Dividing Property After Divorce: The Marital Home

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 by Katie Carter

Dividing property after divorce can be complicated. A family law attorney in Virginia Beach can help you sort through the issues surrounding fair and equitable distribution of the marital assets such as the marital home. Along with the children, this may be one of the most contentious topics in divorce proceedings.

The Home as a Factor When Dividing Property After Divorce

It’s usually best to try to work out an agreement over what to do with the home with your soon-to-be ex. Dividing property after divorce can be both quicker and less painful when you can sit down and talk the issues over in a civil manner. Divorce mediation can be one way to address disputes over which party gets the home. If you and your ex cannot come to a mutually acceptable decision regarding the home, the court will have to decide for you.

The courts try and divide all property as equally as possible. For example, if a home has $200,000 in equity, the court may award one party the home and order that party to pay the other party his or her share of the equity. This is referred to as a buy-out. Sometimes the parties may be ordered to sell the home and split the profits. In other cases, one spouse gets the home, while the other may receive other assets that amount to a comparable value.

Meanwhile, if a couple has children, the party that gets primary physical custody of the children often will be the one to get the family home. Courts may be reluctant to uproot children from their familiar surroundings after the already unsettling experience of their parents’ divorce.

Deciding if You Want the Home

Before pursuing the family home, it’s important to ask yourself the very practical question of whether or not you will be able to afford it. Some divorcees give up everything in order to get the house, but then find that they cannot afford the mortgage, taxes and upkeep.

As you prepare for the case, a family law attorney in Virginia Beach can review your marital assets and help you devise a plan to pursue the assets you wish to retain. Your ability to afford home payments may play a large role in the assets you pursue, so keep it in mind from a practical standpoint.

Contacting a Virginia Beach Family Law Attorney

Call 1-757-425-5200 to speak with a family law attorney in Virginia Beach when going through the divorce process. Be sure to check out our free divorce eBook and secure your seat at our next divorce seminar. At the Hofheimer Family Law Firm, we represent women who are getting divorced and dealing with issues like dividing property after divorce.