Stephens City, VA asked in Family Law, Divorce and Real Estate Law for Virginia

Q: If a spouse is not on a deed or mortgage and they get divorced in VA , does the spouse have any rights to home equity?

This is in the state of VA, home was purchased 20 yrs before marriage but some mortgage contributions were made by non-deeded spouse.

3 Lawyer Answers

Sharon R. Moss


A: If any mortgage payments were made during the marriage, then the spouse not on the deed may have a claim on some of the equity. Please speak to an attorney to for more specific advise on your case.

Steve Miyares agrees with this answer

Michael Christopher Miller

  • Vienna, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Title determines who gets the property. Individually title property must be awarded to the individual. Jointly titled property may be awarded to either title holder or sold.

Title alone does not determine whether there is marital equity in property that would be subject to division.

Property brought into the marriage is presumed to be separate property so long as it was maintained as separate property. The burden of proof would be on the non-titled spouse to prove there were contributions of marital property to the equity in the separately titled property of the other spouse. From there, it gets complicated.

See. Va. Code 20-107.3.

Steve Miyares agrees with this answer

Steve Miyares

  • Norfolk, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: It would have been separate property going into the marriage. But aftergetting married, if the marital assets or the othersousr were used to pay for it, then it could have become arital property in full or in part. To keep it separate property, it should have been paid for and maintained with non-marital assets. You be preparedwith a detailed accounting of how it was paid for andany improvements made during the marriage then meet with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation. The details will make abig difference in a court deciding whether it remained fully separate property or whethet it was fully or partially converted to marital property

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