Should you and your spouse seek a Virginia divorce, one of the most important things you will have to do is arrive at a fair and equitable property settlement agreement. Fortunately for you, Virginia is not one of the 13 community property states in which marital property must be divided 50/50 upon divorce. Instead, as FindLaw explains, Virginia is one of the equitable distribution states in which you and your spouse’s marital assets can be unequally divided as long as that division is fair to both of you.
Property division factors
As you might suppose, numerous factors enter into what constitutes a fair and equitable property division in your particular circumstances. Some of them include the following:
- Your current income and that of your spouse
- Whether one of you owes spousal support to a previous spouse
- Your age and health status and that of your spouse
- The extent to which both of you possess the ability to financially support yourselves
- The amount of your expected retirement and/or pension benefits and that of your spouse
- The tax consequences to each of you of any given property settlement agreement
The court will also take the length of your marriage into consideration when signing off on any property settlement agreement the two of you arrive at.
Remember, only marital property must be fairly and equitably divided between you and your spouse. Your separate property is and remains yours alone and is excluded from your property settlement agreement. In general, anything you owned prior to your marriage qualifies as separate property. So does anything you purchased during your marriage that you paid for with money from the following sources:
- Funds you earned prior to your marriage
- Funds you received as gifts during your marriage
- Funds you inherited during your marriage
- Funds you received during your marriage as the result of a sale of your separate property
This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.