Many couples in Virginia purchase their family home after they say their vows. As such, the home is likely to be considered marital property subject to division should the marriage end in divorce. However, some homeowners are interested in knowing how a home that was purchased before the marriage will be treated during the property division process.
There are several factors that are considered when it comes to determining if a piece of real estate is considered marital or separate property. In fact, it may not matter in certain circumstances if only one spouse’s name is on the deed. For example, if a home was purchased before the wedding, but in anticipation of it, and/or the other person lived in the home in the intervening months and contributed to the expenses, the home could still be considered marital property.
Even if this is not the case, the non-owning spouse could be entitled to a portion of the amount the house appreciated during the marriage. Claims to a portion of this appreciation likely depends on a variety of factors, including whether the spouse contributed to utilities. Other factors include whether marital income was invested in the property or if they other spouse contribute to the upkeep of the home with manual labor that ultimately increased its value.
There are a variety of different factors that could determine whether an asset is considered separate or marital property in Virginia. Because people contemplating divorce likely wants to ensure that they are protected financially, they typically want an attorney with experience with family law in Virginia on their side. While the process can be an emotional challenge, such a professional can help make decisions that are based on logical thought rather than emotion.