If you have decided to end your marriage, you and your spouse must decide how to fairly divide the assets you share. If those assets include a vacation home, how do you fairly determine who should keep that property?
Review the factors to consider when creating a property division agreement in Ohio that includes a second home.
The equitable division standard
You and your spouse can present an agreement to the court outlining how you plan to divide property. If you cannot agree, the family court judge will decide based on the state’s equitable division standard. Under these guidelines, the court will strive to divide property fairly but not necessarily 50/50. For example, the court order may state that you sell the home and split the proceeds, or that one of you keep the primary home and the other the secondary home.
If you and your spouse both appear on a mortgage to the vacation home, the person who keeps the property must refinance. If you do not have the assets to qualify for a new mortgage and pay the bills, it may be financially impossible to retain the home.
Separate vs. marital property
In certain circumstances, a vacation home may fall into the category of one spouse’s separate property. This generally applies if:
- One of you bought the property with an inheritance
- One of you owned the property before the marriage and the other did not contribute to its upkeep
- You designated the home as separate property in a premarital agreement
These considerations may inform your decision about the fate of a family vacation home in an Ohio divorce.