Virginia Code Section 20-107.3 describes what constitutes “marital” property and debt subject to equitable division in divorce proceedings. Subject to various complex rules and exceptions, marital property is jointly-titled property and property acquired from the date of the marriage to the date of separation. Common examples of marital property include a house titled in the names of both spouses, an automobile purchased during the marriage, and retirement account funds accumulated during the marriage.
If the parties are unable to agree on what constitutes marital property, the value and/or division of same, then a Circuit Court Judge will resolve the dispute based on statutory factors, including:
1. The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;
2. The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party in the acquisition and care and maintenance of such marital property of the parties;
3. The duration of the marriage;
4. The ages and physical and mental condition of the parties;
5. The circumstances and factors that contributed to the dissolution of the marriage;
6. How and when specific items of such marital property were acquired;
7. The debts and liabilities of each spouse, the basis for such debts and liabilities, and the property which may serve as security for such debts and liabilities;
8. The liquid or nonliquid character of all marital property;
9. The tax consequences to each party;
10. The use or expenditure of marital property by either of the parties for a nonmarital separate purpose or the dissipation of such funds, when such was done in anticipation of divorce or separation or after the last separation of the parties; and
11. Such other factors as the court deems necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable monetary award.
Property and debt division is a complex area of the law. Whether division is resolved through a settlement agreement or by the court, an experienced divorce attorney can assist with protecting your financial interests during separation and divorce. Contact us to learn more.