There are four life changes, in a basic way, which contribute to selling a house; divorce dominates the reasons. The other three reasons are Debt, too much debt can lead to foreclosure and bankruptcy. Death in the family can lead to the selling the house and the assets split by the heirs. The third is Downsizing. The kids have left home, and the house is just too big for mom and dad. Of the four, I suspect divorce is the most hurtful and stressful.
Many people, when confronted with the prospect of divorce, want to know how assets will be divided. How will they maintain their standard of living? Who gets the house? How can they sell the house fast?
In Virginia, you must have “grounds” for your divorce. The grounds for fault, for example, one spouse commits adultery, commits a felony, commits acts of cruelty or deserts the other spouse. Or the ground may not involve fault – for example; both spouses agree to live apart for six months with a written agreement (and have no children) or live apart for one year (with children).
According to DivorceNet, “The Virginia legislature has set out criteria for alimony, child support, and property division.”
- Find and value the property (equity in the house, the value of pensions, the value of antique furniture).
- Determine whether the particular piece of property is separate property and remains with the person who owned it.
- Separate property is usually acquired before the marriage or outside the marriage, such as by gift or inheritance, or is excluded by a valid agreement.
- Marital property is usually acquired during the marriage. To determine who gets what marital property, the court will consider: length of the marriage, age, health, skills, and abilities of the parties, amount of separate property owned by each spouse, relative ability of the parties to acquire property in the future, financial needs and liabilities of the parties, contribution to the education or to the earning power of the other, contribution to the value of the marital property or the separate property, premarital property and postmarital property, financial conditions of each party, and tax consequences.
- Use and Possession. Allowing the custodian and children to continue to live in the home permanently or for a period.
There are two main types of divorce. /h3>
The first is Amicable. The parties get together a list all the assets and decide how to split everything evenly. If equally compensated, the house could go to one of the parties. The two could decide to sell the house quickly and split the proceeds.
The second type of divorce is less than amicable; High-Asset Divorce. They make movies about this type of divorce involving private detectives and war, like “War of the Roses.” Both parties have a serious concern that they will enjoy their same lifestyle after the divorce. If the parties decide to sell the house, many parties to the divorce want things done quickly so they can move on with their lives.
These issues make divorce a stressful time, even more so if it involves child custody. I would guess the courts put more emphasis on keeping a parent and children in the house when it comes to settlement. Don’t forget debts are part of the process.
Child support can be one of the most heated issues of family law. The main principle to recognize the duty of both parents to contribute to the support of their children in proportion to their respective net incomes.
Going Through Divorce?
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