Who gets the vacation home in an Ohio divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2023 | Divorce |

High-asset divorces often involve more property than just the family home. Whether it is a beach house, a cabin in the woods or some other vacation destination, such property has a lot of value, so the question of who receives it is naturally a common one.

When determining who receives vacation homes, Ohio courts consider many factors.

Equitable distribution

Ohio adheres to an equitable property distribution policy, meaning courts divide assets fairly, but not necessarily equally. The primary criteria considered is whether the property is one owned and brought into the marriage by one spouse or one purchased together during the marriage. If the former holds, the vacation home is separate property and not included in the division. This becomes more complicated if at some point the owner added the other spouse’s name to the title or contributed money to updating or maintaining it.


The state does not specifically consider extramarital affairs when dividing property. However, if the cheating partner used marital funds to support a dalliance, courts do take the financial loss into account. This applies if the unfaithful spouse used a vacation home to conceal an affair. For instance, if he or she spent significant resources on maintaining the vacation home for clandestine meetings, it might affect the overall financial picture, which would affect the measure of what is equitable.

According to Kiplinger, the average vacation home in 2022 had a value almost 25% higher than that of regular homes. Like with primary homes, the distribution of vacation properties depends largely on whether or not it is separate property. The usage of a vacation home and funds surrounding it for the perpetuation of an affair can affect the overall distribution process.