Many residents of Virginia agree that property division after a divorce is often as taxing as the divorce case itself. For affluent spouses, the distribution of money and other properties can be a complicated issue. Virginia is one of the states that have adopted an equitable distribution law for dividing marital property and debts in divorce. The Virginia law requires properties to be classified as marital or separate, and all marital property may be equally divided after the divorce is granted by the court.
For high asset divorce cases, it is important to determine the value of every asset. These include business, investments, property, stock and other assets. Generally, marital property is all properties and assets that are jointly owned from the date of the marriage until separation. Thus, if businesses were jointly established by the spouses or if they have made investments together, everything is to be divided equally between the spouses. Gifts from one spouse to another are also classified as marital property. Separate property is any asset that was owned by either spouse before marriage, an inheritance or gift that was received by one spouse or any asset acquired after divorce. Separate properties are also exempted from division after divorce.
However, these two types of property can, at times, get mixed and it can become difficult to determine which portion is separate and which portion is marital and equitably divide the asset. An equitable division does not necessarily mean that each individual will get 50 percent of the assets because a number of factors are to be considered after an evaluation is done by experts. The contributions of each party in marital property of the parties, the tenure of marriage and the debts and liabilities of both the spouses are also to be considered before the division order is passed.
It is advisable to consult an advocate before pursuing a property settlement agreement. Division of property can be especially tricky if there are complications regarding segregating marital property from separate property. A legal professional can suggest ways to handle these complications.
Source: vsb.org, "Financial Issues in Divorce in Virginia," Accessed on May 1, 2015