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Cohabiting couple can’t partition home

Kathryn Steenburgh and Glen Weaver bought a house together in 2000. Steenburgh made a down payment of $42,000, and Weaver paid the mortgage and casualty insurance. The couple had a child together.

But 10 years later, the thrill was gone. Steenburgh petitioned a Hanover Circuit Court for partition of the real estate. Given that the home was a single-family residence in a subdivision, partition would not be pretty. Each party offered to buy out the other. The judge had to weigh the options.

Hanover Circuit Judge John Richard Alderman said the man had to go. He was persuaded by Steenburgh’s argument that she was the one who “made the house a home.” He ordered Steenburgh to pay Weaver $24,993 for his share in the property, to cover his payment on principal and his share of the insurance cost. The case is Steenburgh v. Weaver (VLW 010-8-124).

By Deborah Elkins


  1. Actually, this IS partition — there are three kinds, in descending order of preference under Va law:
    Partition in kind (carving up the pie)
    Partition by Allotment (selling interests to one or more of the co-owners – as in here)
    Partition by sale and division of proceeds.

    IMHO the judge made the best decision of who got the property; no opinion on the price.

  2. Deborah Elkins

    Yes, the judge’s opinion makes that clear. Thanks for the clarification. DE

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