Getting a divorce in Ohio is a complicated matter, and it becomes increasingly complex when a property is involved. Divorce law states that all marital property must be divided equitably, and the debt must be divided in a similar manner. Consulting with a divorce lawyer for advice is an important first step to take as soon as you know that you’re facing a divorce. After taking this step, determining how to settle marital property requires a deep look.
How Does Selling Your House During A Divorce Work In Ohio?
Whether you and your spouse own a family house or an investment property, it’s important to know the steps for selling the real estate. Through this understanding, you can more easily finalize the divorce without a significant issue.
- Find A Divorce Attorney in Ohio
- Divorce laws are complicated, and you’ll benefit from professional legal advice even in an uncontested divorce. While hiring an attorney can be costly, both spouses should have their own legal representation. Your lawyer will guide you through the steps and work to ensure that the divorce settlement is fair. Choose an attorney who has worked on many other family law cases in the past and who you can establish a good rapport with.
- Determine Who Owns The Real Estate
- Before you sell mobile homes, houses or other real estate as part of your divorce proceedings, you need to clarify who is the owner. Ohio is an equitable distribution state, which means that the marital assets are split equitably, provided that the real estate was acquired during the marriage. This holds true even if only one of the spouses is listed on the title. However, property that was owned individually by one of the parties prior to the marriage may be considered separate property and won’t be divided in a divorce. This is one of several circumstances that your divorce attorney can review with you.
- Decide How You Want to Sell The Property
- In many cases, real estate must be sold in order to equitably divide the asset during the divorce process. This may be required before the final divorce decree is issued. House sales are traditionally done with the help of a real estate agent. If the two parties cannot agree on which real estate agent to hire, the judge will appoint a real estate agent. There are other options to sell a home in a divorce, such as by selling as a for-sale-by-owner or working directly with a business that buys houses with cash.
- Sell The House
- Both selling through a real estate agent and as a FSBO can take a considerable amount of time even in great market conditions. In both of these cases, the real estate will compete against other listings on the open market, so it must be in great condition. Fixing up a home during divorce process can take more time and money than you may have available. Once a house is listed, you’ll wait for interested buyers to make offers. After contract negotiations, the selected buyer typically needs to apply for a loan because paying entirely with cash isn’t an option for many buyers. Altogether, the sales process could take several months to finalize.
- If you decide to sell your house for cash to a home-buying business, you’ll get a quick offer for the property in its current condition based on its actual value. You won’t need to make expensive repairs to get a fair offer, and you won’t need to wait for a buyer to finalize the loan process with a lender because this will be a cash transaction. Plus, with a cash buyer, fees are reduced, and the closing could be finalized in a matter of days in many cases.
- Divide the Proceeds from the Sale
- The proceeds from the sale of the house are used for several things. First, they’re applied to paying off the mortgage and outstanding property taxes. They also are used to cover the costly Realtor fees and any other liens against the house. The remaining money from the sale will be combined with other liquid assets, and these assets may be applied to pay off outstanding marital debts. However, in some cases, the individual debts may be divided in an equitable fashion and may not need to be paid off before the divorce is finalized.
Who Gets The House In a Divorce in Ohio?
There are many specific factors that can determine who gets the house in a divorce. Often, a sale is essential in order to equitably divide the assets or pay off marital debts. However, in some cases, the division of the assets and debts can be adjusted so that one spouse is able to retain ownership after the divorce. There are several reasons why one party may wish to remain in the home. For example, the spouse who has primary child custody may want to reside in the home for their sake after divorcing.
However, if one spouse purchased the property before the start of the marriage and paid for the property individually, the house will not be a part of the divorce proceedings. This type of property is called separate property. Because this is only one of several nuances, it’s important to work with divorce lawyers so that you understand your rights and receive a fair distribution of assets.
There are also situations where one spouse wants to sell the house and one wants to remain in the home. For example, one spouse may believe that the home value will increase substantially in the near future because of market conditions. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement, the matter will go in front of the court for the judge’s ruling. This is also the case when both parties want to continue living in the home. In both of these cases, the party who continues to own the house after the divorce must refinance the mortgage to remove the other spouse’s name from the title and liability on the debt. That party must also be able to afford the new mortgage payments. Otherwise, the other party must be bought out.
Regardless of the spouses’ wishes, the court can require the sale of the home. This holds true even if the couple comes to an agreement that’s acceptable to them.
Should I Sell Before or After Divorce?
