Opting for divorce is always a tough decision for an Alexandria, Virginia, couple, because it greatly impacts the life of both spouses, emotionally and financially. If not handled properly, property division could also impact the life of the children, as many divorce cases turn bitter when it comes to division of property between former spouses.
Virginia family laws provide for the equitable distribution of marital property between estranged spouses at the conclusion of divorce. Marital property consists of those properties which are jointly held by the couple and those properties which were acquired by either or both of the parties after the marriage and until divorce.
According to Virginia statutes, in order to equitably divide the marital property a court may order monetary awards to either of the parties or equal division of the property, or transfer of the jointly held property to one of the parties, all depending on the circumstances of the case. When equitably distributing marital property a court does not need to divide the property on equal basis and may consider various factors on equitable distribution provided by the Virginia statute.
An estranged couple in Virginia also has an option that may help avoid the bitterness aproperty division battle can make. The couple can voluntarily and amicably decide the property division rather than allowing a court to rule by devising their own property settlement agreement. The final agreement must be in writing and before it reaches a court that will enforce the agreement it has to be signed, sworn to by both parties and notarized.
Once all these steps have been followed and the court has enforced the agreement, it will have the same legal validity as a court order. Such an agreement may include property division, spousal support, custody of the children, child support and attorney fees. Oral agreements between spouses can also be enforced by a court if certain strict requirements are met.
Source: VSB.org, "Divorce in Virginia," Accessed on Nov. 26, 2014