How Does Equitable Distribution Work?
Virginia is an equitable distribution state, meaning that in divorce, marital property is divided equitably between the parties, not necessarily evenly. While there is no presumption that each party will receive exactly 50 percent of the marital property, a division close to 50/50 is usually a good place to start, especially following a long-term marriage. From there, it may be reasonable to increase or decrease the percentage one party receives based on a multitude of factors such as the positive and negative monetary and nonmonetary contributions of each party, the length of the marriage, the circumstances that led to the divorce, tax consequences of the division, etc.
At Hicks Crandall Juhl PC, our family law lawyers represent clients in Fairfax and other communities in northern Virginia in all issues relating to equitable distribution of property, including valuation of assets and protection of separate property. Our attorneys have extensive experience in cases involving medical practices, law practices, internet companies, service companies and other businesses. Our lawyers represent both owning and nonowning spouses.
Dividing The Marital Estate
The following provides more information about equitable distribution of property in Virginia:
- Separate and marital property: Marital assets and debts are subject to division in divorce. Separate property is yours to keep, and separate debt yours to pay.
- Retirement asset division: Retirement benefits are subject to division just like any other asset acquired during the marriage. To receive everything you are entitled to, it’s important to be aware of all of the different retirement assets your spouse may have and the ability to divide these benefits in the future.
- Distribution of assets for unwed cohabitants: Real estate, bank accounts and other assets accumulated by unmarried cohabitants are divided using a partition suit.