HELPING YOU GET YOUR FAIR SHARE OF MARITAL PROPERTY
Dividing marital property and debt (referred to as equitable distribution) is one of the most complex areas of family law. It is difficult to generalize about the law of equitable distribution, as there are different issues and analyses that apply to different sets of facts. You should speak with an experienced family law attorney about your specific case. Below you will find very general information about how courts and practitioners look at equitable distribution of marital property in Virginia.
To discuss your specific situation with an experienced divorce attorney, call Lee Lopez Law PLLC at 703-259-8731 or complete our contact form. We have extensive experience in these matters, including divorces involving high-value assets.
HOW IS MARITAL PROPERTY DIVIDED IN A VIRGINIA DIVORCE?
A court or couple faced with dividing marital property or debt must be prepared to undergo three steps:
- Identify marital property/debt
- Determine the value of the marital property/debt
- Divide the martial property/debt
In Virginia, marital property is very generally defined as property earned or acquired from the date of marriage to the date of separation. There are certainly exemptions and complications to that general definition, but typically when trying to ascertain the extent and value of marital property, one must look at the property falling within the time frame of the date of marriage through the date of separation.
Courts do not assume that an equitable distribution means an equal (50/50) division of marital assets or debt. Courts will look at a number of factors, including marital fault and each party’s contributions to the marriage, both from a monetary and non-monetary standpoint, in determining how to divide assets and debts. Courts will also look at whether or not a party has substantial separate assets. However, in many settlements, couples will agree to a 50/50 division of assets, but as always this is a very fact-specific inquiry and depends upon the people involved.
TYPES OF MARITAL PROPERTY
Depending on the circumstances, many types of property may be divisible in a divorce. Common types of divisible marital property include:
- Retirement benefits
- Government and military benefits (including TSP, FERS, FEHB, military retire pay, among others)
- Real estate
- Investment and bank accounts
- Stock holdings
- Cars, boats and other vehicles
- Personal property
- Life insurance policies with a cash value
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
To speak confidentially with a lawyer about your goals and concerns, please complete our contact form or call us in Arlington at 703-259-8731. We have the experience and professional resources to help you get your fair share of marital property. Our attorneys advise and represent clients throughout Northern Virginia.