A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage which severs the relationship between two parties and determines the division of debts…
Division of Marital Property in Northern Virginia
Just behind child custody and alimony, the process of dividing marital property can be one of the most difficult parts of divorce. Because a divorce indicates the end of a partnership that was once recognized by the state, a number of legal issues may pop up as the parties involved go through the process. Some couples may find that the splitting of assets during a divorce proceeding can be a trying part of the process, so it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of the property division laws in Virginia.
Concerned about the division of marital property or other factors that affect the divorce process? Residents of the Northern Virginia area trust the expert team at Graham Law for quality divorce law and family law services in Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington County, Fauquier County, Prince William County, the City of Alexandria, Winchester, VA, and their surrounding areas. Our divorce lawyers and family law consultants can help you reach a settlement and divide your possessions in a fair and unbiased fashion.
Contact Graham Law Firm, PLLC or call 703-687-6817 today for trusted divorce and family law services in the Northern Virginia area.
What Is the Virginia State Law on Division of Marital Property?
In divorce proceedings, property is considered to be everything of value owned by a married couple. Virginia is an “equitable property” state, meaning the court ultimately has authority on “who gets what” during the division of marital property and assets.
Under Virginia Code § 20-107.3, all property of both parties must be considered by the court in a Virginia divorce. Because “equitable” means that the division will be fair, the goal of Virginia’s system is to ensure that divorcing couples’ marital assets are divided justly. It is important to take note that the court does not equate “fair” with “equal”.
In order to determine how to split these assets, the court may take the following into consideration:
- The length of the marriage
- The physical and mental health of each spouse
- The work history and job prospects of each spouse
- The source of particular assets
- The type of assets
- Whether one spouse gets to live in the family home or live there for a set time
- Tax considerations
- The spending on assets that led to divorce
- Factors and circumstance that contributed to divorce
In the distribution of all family property, you need Graham Law protecting your finances, savings, and marital property. Because the division is determined by both the monetary and nonmonetary contributions to the family’s well-being as well as the care and maintenance of marital property, more than just financial factors are taken into account while dividing assets.
Dividing Marital Property from Separate Property in Virginia
A wide array of assets is considered when addressing the division of marital property, including financial earnings and residences, jewelry, art, automobiles, and furniture. During the division of assets, whether the property is marital or separate is taken into account.
If the property was acquired prior to the marriage, during the marriage as an inheritance or gift, or from the proceeds of separate property, then these assets will be offered to the spouse with ownership and will not be taken into account while determining property division.
However, if such property is not kept separate or the actions of the other spouse have increased the value of that property, separate property will be reclassified as marital. Virginia deems the following basic properties as marital:
- Property acquired by either spouse during the marriage
- Property that is partially marital and partially separate
- Property whose title is held by both spouses.
If an asset is determined to be marital, it will be split between the two spouses as deemed fit.
Another important part of the property division process is the assigning of value to the marital assets. The court must set values for marital property using up-to-date “fair market value” (FMV). For example, if the court was determining the fair market value of a car that was purchased six years ago, the FMV will not be for what the owner originally paid, but rather whatever value it would be sold for today. In the case that spouses are unable to agree on a value, a judge will decide based on reliable evidence that supports each estimated value.
Division of Marital Property
At this point, the court will take into account each spouse’s rights and interests, which leads to the official division of property. After considering any waste of marital assets and deeming which assets are impractical to divide—thus resulting in one spouse paying a monetary award to the other—both parties will leave with their fair portion of marital property and assets. With a Graham Lawyer looking out for your vested interests, we can ensure that your finances, savings, and property will be in trusted hands.
Why Legal Counsel Is a Necessity for Property Division
Because figuring out “who gets what” in the division of marital assets and property can be a trying time for all parties involved, having the support and unbiased opinion of an expert divorce lawyer can ease the burden of equitable distribution.
The highly qualified lawyers and consultants at Graham Law Firm, PLLC are experienced with even the most complex equitable distribution cases, leaving clients in capable hands throughout the entire process.
Divorce Law Consultations In Northern Virginia
A leading law firm in Northern Virginia, Graham Law is adept at handling family law and divorce proceedings, including equitable division of marital properties and assets. You want the right attorney by your side, so contact us today!
Call Graham Law at 703-687-6817 or fill out our contact form to schedule your consultation.