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I am married and wanting to get a divorce. What are my

Customer Question
I am married and...

I am married and wanting to get a divorce. What are my rights and what am i entitled to as far as the home and its contents?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

No not yet, things are really a mess here in this home

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

Virginia

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Well my wife had affairs.and there are some illeagle things going on

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 20 minutes by:
3/23/2018
Family Lawyer: N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer replied 6 months ago
N.Brown ESQ
N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 194
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Hello I would be happy to help you with your legal question. Please give me a few moments to review your question.

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Family Lawyer: N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Virginia is an equitable distribution state, meaning that (unless the parties have an agreement) the court looks at all of the marital assets of the parties and the court can order the division and or transfer the parties assets and decide how debts are divided/allocated among the parties. It is not a straight 50/50 split like community property. So as far as the home and its contents if the home is a marital asset (an asset that was acquired during the marriage that is not considered separate property) then both parties have a right to it, its just a matter of how it will be distributed. Options for distributing the marital home are to award it to one party, and or the other spouse gets awarded part of the equity in the home if any to be paid by the party who received the house. It's also common for the house to be ordered to be sold and the proceeds split among the parties.

The contents of the home are considered personal property and the court prefers not to have to get down to itemizing the household items and then divvying them up. The court prefers the parties itemize the household items on their own and decide who gets what. Where there is disagreement the court will decide who gets the disagreed upon item (s). Several factors go into the courts decision on allocating assets and debts and fault (actions that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage) are considered when the court has to make the decision of who gets what.

Finally a quick overview of the divorce process in VA. One of the parties has be a resident of VA for at least six months before filing for divorce. There are four ground for an absolute divorce. They are:

  1. Adultery, or for sodomy or buggery when committed outside the marriage, and the parties have not voluntarily cohabitated after knowledge of the adultery, sodomy or buggery and it did not occur more than five years before institution of the suit;
  2. Felony conviction after the date of marriage with at least one year of imprisonment, and cohabitation has not been resumed after knowledge of this confinement;
  3. Cruelty, causing reasonable apprehension of bodily harm, or willful desertion or abandonment, and it has been a period of one year from the date of the act before the application by the innocent party is filed; and
  4. Voluntary separation for six months with a written separation agreement and no children (either natural or adopted); otherwise, separation for at least one year.

Here's a link for additional information about the divorce process provided by VA court system:

https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/topics/courts-and-legal/

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Family Lawyer: N.Brown ESQ, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

If you are satisfied with my responses to your questions, please accept the answer, and provide a rating (5 stars would be appreciated). It cost you nothing additionally to do so. The experts who answer your questions are independent contractors, and customer ratings are the only way we are compensated for our responses. Thanks, ***** ***** hope everything works out to your satisfaction.

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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