The decision to get divorced is often met with a desire to sign the divorce papers quickly. Because of this, some couples may wish to sell their shared real estate after the divorce proceedings are finalized. Generally, you have the option to sell before or after the divorce, but there are circumstances when you must find a buyer before finalizing the divorce. For example, the house’s equity may be required to equitably divide liabilities. Regardless of when you choose to sell, however, you should work closely with your attorney to prepare an agreement surrounding the sales terms and other related factors. This may include who the real estate agent will be or if you’ll sell to a cash buyer. The agreement should also cover the terms that both parties find acceptable, how to deal with repairs and who’ll pay for them.
Who Gets to Stay in the House During Divorce in Ohio?
When a divorce is amicable, a couple with children may wish to remain in the home until the divorce is finalized for the sake of the family. However, in other instances, neither of the spouses wants to remain in the marital home after deciding to get divorced. However, the mortgage payments still need to be made to avoid foreclosure, and neither party may be able to afford the full payment on his or her own. If this is the case, the couple may need to continue living in the house until it is sold.
If the couple can agree that one party will reside in the home during the divorce, an agreement prepared by the attorneys may be necessary. This agreement may state how the mortgage payments, taxes and other related obligations will be paid until the house is sold or the loan is refinanced.
Alternatives to Selling During Divorce in Ohio
While a house sale during a divorce is a common option, there are alternatives to take into consideration. These possible alternatives may be considered based on preference or need. What are the options?
Co-Own The Property
The two parties may continue to remain on the deed and co-own the house. This option is most feasible when the couple can continue to communicate well and are agreeable to working together. A co-owned house may be occupied by one of the spouses, or it may be leased out as an investment property. Co-owning a house after a divorce may be preferred if the spouses want the kids to continue living in the family home and neither party can afford to refinance the loan. It may also be preferred if the couple believes that the house will appreciate in value considerably or if the partners are upside down on the loan.
Buy Out The Other Spouse
If you want to buy out the other spouse and obtain sole ownership of the property, you must remove your spouse’s name from the property title. Some people have the liquidity available to buy out their spouse’s interest with cash. If sufficient liquidity is not available, a few other possibilities are available. You could refinance the home exclusively in your name and use the property equity to buy out your spouse. Another option is to take out a home equity line of credit to obtain the necessary cash.
Divide the Marital Assets
Rather than selling the home or buying out the other party, you may be able to distribute marital assets equitably. Each asset owned does not need to be split. Instead, one spouse could get the house, and the other spouse could get a retirement account or another asset of equal value.
Divorce House Sale Ohio – Frequently Asked Questions
A house sale during a divorce can be complex, and there are many factors to consider before deciding how to proceed. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that couples have about selling a house during a divorce.
Can I sell the house before the divorce is final?
Yes, the house can be sold before or after the divorce process is complete. In fact, in many cases, the house must be sold before signing the divorce papers in order to equitably divide the marital assets and liabilities.
Is Ohio a 50-50 divorce state?
Ohio divorce law is based on equitable distribution, meaning the court will divide spousal assets and debts in a manner that it believes is equitable. This takes into account factors like the length of the marriage and how much money each party contributed to its acquisition. Separate property isn’t a part of the distribution. If a person owned property before the marriage and the other spouse didn’t contribute by making payments, that property will continue to be owned by the individual and not take into account for asset distribution purposes.
How does capital gains tax work in a divorce?
The sale of a house is a taxable event, but the spouses can exclude gains of up to $500,000 for tax purposes. Any capital gains tax owed after the exclusion is taken into account is split equitably. If one spouse buys out the other spouse’s ownership interest during a divorce, this isn’t a taxable event. Instead, the buying spouse will be responsible for paying the tax down the road when he or she sells the house.
Can I force my ex to sell the house after the divorce?
If you and your spouse decide to co-own the house after the divorce, you both must agree on when to sell it and for what terms. Because coming to an agreement on this important matter can be challenging, preparing a legal agreement before the divorce is finalized is beneficial. This document can spell out the terms of the sale, how to sell the home and even which Realtor to use. Neither party can change the terms of this agreement without consent from the other party.
How do I sell my house if one partner refuses?
If you and your spouse have a difference of opinions related to the sale of the home during the divorce proceedings, the matter will be decided by the court. The court’s ruling is final. After the divorce decree is signed, you cannot force your spouse to sell a co-owned house.
Easiest Way to Sell a House During Divorce in Ohio
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The information in this article applies to other Ohio cities like Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo and others.