How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16370
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
19487448
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
ScottyMacEsq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

After 18yrs of being together and 15yrs living together. He

Customer Question

After 18yrs of being together and 15yrs living together. He hasn't married me. I have no desire to wait any longer. Im ready to move on. we have 2 children. I want to stay in the house with the children. What are my rights/
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 6 years ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Can you tell me what state this is in? And do you own the house together, or if not, whose name is on the deed?

Customer :

The deed is in both of our names . we own the house we pay mortgage to bank.

ScottyMacEsq :

And what state is this in?

Customer :

va

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you. One moment please while I research this, and will get back to you shortly...

Customer :

k

ScottyMacEsq :

To be honest, there's not a lot of "rights", per se, that you would otherwise have as a married couple. That is, there is no "common law" marriage and no "palimony" statute. "Palimony" is like "alimony" but for unmarried individuals. Some states provide for the ability to ask for that, but not Virginia. As such, what's yours is yours and what's his is his.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now there is a problem when there are joint assets.

ScottyMacEsq :

If, ultimately, there is a dispute of ownership, a "partition" action can be instituted.

ScottyMacEsq :

If the property cannot be divided, then the court will literally sell it at auction, pay of the debts, and then distribute the remainder to the parties.

ScottyMacEsq :

This is if you can't agree on ownership or who is to leave.

ScottyMacEsq :

Best bet is to try to come to an agreement to buy the other party out.

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, if neither party agrees, then a court has no discretion of "awarding" the house to one of the parties, as it could in a divorce action.

ScottyMacEsq :

As to the children, that's a different matter.

ScottyMacEsq :

Virginia courts will determine custody in the "best interests" of the children.

ScottyMacEsq :

Here's the statute that covers the factors that the court would consider:

ScottyMacEsq :

Virginia Code Section 20-124.3 Best Interests of the Child

In determining best interests of a child for purposes of determining custody or visitation arrangements including any pendente lite orders pursuant to ß20-103, the court shall consider the following:

1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child's changing developmental needs;

2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;

3. The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child's life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;

4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;

5. The role which each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;

6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child's contact and relationship with the other parent, the relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in matters affecting the child;

7. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference;

8. Any history of family abuse as that term is defined in ß16.1-228; and

9. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.

ScottyMacEsq :

The custodial parent can get child support for the children from the non-custodial parent.

ScottyMacEsq :

Ultimately, if you cannot agree, you're going to need to take this to court. If you can agree, then there's really no legal issue that you would need to pursue.

ScottyMacEsq :

That being said, you need to contact an attorney in your area that deals with child custody and support / family law cases. Go to www.lawyers.com or www.legalmatch.com to find an attorney in your area. You should be able to find one that will give you a free initial consultation and better advise you of your rights, any problems with your case, likelihood of success, how courts are treating cases such as yours in your area, and what you should do next.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!

Customer :

I have residential custody of both my children from the state of New Jersey. That is where we moved from. Will this matter?

ScottyMacEsq :

All this will mean is that you won't need to get it again. That is, if you have the custody, to the exclusion of him, then you don't have to file again.

ScottyMacEsq :

But the answer regarding the home will remain the same. Since it's joint, either you will have to agree, or force a sale.

Customer :

ok, I see what you mean regarding the home. I will try to work something out with him. I would hate do thart to the kids. But, he is very selfish & it wouldn't matter to him.

Customer :

My main concern is that my children are safe and remain in my care.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

If there is something else that I can help you with, please let me know. Please note that I do not get any credit for the time and effort I spent on this (or any question) unless and until you select "accept". Thank you, and again, good luck to you!

Related Family Law Questions