Knowing that you and your spouse currently share one major asset, your family home, you are right to be concerned about how it could be divided during our divorce. In Virginia, the courts usually prefer a fair and equitable split of your marital property, which is something to keep in mind as you begin negotiating with your spouse.
There are a few different ways you can handle the family home. These would include:
- Dividing the home between yourself and your spouse equally, sharing in the profits after a sale
- Renting out the property and keeping a 50% interest in it, allowing both of you to earn rental income while also maintaining the right to the property’s value upon its sale
- Buying out your partner’s share in the home
- Letting your partner buy out your share in the home
These and other options may help you figure out how you want to handle this property.
Is one of these methods the “best” method for dividing real estate?
There is no real “best” method for dividing your property. You need to figure out what’s fair and go from there. For example, if you and your spouse contributed to the marriage equally, then it is realistic that you would divide your shared assets equally. If your spouse put down a down payment that came from separate funds on the home, you will likely have to compensate for that use of the separate property. A lawyer can help you decide what is fair and equitable based on the overall contributions to the home.
The right solution for you could be different from what works for others
Some people keep their homes and rent them out, splitting profits equally. Others sell the home and take their profits to invest in new properties. There are pros and cons to either approach. Whatever you decide, you will want to make sure that it is in your best financial interests and that it is going to give you the support that you need when you separate and move forward independently from your ex-spouse.