Q: 6 years ago my husband left for another woman. The marital house is only in my name always has been and on the dead.
I am taking care of the house for 6 years but in May the house burnt down. Insurance is taking care of the rebuild and it will be worth a lot more. Is he still entitled to have the equity in the house.
A: This is a complicated question because, in Virginia, there is the concept of “Separate Property,” “Marital Property,” or “Hybrid Property.” Generally speaking, any property owned or debts owed before the marriage are the separate parties’, anything during the marriage is marital (and therefore each party has an interest, doesn’t matter who bought it or who incurred the debt, and “Hybrid” means the property is part of each of these. In this case, if the house was purchased during the marriage, but only had your name on it, it is still marital. However, if you two separated 6 years ago, then you have an argument that all increases in value after the date of separation is separate property to you. This is then a Hybrid piece of property and there are methods to determine what the Court may do to split it. The house being rebuilt, as it is after separation, may lend to arguing that the increase in value goes to you. How much will go to each party will be up to the Court – even though your husband left for another relationship (desertion of the marriage) it doesn’t automatically mean he gets nothing; however, fault grounds for divorce can be factored into the split and can be argued he should get less. This can get complicated and, as always, we suggest speaking with competent legal counsel as to the best course.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.