There are a lot of components to a divorce settlement. One of which includes the assets you will be able to bring with you to begin your next phase of life.
Ahead of your court date, you might be wondering if you will be able to keep the family home, or at least some of the décor within the home. Knowing how Virginia law classifies the property and assets you own together and separately from your spouse can give you an idea of what you might get to keep through the split.
Under state law, each party in a divorce is an equal owner of all property you acquire through the duration of your marriage. So, if you bought your family home after your wedding day, then it is marital property. Meaning it is just as much yours as it is your ex-spouse’s. Other examples of marital property include, income of each party, debts you’ve collected and retirement funds you’ve had throughout your marriage.
While you and your ex are joint owners of all marital property, Virginia judges follow an equitable distribution rule when carrying out the division of property. Essentially, all marital property is subject to split and the process involves overarching fairness.
However, this doesn’t mean if one spouse gets to keep the dining room table, then the other person gets to keep the kitchen table that is of the same value. Instead of it being a 50/50 split, the court will facilitate the division with several factors in mind, including:
- Each spouse’s current income
- Ability to support oneself after divorce
- Age and physical and mental health of each spouse
- Length of the marriage
- Tax consequences involved in property split process
It’s important to note that not every asset you’ve gained or received during marriage is subject
to equitable distribution. In fact, any gifts or inheritance you receive during marriage is separate property that a judge can’t divvy up. Plus, any property you owned prior to your marriage will stay in your name.
An experienced family law attorney can use their expertise and the specifics of your case to help you achieve a settlement that is fair.