Overview of property division laws in Virginia

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Financial matters relating to a divorce proceeding can often overshadow even the most traumatic emotional upheavals. Financial matters relating to divorce proceedings are usually aggravated for couples who have a substantial amount of wealth gathered as marital wealth post nuptials. Property division in such cases can become bitter and drawn out.

Virginia statutes clearly enshrine some specific provisions in order to address such high asset divorces and property division cases relating to it. Property division can only be requested by either or both parties or their legal representatives or lawyers after finalization of the divorce proceedings. After dissolution or marriage has been finalized, the court, with the help of the estranged spouses' lawyers may assess which of the assets and properties can be termed as separate and marital property. The same principle also applies to debts of individual parties and joint debt of the couple.

While property division of separate property may be fairly simple, properties and assets which are evaluated as partly joint property and partly separate property may be difficult to divide. In case of jointly owned common or marital property the court may follow the equity principle to restore both parties to a just and fair term. Most ex spouses usually engage lawyers in order to traverse through such financial and legal complications in the court of law.

In cases where a property is said to be partly separate and partly marital or common property, the ex spouse who does not own the asset by default may have the burden of proof to prove that the latter had made some personal efforts which increased the value of the property thereby bringing it under the purview of marital property.

Source: State.VA.us, "Court may decree as to property and debts of the parties," accessed on Jan. 2, 2015

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