Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Virginia

My ex-partner and I purchased a property together 8 years ago. Both of our names are on the mortgage. Since our split my partner left the property willingly due to feeling as if the home would become too hostile for her due to our break up. I have resided in the home for the past 4 years being soley responsible for all bills and repairs to the home. Has she legally abandoned the property? Can she move back into the property at any time? Can she force the sale of the property? Would she be entitled to 50% of the proceeds if I have been the only person paying the mortgage for the past 4 years or would the % be less based on when she moved out? What are my options. I want to stay in my home.

Asked on 2/02/12, 11:05 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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1. Answer: No, not at all.

2. Yes, she can move back in at any time since she's still a co-owner.

3. Yes, she could force the sale of the property through a partition suit

filed in the local circuit court.

4. No, she would not be entitled to 50% of the proceeds of a judicially ordered

sale of the property under the circumstances described but only to a proportionate share of such proceeds based upon her contribution(s) towards the property's purchase/maintenance and improvements (if any).

Your best option would be to buy out her interest in this property which would extinguish all of her claims to ownership.

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Answered on 2/02/12, 1:46 pm

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