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How do you decide who keeps the house in your divorce?

For many couples contemplating divorce, financial concerns are a major issue. If you had to save for years to afford a down payment on your home, for example, you likely wouldn’t like the idea of losing your house and becoming a renter again. 

Thankfully, that is not a foregone conclusion in an Ohio divorce. Although your property is subject to division, you may have the option of keeping your home. What determines who gets the house in an Ohio divorce?

You can make your own decision

If you and your spouse have a marital agreement, you may already have decided how you will split your property when you divorce. A prenuptial agreement might set aside the home as one spouse’s separate property or indicate that one spouse has the first right of refusal to stay in the home in the event of a divorce. 

Even without an agreement on record, you and your ex can still negotiate a settlement with one another and file an uncontested divorce where you set all of the terms yourselves.

What if you have to go to court? 

Not every couple can resolve their disputes outside of the courtroom. If you have to litigate your divorce proceedings, then an Ohio family law judge will apply the equitable distribution standard to your marital assets. 

They will look for a fair way to split your property. If one spouse keeps the house, they may have to share the equity in the home with the other. Sometimes, the judge may even order spouses to sell their home and split the proceeds. 

Learning more about property division rules in Ohio can help you plan for your divorce.