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How is marital property divided after a divorce in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Family Law

Divorce involves going separate ways, not just emotionally but financially too. If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, the assets you acquired as a couple, collectively referred to as marital assets, will need to be divided.

There are several ways of going about this. One, you can follow through the terms of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that specifies who gets what. Two, you can agree with your spouse on how to divide these assets. If neither of these approaches will work for your divorce, the court will decide the way forward, guided by state laws.

Virginia is an equitable division state

In Virginia, marital property is divided equitably upon divorce, which means fairly but not necessarily equally. In other words, the court aims for fairness in the division of marital assets based on the unique circumstances of your case.

Some of the factors that may come into play include:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s income, liabilities and financial obligations
  • The tax consequences of asset division
  • Any other relevant factors the court deems relevant to ensure a fair division of assets

It is also worth noting that marital debts such as mortgages or credit card debts are also divided equitably.

Take proactive steps to protect your financial interests

The outcome of the property division process can have far-reaching effects on your financial future. As such, taking appropriate measures to avoid getting short-changed or less than you deserve when the dust settles is prudent.

Start by gathering all relevant financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns and property deeds. Remember to document your contributions to the marriage, whether you were the breadwinner or homemaker. Most importantly, consider seeking legal guidance to help navigate the legal complexities of your situation and better ensure a fair outcome.