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Yours, mine and ours? Divorce and property division

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2021 | Property Division

You and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. Child custody and support are not the issue for you. Instead, it is property and its division causing arguments.

You want to make sure that you keep your fair share of the property you brought into your marriage; you also want to be sure that items obtained after your marriage are fairly divided.

Virginia is not a community property state

Instead, it is an equitable distribution state. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on who will get particular pieces of property, the family court may assist you in deciding which items should go with which spouse.

Wanting to leave your marriage with your property may be a reasonable goal. However, the final division of property may not be an exact 50/50 split.

What does “fair share” of property division mean?

Virginia considers your property as either marital or non-marital — the non-marital property is what you brought into your marriage. This may include the high-end computer or the tools you accumulated while you were single.

Marital property is considered to be the items that you and your spouse bought after you got married. This may be furniture, your television, other electronics or a vehicle.

Separate property is owned by one spouse only

Virginia designates separate property as items owned only by one spouse. If your spouse already bought an item or received it as an inheritance before your marriage, that item should go with them.

After your marriage, if your spouse bought an item with money they earned before you married, then again, that item is theirs. Any items that you and your spouse bought for common use after you married may be called marital property. These items may be the ones that the court may have to decide how to distribute equitably.