Understanding Separate and Community Property

One of the most time-consuming parts of many divorces is property division. If a couple didn't sign a prenuptial agreement before marrying, they would have to go through all of their shared property and determine which is separate and which is community property.

The reason this distinction is important is because of how assets are divided during a Virginia divorce. In the state of Virginia, all community property (or marital property) is up for division. Both spouses will split this community property as equitably as possible.

However, separate property is property owned by one spouse. This property was typically purchased or owned before the marriage occurred, or it was gifted to one spouse after the marriage. Separate property continues to belong to the spouse who owns it even after the marriage ends. It is never considered for property division.

Depending on the assets of the couple involved, the property division process can be complicated. If the couple can't manage it on their own, the court will determine which property is owned by one spouse only and which was owned by both. A judge will then attempt to fairly divide the marital property after considering some of the following factors:

  • Each spouse's income
  • Alimony from a previous marriage
  • Length of marriage
  • Each spouse's age and health
  • Each spouse's earning potential
  • Each spouse's retirement benefits or pension

If you're interested in discussing property division with one of our skilled Midlothian divorce lawyers, don't hesitate to give us a call. DeFazio Bal has more than 50 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Our attorneys do their best to create tailor-made solutions to meet each client's needs. Let us see what we can do to help you reach your family law goals.

Contact us at (804) 250-3729 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation with us today.

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