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Divorce In Virginia Who Gets The House?

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By Author: Lucy
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Divorce is a complex and emotionally challenging process that often involves the division of assets and property. One of the most significant assets couples must address is their marital home. In Virginia, as in many states, the division of property is guided by specific laws and principles. Determining who gets the house can be a pivotal and sensitive aspect of a divorce settlement.

Equitable Distribution Principle

Virginia follows the principle of equitable distribution when dividing property during a divorce. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution; rather, it seeks to achieve a fair and just allocation of assets based on various factors. These factors can include the financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, and the circumstances that led to the divorce.For this we have to hire a VA divorce lawyer

Marital vs. Separate Property

It’s important to differentiate between marital and separate property. Marital property includes assets acquired during the ...
... course of the marriage, while separate property encompasses assets owned by each spouse prior to marriage or acquired through inheritance or gift during the marriage. Generally, marital property is subject to division, while separate property remains with the individual who owns it.

The House as Marital Property

The marital home is often considered marital property, especially if it was acquired during the marriage and both spouses contributed to its purchase and upkeep. In Virginia, the courts may consider factors such as which spouse has primary custody of any children, which spouse has a greater financial need for the house, and the parties’ respective financial situations when determining who gets the house.

Options for Property Division

When it comes to the house, several options are available:

Sell and Divide: Selling the house and dividing the proceeds is a common choice. This can ensure a clean break and an equal division of the asset.
Buyout: One spouse may choose to buy out the other spouse’s share in the house. This option requires careful consideration of the home’s value and the buying spouse’s financial capacity.
Co-Ownership: In some cases, couples opt to continue co-owning the house, especially if it benefits their children or financial circumstances.
Deferred Sale: Courts might order a deferred sale, allowing one spouse to continue living in the home for a specified period before it is sold and the proceeds divided.
Mediation and Negotiation

Virginia courts encourage couples to engage in mediation and negotiation to arrive at an agreement regarding property division, including the marital home. This approach empowers the spouses to have more control over the outcome, as opposed to leaving the decision solely in the hands of the court.


Dividing property, especially the marital home, is a significant aspect of divorce process in Virginia. The state’s equitable distribution principle seeks to ensure a fair allocation of assets, taking into account various factors that influence the division. While deciding who gets the house can be emotionally charged, couples have several options to consider, ranging from selling the property to co-ownership or buyouts. Mediation and negotiation can provide an avenue for couples to arrive at an agreement that aligns with their unique circumstances and priorities.


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