What Happens to Your Home When You Get Divorced in Virginia?

By | January 23, 2013
property division in virginia divorce

What happens to your home when you get divorced in Virginia?  Notwithstanding the current real estate market, for many couples going through a divorce, the home they purchased during their marriage is still their largest asset.  Broadly speaking, dealing with that home during a divorce is relatively straightforward:  one party will keep the home or both parties will agree to sell it.

Selling the home presents all of the typical challenges associated with that task coupled with the complications of a spouse who may less than keen on cooperating.  When will the home be listed and who will list it?  What will be the reasonable sales price?  How aggressively will it be marketed and what repairs will be necessary?  And, perhaps most importantly, how will the proceeds of the sale to be divided between the parties?  A well written property settlement agreement will choreograph these aspects of the sale and many, many others.

One party keeping the home typically involves a refinance.  At refinance, the party keeping the home obtains a signed deed from the other, thereby consolidating title ownership of the property.  In exchange for that deed, the party leaving the home is paid a share of the equity existing in the home.  Like more traditional refinances, the party keeping the home must qualify for refinance by, among other things, demonstrating sufficient credit, income and ability to maintain the mortgage after divorce.  Assets or streams of income (such as alimony) obtained during the divorce may assist in that regard.

If you have questions about how the Court will treat your home or how the sale or refinance can be properly structured for purposes of divorce, please feel free to drop me a line.  In my next post, I will discuss two of the more common methods used by courts to distribute equity in a property where one of the parties has made a significant, separate contribution to the property such as a separate down-payment.

Jason A. Weis, Esquire – Curran, Moher Weis P.C. – jweis@curranmoher.com – 10300 Eaton Place, Suite 520, Fairfax, VA 22030 – 571-328-5020.

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