One question that many people have when starting the divorce process is, “how long will this take?” Like so many…
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Equitable Distribution in Northern Virginia
To ensure that in your divorce proceedings there is a fair division of the assets, it is in your best interest to have a qualified attorney by your side. Graham Law Firm, PLLC specializes in family law and divorce proceedings, so we have the experience and knowledge to handle the equitable division of your assets.
You can meet our attorneys here to determine which lawyer might be the best match for your needs. Schedule a consultation with us through our online form or by calling us at 703-443-9360.
This is a document drafted by each spouse’s lawyer that will identify who contributed what to the marriage, including monetary and nonmonetary assets. The separation agreement also explains how these assets will be divided.
To ensure your rights are protected, you need a lawyer experienced in the language used in these documents. Graham Law Firm, PLLC specializes in Family Law, so we are the firm you want representing you for the equitable distribution process. Specific provisions need to be included to ensure your separate assets are protected and that your marital assets are divided in the correct manner.
Division of Property
In divorce proceedings, property is considered everything of value owned by a married couple. A wide variety of assets are considered when addressing the division of property, including financial earnings and residences as well as jewelry, art, automobiles, and furniture. In the distribution of all family property, you need a trained Graham Law attorney protecting your finances, savings, and property.
The division is determined by both the contributions (monetary and nonmonetary) to the family’s wellbeing and the contributions to the care and maintenance of the marital property. This ensures that a stay at home parents’ contributions are weighed as well as financial contributions to the family, an endeavor that we at Graham Law Firm, PLLC undertake with conviction.
The following three factors are considered in the division of assets:
- Character of property: Determined by when the asset was acquired. Marital property is what is acquired during the marriage or using communal marital funds on behalf of the family. Separate property is what is gained before the marriage or after a separation. The process gets more complicated with hybrid property and items gifted to only one spouse, so our attorneys work to ensure you receive the property owed to you.
- Value: Decided by the fair market value of an asset, specifically what an item would sell for today instead of what was paid when the item was first purchased. Each spouse’s lawyers present evidence to support the value that they think should be assigned, then a judge decides what value is designated during an equitable distribution hearing.
- Divide: Depending on which assets are wanted more by each spouse, the value of items can be weighed against one another to determine equal division. With a Graham Lawyer looking out for your vested interests, we can ensure that if a property can’t logically be divided, like a house for example, then it is awarded to one spouse while the other spouse pays for half of the value.
Classifying Property in Virginia: Marital or Separate?
As a frequent source of friction in the divorce process, classifying property is laid out here to explain the way that courts address the issue. The Commonwealth of Virginia considers the following to be marital property:
- Property acquired during a marriage that is not separate property (for example, property that has been inherited or independently owned debts)
- Property that is part marital and part separate
- Property titles that are in both spouse’s name (homes, cars, etc.)
Marital property cannot become separate property unless agreed upon by the couple, usually after the Separation Agreement is completed.
Pension and Debt Distribution
Graham Law Firm, PLLC is here to help you navigate the confusing process of pension and debt division. Pensions are only marital property for the length of time that a spouse is married, so it can be difficult to accurately calculate this without an attorneys’ expertise. Pension division is calculated as a percentage of the money earned during the course of the marriage. Money that was contributed before the marriage began is excluded.
Marital debt is considered a shared asset incurred from the marital estate and will be divided between the two spouses. Separate debts include debts incurred in the marriage only in your name.
Determining debt assignment during a divorce can be a tumultuous process, particularly if any marital money was used for non-marital purposes. Our attorneys have years of experience in equitable distribution, and having our firm represent your interests protects you and your finances.
Graham Law Firm, PLLC and Northern Virginia Equitable Distribution
Graham Law Firm, PLLC is a leading law firm in Northern Virginia, with awards and recognitions from the following organizations and periodicals:
- Best Lawyers & Best Law Firms in America – S. News, 2011-12
- Top Divorce Lawyers – Washingtonian, 2009
- Most Respected Attorneys in The Commonwealth – Virginia Living, 2012
- Top Ten Leaders of Greater Washington – DC Matrimonial & Divorce Attorneys, 2012
Our practice is adept at handling family law and divorce proceedings, including equitable division of the assets. You want the right attorney at your side for your Northern Virginia division of assets, so get in touch with Graham Law!
Contact us at 703-443-9360 or fill out our contact form to schedule your consultation.