Equitable Distribution: Your Rights To Marital Assets In A Virginia Divorce
Over the years you spent together, you and your spouse may have accumulated significant assets. Property such as homes, cars, collectibles, and shares in businesses and investments can represent significant amounts of money. You are entitled to a fair share of all marital property and assets in the event you decide to get a divorce in Virginia. Find out more about your rights and the factors that influence the overall amount you receive in a divorce settlement or final order through the court.
Marital Property And Assets
Making the decision to end your marriage is difficult and there are numerous important issues that must be addressed when filing for a divorce through the Virginia Domestic Relations Court. Before a final order can be issued, you must consider how to divide any property and assets you and your spouse earned, acquired, or otherwise accumulated over the time you were married.
In Virginia, this is considered marital property and must be divided on an equitable basis in divorce. This means in a manner that is fair to both parties involved. Common types of assets subject to equitable distribution in the Virginia Court include:
- Your home;
- Any second homes, rental properties, or timeshares you own;
- All vehicles owned, including motorcycles and RVs;
- All household belongings, including furnishings and electronics;
- Artwork and antiques;
- Collectible and hobby items;
- Personal items of value, such as jewelry and furs;
- Money in bank accounts;
- Investment and retirement benefits;
- Shares in business;
- Digital assets, including currency and the rights to websites and domains.
How The Court Determines Equitable Division
In dividing marital property and assets between the couple, one party may be entitled to a greater share than the other. Under the Virginia Code, the goal is to reach an agreement that is fair to both, based on the various factors involved. These are likely to include:
- The amount of time the couple was married;
- The overall amount of property and assets owned;
- The amount of debt the couple has;
- Each party’s individual income and assets;
- The overall amount they contributed to the marriage and in maintaining the assets;
- Whether your spouse dissipated assets through affairs, gambling, other addictions, or other types of marital misconduct.
Equitable division of marital property may be negotiated between the spouses and their legal representatives, or the couple may be referred for mediation. It is generally preferable to reach your own customized agreement, rather than having the family court judge issue a ruling based on state laws and evidence presented in the case.
To Protect Your Rights, Contact Our Virginia Divorce Attorney
Getting the total amount of marital property and assets you are entitled to in a Virginia divorce can play a major role in maintaining financial security in the aftermath. At Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, we provide the trusted legal guidance and professional representation needed to protect your rights. Call or contact us online to request a consultation with our Virginia divorce attorney today.