Ohio specific rules for how the house and other property is divided in Ohio
In Ohio, everything you and your spouse acquired during your marriage is subject to division in a divorce. That includes your house. That includes property that is owned separately and individually by you or your spouse (so long as the property was not owned before the marriage or it was inherited). Ohio requires that all marital property be divided equally, unless it would be unfair to divide things equally. In that case, the court will divide marital property however it would be fair to do so.
A house is usually the most significant asset a couple will acquire during the marriage. The equity in a home, or the difference between what is owed on the mortgage and what the house would sell for, is marital property that is subject to division 50/50.
Do I have to sell the house if I get divorced?
Sometimes it is appropriate to sell the house in a divorce and sometimes it is not. The main point is that the equity in the home is divided 50/50 in Ohio. How that equity is divided could be done a number of different ways. As a practical matter, only one spouse can live in the house after the divorce. So whoever keeps the house will have to refinance the mortgage to be in their sole name. When that spouse refinances, they may have to refinance in an amount sufficient to pay the other spouse for their share of the equity. If only one spouse has good enough individual credit worthiness to refinance the mortgage in their sole name, then normally they would be the spouse to keep the home. If neither spouse would be able to individually afford the home, then that would normally be a situation where the home was sold and the proceeds were split between the spouses. If both spouses could afford the home individually and both spouses want to live in the home after the divorce, then that is a problem that would have to be resolved through negotiation or through the court.
Do I always have to split the equity in the home during a divorce in Ohio?
Not necessarily. One of the biggest things that happens during a divorce is all the marital assets are rounded up and all the debts are rounded up. Those can all be split in half or they can be divided in other ways so long as each spouse leaves the divorce with roughly half the value. That means if a couple who is getting a divorce owns a home and has a retirement account and the equity in the home is roughly equal to the value of the retirement account, then maybe one spouse can keep the home and the other gets the retirement account. Or they could both be divided in half. The more assets that two people acquire during a marriage and the more one spouse has strong feelings about keeping certain assets the more complicated it is to get a divorce. In that case, you need a good divorce attorney.
Central Ohio Divorce Attorneys
The attorneys at Harris & Engler help individuals who need a divorce attorney in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio. If you live in Central Ohio and need a divorce attorney, then you can talk to one today by calling (614) 610-9988.