Virginia Beach, VA asked in Divorce for Virginia

Q: owned the property before marrying.Wife insisted I add her to deed. What happens when we divorce?Loan/mortgage my name?

Had property before marriage, added wife to deed but she’s not on the mortgage loan . I pay all the bills, gas , lights, water, HOA FEES, cellphone etc etc. what happens when we get divorced????

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2 Lawyer Answers
Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller
Answered
  • Vienna, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: "f. When separate property is retitled in the joint names of the parties, the retitled property shall be deemed transmuted to marital property. However, to the extent the property is retraceable by a preponderance of the evidence and was not a gift, the retitled property shall retain its original classification." Va. Code 20-107.3.

So, what may have been separate property is deemed changed to marital property, and subject to division.

The burden is on you to show the property was not intended as a gift to the marriage.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Title does not determine the classification of property in equitable distribution in Virginia, but it may create presumptions. Real property owned by a spouse in his or her sole name prior to marriage would be presumed to be separate property. A judge may find the property to be hybrid to the extent that a part of it has become marital property, through appreciation, reduction of the mortgage principal, or capital improvement during the marriage. Adding a spouse's name does not necessarily change the classification of the property. A spouse may, however, transmute separate property into marital property by co-mingling it such that it loses its original character, for instance, a bank account used during the marriage.

Any spouse facing divorce in Virginia should consult with an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer regarding his or her particular situation.

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