How are Assets Divided in Divorce

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes 30 seconds

Dividing and distributing assets in a Virginia divorce is a four-step process:

Identify and determine ownership of the asset;
Determine the value of the asset;
Classify the asset (does it belong to the marriage or to an individual spouse); and
Reach mutual agreement on how the asset will be divided using the law as a guideline, being mindful of tax implications, and assessing fairness considering a variety of factors, both financial and non-financial.

Date Of Separation

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes 20 seconds

In a Virginia Divorce, Judges Only Divide Marital Assets Acquired Before Separation

In a Virginia divorce, judges have the power to divide and distribute assets and debts that were acquired during the marriage, known as “marital property” (a legal classification). The term “during the marriage” is defined as beginning at the date of the couple’s marriage and ending at their date of separation (not the date of divorce, as most people believe).

Judges, in a Virginia divorce, do not have the power to divide and distribute assets and debts which were not acquired during the marriage, known as “separate property” (a legal classification). The term “separate property” includes assets and debts acquired prior to the marriage, after the parties’ date of separation, and acquired by inheritance or gift.