Divorce Is stressful enough without having to add in the big question of who gets the house! Virginia is an equitable distribution state, not a community property or 50/50 state. The split in a Virginia divorce does not have to be 50/50. Instead, the court will decide what is a fair division of property.
So who gets to keep the house in a divorce? Assuming that the house is marital property, in whole or in part, spouses involved in a divorce have several options for what to do with it if they are able to reach a settlement agreement:
- Sell the property: The spouses may decide to sell the house and split the proceeds after paying off the mortgage and other costs or liabilities.
- One spouse buys the other out: One spouse can sign their part of the title to the house over to the other spouse in exchange for a cash payment. The spouse who will own the house might need to refinance it in order to obtain enough cash. If the house still has a mortgage, they will need to refinance in order to get the other spouse’s name off of the loan.
- One spouse exchanges marital property for the house: One spouse could sign the title over to the other in exchange for a greater share of the rest of the marital property. A refinance might still be necessary if the other spouse’s name is on the current mortgage.
In an ideal situation, a couple can work together to decide how to split up property, debts and assets. When that’s just not possible because of a dispute or a complex issue regarding the ownership or value of property, both spouses may have to hire attorneys to negotiate on their behalf or even go to court and ask a judge to divide the marital estate (property owned jointly by the couple).
Dividing the marital assets can be one of the most difficult tasks faced by divorcing couples. But, if you and your soon-to-be ex can agree on dividing some of the most commonly contested assets, you may enable the divorce go a little more smoothly.
If you or someone you know needs real estate advice regarding your property get in touch with me. I can help you navigate the sale and if need be, each other!