my wife. She wanted a fight. Rodd and I discussed fair terms for a dissolution. Because he was pro active and stayed on top of the case, my wife and I finally reached an agreement and had a dissolution. I highly recommend Rodd.


I hired Linda Lawrence because I have a business and I wanted to protect it in my divorce. Linda is top notch and knows about business finance and assets. I was able to keep my business and not have to pay my wife anything from it. Hire her.


I hired Linda Lawrence because I needed an aggressive attorney. Linda was able to stand up against the other attorney and was very aggressive in court. It was an expensive divorce case, but that was because the other attorney was very aggressive and Linda was very thorough. I had great results in my case and highly recommend Linda.


Our Practice Areas

Family Law

Attorneys for Divorce, Child Custody & More At the Lawrence Law Office, we are committed to helping families in conflict find creative solutions that focus on addressing their goals and...


Columbus & Delaware, OH Divorce Lawyers In Ohio, there is more than one way to separate from your partner and dissolve your marriage. A divorce is typically a contested proceeding, with each side...

Contempt and
Enforcement and
Post divorce

When working through your divorce with an Ohio family law attorney, chances are your divorce agreement made allowances for child support. spousal support or

Business owner

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

Child Custody

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

High Asset
Divorce Cases

Helping With Child Custody, Visitation & Support Updates Or Modifications Sometimes circumstances substantially change after a divorce and require parents to revisit an existing...


Lawrence Recent Blog Posts

October 22, 2020 in divorce

What Will Happen to My Business if I Get Divorced?

Businesses represent thousands of hours of hard work, and people rightly worry about what will happen to this business when the divorce. The bad news…
Read More
October 22, 2020 in divorce

Can A Trust Protect My Assets in Case of Divorce?

Possibly. The division of marital property in Ohio is always complicated, and trusts add to the complexity. Trusts are legal vehicles for holding property. A…
Read More
September 22, 2020 in child custody

Parental Relocation In Ohio

Relocation with children is never easy when parents are not married. Your legal obligations differ depending on whether you are moving away from Ohio or…
Read More
September 22, 2020 in child custody

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)

Every state in the country creates its own child custody laws. However, problems arose when parents moved from one state to another. In particular, conflicts…
Read More