One of the most common concerns we hear in our Virginia law office is about what is going to happen to the marital residence in a divorce. People realize that while their "things" matter and they'd like to keep as many of their possessions as possible, if they don't have a home, they have nowhere to keep those belongings and nowhere to live. They also realize that their home is one of the most—if not the most—valuable things they own.

First of all, if your husband has moved out and you're still living in the marital house, he is still legally allowed to come inside whenever he pleases until the details of the divorce have been finalized. The only thing that would prevent this is if there's an order in place to have him removed or if you have been given exclusive use and possession.

However, if your husband has moved out and you are staying in the house with your children, this could help you if you wish to keep the house. Traditionally, judges prefer to have the children stay with the house and whichever parent is the primary caregiver will live there with them.

Virginia's system of property division is known as "equitable distribution." This means that the goal is to divide all property in a fair way that takes each spouse’s financial situation into account. If you are not able to come to an agreement with your spouse as to who will get the house, the judge is going to decide for you. Sometimes, his ruling could end up being that you need to sell the house, so it's definitely in your best interest to try and work things out together.

Disinterested parties, such as the attorneys representing each side, can most effectively handle negotiating a mutually satisfactory property settlement between spouses. If you are looking to file for divorce in Virginia, contact Smith Strong, PLC today at 804-325-1245 for a consultation.

H. Van Smith
Trusted Virginia Family Law Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg
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