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Overview of Virginia's property division laws

Like other states, Virginia has specific laws describing how property is to be divided between a married couple after a divorce. These laws would also apply to the divorce from bed and board proceeding which a previous post on our blog discussed.

Virginia is what is called an equitable division state. This means that, like most other states, a Virginia court is going to try to divide the property between two separating spouses fairly, but not necessarily 50-50. The same rules applies for any debts that the spouses may owe.

The general rule is that property held in the name of both spouses and even property that is legally held in the name of only one spouse will be subject to division. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if one spouse owned property outright prior to the marriage, or received property as a gift or an inheritance, he or she may be able to keep the property outright in the event of a divorce.

When it comes to actually dividing the property, the court doing so will use a number of factors. Among other questions the court will ask, the court will examine to what extent each spouse is able to support himself or herself after the divorce. For instance, a spouse who has little income earning potential may get a larger share of the property than a spouse capable of making six figures.

Divvying up property in a divorce is a complicated and often controversial process. In addition to coming up with a fair division, questions may also arise as to how much a couple's assets, and debts, are truly worth. Having a legal professional offer guidance is often important to a person going through the property division process.

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