What Assets are Subject to Divorce?

by: Robert Moore, Attorney and Research Specialist, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

A well-known statistic is that one-half of all marriages end in divorce.  While there is some debate as to the accuracy of this statistic, there is no doubt that many marriages do end in divorce.  According to Ohio law, all marital assets are to be divided equitably in the event of a divorce.  Equitable does not necessarily mean equal although an equal division of assets between the spouses is often the result.  It is important to note that only martial assets are subject to the equitable division between the spouses.  Non-marital assets, or separate assets, are retained by the spouse who owns the asset.

Separate assets include the following:

  • An inheritance received by a spouse during marriage
  • A gift received by a spouse during marriage
  • Property acquired by one spouse prior to the date of marriage
  • Passive income and appreciation from separate property by one spouse during marriage

The above list would seem to make it an easy exercise to determine what are marital assets and what are separate assets in a divorce.  However, like many legal issues, this is often not the case. Determining whether an asset is a marital assets or a separate asset can be complicated.  For example, Ohio law also provides that the following is a marital asset:

“… all income and appreciation on separate property, due to the labor, monetary, or in-kind contribution of either or both of the spouses that occurred during the marriage.”

So, it is possible for an asset to be partially a marital asset and partially a separate asset.

Consider the following example: Continue reading

“Planning for the Future of Your Farm” Workshops offered by OSU Extension

By: by: David Marrison, OSU Extension-Coshocton County, marrison.2@osu.edu
To kick off 2022, OSU Extension will be offering “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” workshops to help farm families actively plan for the future of their farm business. The workshops are designed to help farm families learn strategies and tools to successfully create a succession and estate plan which can be used as the guide to transfer the farm’s ownership, management, and assets to the next generation. Learn how to have the crucial conversations about the future of your farm.

Topics discussed during this series include: Developing Goals for Estate and Succession; Planning for the Transition of Control; Planning for the Unexpected; Communication and Conflict Management during Farm Transfer; Legal Tools & Strategies; Developing Your Team; Getting Your Affairs in Order; and Selecting an Attorney.  This workshop will be taught by members of the OSU Farm Office Team.

Families can choose to attend the workshop virtually or in-person at regional workshops which will be held across the state. These sessions being offered include:

Virtual “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” Workshop

A virtual version of this workshop will be held on January 31 and February 7, 21 & 28, 2022 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. via Zoom. Because of its virtual nature, you can invite your parents, children, and/or grandchildren (regardless of where they live in Ohio or across the United States) to join you as you develop a plan for the future of your family farm.

Pre-registration is required so that a packet of program materials can be mailed in advance to participating families. Electronic copies of the course materials will also be available to all participants. The registration fee is $75 per farm family.  The registration deadline is January 25, 2022. More information and on-line registration can be obtained at go.osu.edu/farmsuccession

In-Person “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” Workshop

In addition to the webinar series, 3 regional in-person workshops will be held in February and March of 2022. Each of these programs will be held from 9:00 to 4:00 p.m.  The base registration cost for each of these meetings is $85 for 2 attendees, lunch and 1 notebook.  Additional participants can attend for a $20 fee and extra sets of the course material can be purchased for $15. Registration is due 1 week prior to each event.

The locations for each for the meetings are:

February 10, 2022 in Greene County

Location: Greene County Extension Office

100 Fairground Road, Xenia, Ohio

On-line registration can be made at go.osu.edu/greenefarmfuture

More details can be obtained at corboy.3@osu.edu or 937-372-9971

 February 25, 2022 in Wayne County

Location: Fisher Auditorium

1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, Ohio

More details can be obtained at zynda.7@osu.edu or 330-264-8722

 March 4, 2022 in Wood County

Location: Wood County Fairgrounds- Junior Fair Building

13800 W Poe Road, Bowling Green, Ohio

More details can be obtained at eckel.21@osu.edu or 419-354-9050

Specific details about each of the workshops can be found at: go.osu.edu/farmsuccession


Save the Dates – Central Ohio Agronomy School

Due to COVID uncertainties the 2022 Central Ohio Agronomy School has been pushed to March. 

Monday March 7 – 6:30 – 9:00p.m.

Monday March 14 – 6:30 – 9:00p.m.

Monday March 21 – 6:30 – 9:00p.m.

Monday March 28 – 6:30 – 9:00p.m.

The School will be at the new Ramser 4-H Activity Center (on the fairgrounds)

700 Perimeter Dr.  Mount Vernon, OH  43050

More details to come

Tips for Speaking with Your Lender

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR

2019 is upon us and you may be meeting soon with your lender to discuss financial needs for the year. We all know agriculture is suffering from poor economic conditions – and the outlook for many sectors of the industry doesn’t look real promising. A variety of factors are forcing lenders to be more critical of loan applications. Let’s review a few things you can do to assist your lender as they review your loan application.

