The division of assets during a divorce can spark some heated debates. While the family home typically goes to the custodial parent, fewer common practices exist when it comes to your second house.
If you have a vacation home down by the beach, who takes ownership of that property following the divorce? You have to consider many factors when it comes to making this decision.
How does equitable division work?
In cases where the couple cannot agree on how to split assets, the court can intervene with an approach known as equitable division. This process seeks to separate assets in the fairest and equitable manner. Most states, including Ohio, use this method when resolving these types of conflicts.
It is important to note that equitable division does not mean each person gets an equal amount. It simply means the court will consider what is fair based on several factors of the marriage. These may include who contributed more income or who was more reckless with finances.
Do you have to share the vacation home?
If you and your ex-spouse engage in some hostile discussions over who gets the second home, your lawyers can help you both negotiate a fair agreement. This may result in a few different outcomes.
You could liquidate the asset by selling the home. The money earned from the sale becomes an easier asset to negotiate.
One partner could buy out the other. This may result in one spouse receiving the home, while the other takes additional assets from the marriage, including more money.
If the divorce is amicable enough, you could also continue to share the property. Sharing a vacation home requires constant communication and coordination of dates. You may also have to compromise if you both want the home during the same time period. This typically only works in situations where the couple remains friendly with one another.
What if you owned the property prior to the marriage?
Imagine you bought the vacation home on your own before you and your spouse got married. Even if both of you used the house equally throughout the marriage, Ohio law awards this asset to you because it was not something you purchased during the union.
Vacation homes are fantastic investments, so it is no wonder couples often argue over who deserves the property the most. How you divide it may depend on the state of your relationship, along with some lengthy negotiation.