Certain aspects of property division in a divorce essentially settle themselves. For example, spouses will typically have no trouble agreeing that each should retain their own wardrobes and frequently the vehicles that they each drive.
However, certain belongings are the property of both of you, and each of you may want to retain them. Of all the individual assets that the two of you may disagree about, your home is the one that is most likely to cause a protracted dispute.
Not only have you invested tens of thousands of dollars in the property throughout your marriage, but there is likely an emotional attachment to the property as well. It can be hard to make a rational decision about something that seems so important. What kinds of solutions are most common when dealing with real estate in a Virginia divorce?
Having one spouse stay at the marital home
It is common for one person to end up keeping the marital house after the divorce. Proximity to work or a desire to keep the children in the same school district might be a reason for you to want to keep the house.
If you don’t want to retain the house, you typically have the right to request your share of equity when your spouse refinances to take you off the mortgage. Conversely, if you keep it, you will be the one who has to withdraw equity or make concessions elsewhere.
Sell the home to split its value
Sometimes, either through mutual agreement or court order, spouses will list their home for sale and then divide the proceeds that remain after paying off any balance on their mortgage. Some couples find this approach attractive because it means giving themselves a clean slate and having a nest egg for their next home.
Agree to temporary joint ownership
Some spouses take the unusual approach of continuing to own the property jointly. Perhaps they bought it as a fixer-upper and want to continue finishing repairs so that they can maximize what they receive for the property. Maybe they want to try a birdnesting custody arrangement so that shared custody won’t be so stressful for their children. Such arrangements typically require carefully planned contracts to minimize conflict between the spouses in the future.
Considering all of the possible options for your real property can help you negotiate the best solution or start building a case for the property division proceedings in your upcoming divorce.