In Virginia, there are three types of property during a divorce: marital property, separate property, and part marital and separate property.
The courts define each type of property differently and divide property equitably, when appropriate, during a divorce.
What is marital property?
Marital property is property acquired after the marriage, or property acquired before the marriage for the benefit of both partners. Both partners will share this property.
What is separate property?
Separate property meets one of these criteria:
- Acquired before the wedding date by one spouse
- Given as an inheritance or a gift to one spouse only
- Acquired after the wedding by one spouse using separate assets
Separate property is not distributed in divorce; the single spouse retains ownership.
What is part marital and separate property?
Generally, part marital and separate property are assets acquired by one partner before the wedding but have significantly increased in value over the course of the marriage due to the contributions of both partners.
The divorce process will apportion the property into two parts, and the marital property portion of the property is a chared asset. The divorce will divide this property equitably.
equitable division of property mean in Virginia?
In Virginia, equitable division does not mean divided equally. Dividing assets equitably consider many factors, including:
- The earning abilities of both spouses
- The value of the property
- The length of the marriage
- Tax consequences, if any
For divorcing couples with substantial assets, classifying and dividing that property can be a laborious process. Be sure you provide as much documentation and information as possible for a fair result.