Should couples always fight for the family home in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2019 | divorce

Whether it is their starter home, or the home they have been living in for decades, when a couple in Ohio decides to end their marriage, decisions must be made about what to do with the house they share together.

Sometimes one or both spouses feel a deep attachment to the home and want to fight for it when dividing assets in their divorce.

If this is the case, one of the first steps to take is to have the home valued. Knowing what it is worth can help ensure the property division process is equitable. Moreover, it provides a means for deciding how much one spouse would need to buyout their ex’s share in the property.

Once it is known how much the home is worth, in some cases it is possible for one spouse to keep the home in exchange for other marital assets of an equal value. However, if this is not the case, the party that wishes to keep the home will have to come up with the funds for buying their ex’s share of the abode. This may mean refinancing the loan or taking out a second mortgage on the home.

Also, before fighting to keep the family home, it is important to understand that homeownership is expensive. The party keeping the home will be responsible for upkeep, the mortgage, homeowner’s insurance and property taxes, all on a single income. If this is not economically feasible, keeping the family home may not be a possibility.

In the end, since Ohio is an equitable distribution state when it comes to property division, a couple’s assets will be divided in a manner that is fair, even if this doesn’t lead to an even 50/50 split. As the family home can be one of a couples most valuable assets, deciding who is to keep it (or deciding to sell it and split the proceeds) is a decision that could affect a person for years to come. This post does not provide advice on any specific divorce case. Couples should not rush to either keep or sell the family home but should explore all their legal options so they can make informed decisions.