One of the most important aspects of a divorce is the division and settlement of the former partners’ property. Over time, married couples can accumulate many items of personal property, various real estate holdings, significant investments, and even large amounts of money. Should they choose to end their marriage, they may have concerns about who will get what and how much each party will have when their marriage ends.
In Virginia, matters of property are handled pursuant to the state’s equitable division laws. Equitable division is an important property concept that seeks to make property division fair, although it will not necessarily be equal. Many states throughout the nation follow equitable division principles when it comes to dividing up a couple’s shared marital property.
Unlike separate property, which is retained by the individual who owns it, marital property must be divided between the parties. Since both parties are owners and have a claim to possessing it, they together must negotiate the division of their shared wealth or allow a court to make decisions about which items and parcels of property each will take at the end of their relationship.
Completing property division takes more than just a broad cutting of the couple’s shared wealth into two equal shares. Equitable division is based on fairness, and many factors can be considered when decisions are under review. Readers are encouraged to talk to their family law attorneys about their property division concerns. As with all matters discussed on this blog, the contents of this post should not be read as legal advice.