Virginia Calls For Equitable Distribution of Assets

Sometimes the easiest part of divorce in Virginia is deciding to get one. Once that is settled, property division can become a huge challenge for some people. Spouses don't want to seem greedy, but they do want to make sure that they get what they need or are entitled to. We can make sure your property is fairly distributed, either through mediation or via the court system.

In the state of Virginia, unless you're able to completely agree on all aspects of property division, your marital property must be equitably distributed between the two spouses. This does not mean that your property is tallied up and then split 50/50; the courts will consider many different factors. The judge will look at the monetary and non-monetary contributions of each party to the wellbeing of the family, as well as to the acquisition and care of the marital property. Any kind of property division in Virginia is regulated under the Virginia Code section 20-071.3.

When your property is being equitably distributed, the courts are generally only looking at your martial property—that is, all jointly titled property and any property acquired from the day you got married until the final separation. Separate property is what you owned prior to getting married, or after you were separated, plus any property acquired as an inheritance or a gift. Separate property is generally yours to keep, but if for some reason the value of some of that property increased during the marriage due to the active efforts of either party, it could end up being marital property.

The entire process of determining marital property versus separate property can be especially exhausting after a couple has been married for a number of years because the line between "mine" and "ours" can get a little blurry. If you would really like to try and work things out on your own before letting a court decide for you, mediation is a wonderful option. Smith Strong will facilitate a productive discussion and help you work through a fair division of all of your property.