When couples are facing a divorce, property division may be one of the most significant concerns on their minds. As a result, it is helpful for divorcing couples to understand the basics of the how property is divided during divorce in Virginia.

How is property divided during divorce in Virginia?

Virginia is an equitable property division state which means that when a couple divorces, the family law court will seek to develop a property division settlement agreement that is equitable, or as fair as possible, to both of the divorcing spouses. That does not necessarily mean the couple’s property will be divided in half but that it will be divided as fairly as possible. In addition, only marital property is generally subject to the property division process during divorce.

Difference between marital property and separate property

Marital property is the category of property that is commonly divided during divorce and is different than separate property. This makes the designation of property during the divorce process, and understanding how it is determined, important. Marital property is generally property and assets acquired during the marriage. Separate property, on the other hand, not commonly part of the property division process, includes property and assets one of the spouses entered the marriage with such as inheritances, gifts, personal injury awards and some other types of property.

Property can also be considered comingled during the marriage so understanding property designations is crucial for divorcing spouses to be familiar with.

Understanding the property division process can help divorcing couples anticipate how property will be divided. It can help them plan for the property division process and prioritize and protect their interests which is why they should be familiar with how it works.