Fairfax Property Division
Virginia is an equitable division state, which means that all marital property is divided equitably during divorce. As such, the courts attempt to give fair shares of all marital assets, as well as marital debt, to each spouse. While most marriages are not dissolved in court before a judge, the same equitable division standards are used outside of the courtroom in uncontested divorces. However, what may seem fair to one spouse likely does not seem reasonable to the other, or vice versa. As such, all divorcing couples need to work with property division attorneys to reach a fair solution, with the goal of coming to a reasonable compromise instead of the long, drawn-out process of litigation in the courtroom. Whether you are in the beginning stages of your divorce, or you and your spouse have been at it for months without being able to reach a solution by yourselves, the Fairfax property division attorneys at Simms Showers are here to help.
Marital property is all property and debt acquired during marriage. It is subject to equitable division, and is divided between the spouses on the following characteristics of the marriage:
- Contributions each party made to the well-being of the family;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Age and physical/mental condition of each party;
- How the divorced came about;
- Debts of each spouse;
- Liquid or nonliquid character of the property;
- Tax consequences of dividing the property for each party;
- Use of marital property by either of the parties for a nonmarital reason; and
Examples of property that may not be marital, even if it was acquired during marriage, includes the following:
- Property separated by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement;
- Gifts made specifically to one of the spouses;
- Inheritance; and
- Personal injury lawsuit awards.
Under Section 5 of Virginia § 20-107.3, marital debt is defined as “all debt incurred in the joint names of the parties” during marriage, or “all debt incurred in either party’s name.” As such, all debt incurred during marriage, whether it is in the name of one or both spouses, is marital debt and shall be divided equitably. However, if a spouse can prove that all of the debt or part of the debt was used for a “nonmarital purpose, the court may designate the entire debt as separate or a portion of the debt as marital and a portion of the debt as separate.” An example of a “non-marital” debt would be a cheating spouse spending money on his or her affair. Considering that up to 40 percent of married couples are affected by infidelity, this is a somewhat common scenario. Infidelity can also have a large impact on the division of marital assets.
Call a Fairfax Property Division Attorney Today
Because the division of retirement accounts, stock, real estate, pensions, and business assets has such a long-lasting impact on each spouse’s life, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel if you are going through divorce. To protect your rights and best interests, call the Fairfax property division attorneys at Simms Showers today at 703-879-1364 to schedule a consultation.