Fairfax Property Division Lawyer

If you are finalizing a divorce and own property with your spouse, you might wonder about how to divide assets and debts as fairly as possible. You are also likely concerned about what to do if you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide certain possessions.

Property division laws are complex, but a skilled divorce attorney could explain how the law and specific factors that may be present in your case may impact the distribution of your assets in a divorce. A Fairfax property division lawyer is well-versed in Virginia’s equitable distribution process and can help a couple resolve disputes over marital assets.

Marital Versus Individual Property

According to Virginia Code §107.3, marital property refers to any asset earned or acquired by either spouse after they marry and before they separate. Property becomes marital when purchased with the combined money from either spouse. Common examples of marital assets include but are not limited to:

  • Real estate, including residences, commercial property, and undeveloped land
  • Vehicles
  • Furniture
  • Collections, such as cars, art, wine, or coins
  • Jewelry
  • Businesses
  • Retirement assets, including pensions, IRAs, and stocks

Debts incurred during a marriage can also be considered marital property; a judge would usually divide that debt between the spouses.

Meanwhile, it is important to recognize that property earned or acquired by one spouse before marriage will be considered that party’s separate property. Additionally, property received by a spouse through an inheritance or gift from a third party is exempt from being divided in a divorce as long as it is not commingled with marital property. However, assets initially owned solely by one spouse but later shared with the other spouse or used to benefit the marriage may become marital property. When considering how to begin asset division, individuals should consider working with a diligent attorney in Fairfax. Legal representation could help a couple categorize their property properly and resolve disagreements.

Equitable Distribution of Property

Virginia is an equitable distribution state, meaning that a judge needs to fairly divide all assets and liabilities between both parties. When determining who will walk away with what, some of the most important factors to consider include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s nonmonetary and monetary contributions to the partnership
  • Each spouse’s income or earning capacity
  • The total value of their property

Examples of nonmonetary contributions include a spouse’s care for the children and the home, meaning that a stay-at-home parent who did not bring earnings to the marriage can still receive a portion of the couple’s marital property.

A detail-oriented lawyer in Fairfax could oversee the property division process to make sure that a judge examines the right criteria and distributes all assets fairly.

What if Certain Property Cannot Be Divided?

In many cases, property can be divided fairly and quickly. For example, if a couple owns ten antique vehicles, a judge may award each spouse five of them.

However, sometimes a marital asset cannot be physically divided. For instance, if a husband and a wife own a restaurant together, a judge cannot split the establishment between the spouses. In these cases, a judge could allow the wife to retain the business but order her to pay the husband a fair amount for his interest in it. A knowledgeable Fairfax attorney can outline the different ways a court could analyze and effectuate a property division.

Enforcing a Property Division Order

If two spouses cannot agree on how to split up certain assets, a judge may have to decide who gets what. The judge’s Order will generally determine what property will belong to which party after the Order is entered, as well as outline the steps each party will have to take to comply with the Order dividing the marital property. The order is legally binding and failure to abide by it could result in legal consequences. If a spouse tries to ignore the order, a judge might require them to pay sanctions and reimburse the other party for the legal fees that party incurs to enforce the Order.  An intelligent representative could help two partners assess a property division order and adhere to a judge’s verdict.

Contact a Fairfax Property Division Lawyer to Learn More

Regardless of whether you agree with your spouse about property division or need a judge to resolve the issue, it is always best to entrust your case to a hardworking attorney. Our firm’s Fairfax property division lawyers know that the process is about more than collecting your fair share; it is about securing the resources you need to live a comfortable future. Call the office today to speak with a legal team member and start working on your case.

Fairfax Divorce Lawyer