What most intelligent, educated, reasonable people think is “mine” versus “his” or “hers” or “marital,” is, well, usually wrong under the Virginia law that governs division of property.
For most couples, property division is one of the most challenging aspects of divorce. Unless there was a premarital agreement, deciding upon a property settlement can be difficult. If you are considering a divorce, it is important to take time to inventory your assets and liabilities. You cannot make informed choices without adequate information.
There are several things to keep in mind as you begin to document your assets and liabilities. First, you should make a detailed list of your possessions, real property, investments, pensions and retirement accounts, bank accounts and debts. Next, you need to specify the date each item was acquired and determine as best as you can the value or balance of each item as of the date it was acquired, the value when it was acquired and the current value.
Equipped with this information, I can help you determine the total value of the marital estate and what needs to be done to equitably distribute the assets. I work with clients to make our findings transparent to the opposing party; the more reliable the information, the more trust will be established during the negotiating process. Settling out of court helps clients save almost incalculable amounts of money.
Some folks try to get clever and “hide the ball.” Get rid of such notions now. It is professionally and personally unethical for me to help anyone do such a thing. Besides, odds are that it would come around to hurt you.
During poor economic times, the value of your assets will almost certainly diminish. To determine current values of property and possessions, I can call appraisers and accountants. By working with financial experts, it is easier to achieve a fair and accurate property division.