Your family home may be your most important marital asset. Besides its monetary worth, your home carries tremendous emotional value—and often represents stability and safety. “Who gets the house?” is a common question before and during the divorce process in Virginia.
Below, our legal team at DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, explains the basics of dividing the family home while divorcing in Virginia.
Does Your Home Count as Marital or Separate Property?
Virginia is a community property and equitable distribution state. During divorce, a Virginia court will try to award both spouses fair shares of any assets acquired during the marriage and up until the date of separation. Similarly, both sides will divide marital debt and liabilities.
The family home counts as:
- Marital property if the couple purchased it during the marriage, even if only one spouse’s name is on the deed
- Separate property if one spouse bought the house before the marriage and kept the deed in their name only
What if one spouse purchased the house before marriage, but later both spouses made monetary contributions towards improving its value – e.g., used money from their joint account for renovations? In that case, the non-owner may be entitled to a share in the house depending on the extent of their contribution.
Options for Dividing the Family Home in VA
If your family home counts as a marital asset, you have several options for dividing it. For instance, you may:
- Buy out your spouse’s share of the house or allow them to buy out yours
- Sell the house and split the proceeds depending on your shares in the asset
- Swap your share in the house for other marital assets, like a rental home or shares in a family business
Understandably, many people want to hold on to the family home at all costs, cherishing all the memories it holds and the sense of security it provides. However, you should also consider whether you can afford to keep your home after divorce. If you expect your income to drop, selling the house and purchasing a smaller, lower-maintenance home may be a wiser strategy.
How To Resolve Disputes When You Divide Property
Stress, resentment, and misunderstandings may make it difficult to conclude your divorce on amicable terms. If asset division threatens to become a contentious issue, a skilled mediator can help you and your spouse bridge your differences and draft a divorce agreement that suits both sides. Whenever possible, we recommend that you work out conflict through mediation and avoid a costly, time-consuming litigated divorce.
DiPietro Law Group, PLLC: Divorce and Family Law Attorneys in Fairfax, VA
Property division is one of the most high-conflict aspects of Virginia divorces. Our skilled divorce attorneys at DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, can help you negotiate asset division with your spouse, work out a mutually acceptable divorce agreement, and preserve financial stability during divorce.
Call us at (888) 530-4374 or contact us online to consult an experienced local divorce lawyer on dividing the family home in VA or any other divorce-related issue.