Q: Husband is physically and mentally able to work but hasn't for 13+ years. Is he entitled to 1/2 the house & Condo in VA?
My husband and I have been married for 20+ years. We have two children in college and I have covered all household / educational / vacation, etc. expenses for 13+ years. We own a house and a condo. His brother lives in our condo, but I would like to propose that my husband gets our 1 bedroom condo and I get the house. Both properties are paid off and we have no credit debt. Is he entitled to 1/2 of the property value? I will have to refinance / carry a mortgage and I was hoping to retire within 7 years. We purchased the house in 1996, and the condo in 1998, he stopped working in 2006, so he contributed to the mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc. for roughly 10 years.
A: It’s not as simple as that. Virginia is an equitable distribution state, which does not mean “equal” distribution necessarily. The courts look at a series of factors (really just predetermined categories of evidence) in order to determine what division of assets and debts would be “equitable” or fair. The factors span a lot of different things, but they are primarily concerned with who did what (both positive and negative) during the marriage, and secondarily concerned with what will happen to the parties following the divorce. An experienced attorney can give you a better answer as to what the court might do in your particular case.
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