It is normal to have concerns about money and property when navigating the end of a marriage. A divorce will lead to financial changes for both parties, and it is beneficial for one to make smart decisions when considering terms that will impact his or her long-term interests, including lifestyle expectations and savings. One way to do this is to be prepared and knowledgeable about how property division works in Virginia, specifically understanding what is marital property and what is not.
Separate property versus marital property
All marital property is subject to division in a divorce. This includes (with some exceptions) anything bought, accumulated, earned or collected over the course of the marriage. This may also include combined retirement savings, real estate, personal vehicles and other types of assets. Marital property may be divided according to state laws, or a couple may negotiate an agreement regarding property division.
Separate property is not subject to division in a divorce. This may include assets bought, earned or purchased before the marriage. In many cases, an inheritance or a gift is also considered separate property. Often, contention arises over how specific desirable or valuable assets are categorized.
The future starts now
The choices made during a divorce will affect a person for years to come. This is why it is beneficial to have experienced legal guidance from a knowledgeable Virginia attorney at every step of a divorce, whether it is in negotiations or the courtroom. During the property division process, it will be helpful to only consider choices that will provide stability and security long-term.