Financial Forms:

A year-end Balance Sheet is very helpful and provides a snapshot of the assets, liabilities, and net worth of your farm. Get in the habit of completing one each year for your lender to keep on file and for your own reference so you can monitor changes over time. You can get a blank balance sheet from your lender or access one here: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-management-resources.

Cost of Production:

Know your cost of production. What does it cost you to produce 100 pounds of milk? What is your per acre or per ton cost to grow and harvest crops? If you need assistance with determining these, please see: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/ for copies of Ohio State University Extension production budgets and https://farmprofitability.osu.edu/business-summariesfor copies of the Ohio Farm Business Summaries.


Why are you requesting money from your lender? What is your goal(s)? What are you hoping to accomplish with the money you are requesting? Will you use the money as an operating loan to plant your crops? Are you planning an expansion? Are you wanting to consolidate existing debt? Regardless of the reason, your lender is going to need to know how you plan to repay the loan. A budget and cash flow projections will help everyone understand how the money will be used and how it will be repaid. Research has proven that you are more likely to accomplish your goals if they are written. Be sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Timed (SMART). See this Ohio State University Extension fact sheet for information about writing SMART goals: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/node/767.

Tax Returns:

Your lender may request copies of your tax returns. Make sure you categorize income and expenses the same way each year. This allows the lender to compare apples-to-apples when evaluating your historic income and expenses. Also, if you pre-pay expenses or defer income, make sure your lender is aware of this so they can make accrual adjustments.


Communication with your lender is critical. Your lender is interested in understanding your farm, knowing how you are progressing, and what your plans are for the short and long-term. Invite your lender to visit the farm for a tour, a ride in the tractor, or to assist with milking!

Business Plan:

Every lender would love to see each client have a written business plan. A business plan is made up of five parts: Executive Summary, Description, Operations, Marketing Plan, and Financial Plan. The University of Minnesota Extension has a template available at the following site: https://agplan.umn.edu/.

Summary: The items discussed in this article are ones you can control. Focus on these areas and make adjustments accordingly to make improvements. Contact the Knox County Extension Office for assistance.

We bring you tidings of gifts and tax implications in this season of giving

Source: Ohio Agricultural Law Blog

The holiday season stands out as one of the most generous times of year as people give gifts to the people they love.  What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to talk about the tax implications of your gifts?  There are three shopping weekends left until December 25th, so here are three highlights about the federal gift tax that you should know:

1. The federal gift tax is assessed on the person who gives the gift, not the person who receives the gift.

An individual who gives a gift of cash or assets with a fair market value greater than $15,000 to any one person in a given year will have to report the gift(s) using IRS Form 709 when filing taxes for that year.  These forms cannot be filed jointly, so if a married couple gives a gift that is worth more than $30,000 to any one person, both of them must file IRS Form 709 and report half of the value of the gift.

Form 709 requires a few pieces of information about the gift and who receives the gift.  It asks for things like a description of the gift, the recipient’s name and address, when it was given, and its value.  While documentation or receipts do not have to be submitted with Form 709, filers should keep records for themselves about the gift in case the IRS has questions.

The gift tax rates for 2018 range from 18 to 40 percent.  The rates depend upon how much in excess of the $15,000 exclusion the gift is valued.  For instance, a gift valued at $20,000 would have no taxes on the first $15,000, but the $5,000 over the $15,000 threshold would be subject to an 18 percent tax.  The 40 percent rate applies to gifts valued at $1,015,000, or $1,000,000 over the $15,000 exclusion.

Fortunately for the recipient, the gift does not count as income to the recipient because the gift falls under the gift tax rules instead of the income tax rules. Continue reading

Tax Reform: What’s on the Table?

by: John Barker

Tax reform continues to be a hot topic.  Proposed changes to the Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping taxes could all have significant impacts on Agricultural businesses.

Kristine A. Tidgren, Assistant Director for the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University provides an excellent summary and update on the current status of the tax reform proposals.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE…

Save The Dates!

by: John Barker

The dates for most of our Agronomy & Farm Management winter meetings are set.  I am still finalizing a few details, but you can put these dates on  your calendars.  Be sure to check back for more details.


January 11 & 18 –     Estate Planning – “Planning for the Future of Your Farm” Workshop 6 – 9 p.m.

January 30 –              Pesticide & Fertilizer Certification 6 – 10 p.m.

February 5 –              Central Ohio Agronomy School 6:30 – 9 p.m.

February 12 –            Central Ohio Agronomy School 6:30 – 9 p.m.

February 19 –            Central Ohio Agronomy School 6:30 – 9 p.m.

February 26 –            Central Ohio Agronomy School 6:30 – 9 p.m.

March 5 –                   Central Ohio Agronomy School 6:30 – 9 p.m.

March 29 –                 Pesticide & Fertilizer Certification 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.