The division of marital property is an important aspect of divorce proceedings, and the marital house can easily be a point of contention between both parties. Understanding what constitutes joint versus separate property and how marital property division works in Ohio is a starting point to approach what your options are for your marital residence.
Splitting the home equity fairly involves having all the necessary information about the value of your home and the rest of your joint assets and debts. Home equity is the difference between what remains owed on the mortgage and the price at which you could sell the house.
Working with a reputable divorce attorney can help you throughout the process and protect your interests. Given the complexity of divorce and family law, even an amicable and uncontested divorce can benefit from professional legal advice.
Is the House Separate or Joint Property?
Marital property in Ohio usually includes everything that each or both spouses purchased during the duration of their marriage. Under the state’s law, all marital property needs to be equitably distributed upon the finalization of the divorce.
Separate property typically includes:
- Property acquired before the marriage
- Inherited property, even while married
- Gifted property, even while married
- Property excluded from marital assets in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
Property acquired after a legal separation but before a divorce can count as separate property. Maintaining clear and detailed records of all owned property can simplify the process of identifying what type of property your marital home is.
Division of Marital Property in Ohio
Ohio is an equitable distribution state for marital property, assets, and debts. It does not necessarily mean that both parties receive an equal share. The goal of the process is to help both spouses have similar resources to start their post-divorce life.
Couples can reach agreements outside of the courtroom with or without mediation services and submit a proposed property division agreement to the judge. If a couple is unable to resolve their dispute, a judge needs to review their individual and joint assets to issue a ruling on the distribution of marital property.
Ohio courts generally consider the following factors for marital property division:
- Each spouse’s age and health
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s income sources and earning capabilities
- Each spouse’s conduct during the marriage
- The value of marital assets
- Any marital debt
- Child custody arrangements
- Alimony arrangements
A judge is at liberty to evaluate any additional factors applicable to a couple’s specific situation.
What Are Your Options?
You typically have three options to deal with your marital home if you get a divorce in Ohio:
- One party keeps the house, which means other assets go to their former spouse to ensure equitable asset distribution. This can be especially convenient for couples who share minor children so the custodial parent can continue to raise them in the home they are familiar with. The spouse who keeps the house must ensure they can cover the necessary expenses such as utilities, maintenance, and mortgage.
- Selling the house is another common solution that can help both parties start anew after their divorce. They can either split the profit from the sale or have one spouse keeps it while the other receives other marital assets during the division process.
- The couple decides to retain joint ownership. They may choose to rent the house and split the money as an additional source of income. Staying connected at a financial level may not be beneficial for all couples.
Trust Crossman & McNamee, LLC to Assist You During Your Divorce in Greene County
Although the state’s law does not require you to hire an attorney for your divorce, professional legal counsel and representation can make a positive difference in the termination of your marriage. Our team at Crossman & McNamee, LLC has extensive experience helping individuals and families during these life transitions. We strive to reach agreements outside of court, but our team is ready to go to trial to advocate for you.
Our Greene County lawyers can carefully evaluate your situation and discuss your specific goals to help you reach an agreement that supports your rights and interests. When it comes to negotiating who gets the house and dividing marital property, we usually work with financial planners, accountants, real estate agents, and other professionals that can support your case. We are committed to helping you navigate the divorce process as smoothly as possible and protecting your future.
Do you need a reputable divorce attorney in Greene County? Call Crossman & McNamee, LLC today at (937) 468-3796 or use our online form to schedule a consultation!