Legal Professionals of Hirsch & Ehlenberger

Who should keep the house in a Virginia divorce?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Divorce

Spouses who share significant assets with each other are at risk of having high-conflict divorces because of the complexity of the property division process. Those who enjoy a higher standard of living often recognize that they have more to lose during the divorce process. They way worry about the long-term financial impact of dividing their assets with their spouses.

Assets including retirement accounts and investments can be difficult for people to value and divide. Other assets may prove challenging because they represent both financial and emotional value to the spouses. For example, the marital home could very well be the asset that is most difficult to address in a Virginia divorce. Spouses may disagree about what is a fair way to handle the home where they have lived together. They may both want to stay there after the divorce.

How can people decide who retains the marital home in a Virginia divorce?

By considering custody matters

For those with children, housing determines what school they attend and what relationships they can maintain. Families often factor custody arrangements into property division determinations related to the marital home. Parents can often set aside disputes in favor of their children’s comfort and happiness.

By considering economic matters

Maintaining a home involves a lot of physical effort and financial investment. Some people cannot realistically maintain their marital home on their current income or with their current degree of physical ability. The spouse retaining the home often needs to refinance, which can increase how much the monthly payments are. Both the need to withdraw equity and an application with only one income could impact monthly payments and how affordable the home is. Employment, finances and health can therefore all factor into the decision of who should keep the home.

If the spouses can agree on who should keep the house, they can potentially move forward with an uncontested divorce. Otherwise, litigation may be necessary to resolve disagreements about ownership of the marital home and how to compensate the other spouse for their share of its equity. Being pragmatic about property division matters can be beneficial for those preparing for a Virginia divorce. Having clear priorities and realistic goals can make a major difference for those preparing to file for divorce or respond to a spouse’s divorce filing.


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