The family home is a place where memories are made, both good and bad. Sometimes, when a couple’s marriage is on the rocks, there are more bad times than good times and they will eventually decide to divorce. If that happens, they will need to decide what to do with the family home in the property division process. The following are four options to consider.
Exchange the house for other marital assets
If you and your spouse have numerous valuable marital assets, you may agree to keep (or let go of) the house in exchange for other assets of an equal value. It is important to note that Ohio is an “equitable distribution” state for property division purposes, meaning that marital assets will be divided based on fairness, which may or may not lead to an exact 50-50 split.
Buy out your ex’s share in the home
If one spouse wants to keep the home, another option is for them to buyout their ex’s share in it, making the spouse keeping the home the sole owner of the property. It is important to ensure not only that you can afford the buyout, but also that you can pay for the costs of home ownership such as the mortgage, taxes, insurance and upkeep on a single income.
Co-own the home
This is a somewhat unusual option, but it works for some. For example, if neither spouse can afford the home on their own, they may choose to co-own the home so they can continue raising their child in it. Then, when the child is grown, they will sell the home. Keep in mind that it is important that both spouses pay what they owe on the mortgage on time or it could affect both of their credit scores.
Sell the home and split the proceeds
Sometimes neither spouse wants to keep the home, either because they cannot afford it or they simply want to walk away from a place of bad memories. In this situation, they may choose to sell the home and split the proceeds. Not only does this provide a sense of closure but it might also give each spouse the cash they need to set up a new living situation.
Seek assistance with property division
Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Property division can be complex. It is important to seek the assistance you need when divorcing to understand your rights and options so you can make informed decisions moving forward.