The Fairfax division of assets process can be difficult to understand. When dividing property in Virginia, the court is required to look at the assets the individual parties own and decide what assets are marital and which are separate property. Once that has been done, the court looks at the marital assets and assigns a value to them. After that, the courts take into consideration a number of factors that are spelled out in the Virginia code in deciding how to divide the marital assets between the two parties. Talk to a skilled division of assets lawyer today for more on the subject.

Non-Financial Contributions

The court is allowed to consider both the positive and the negative non-financial contributions to the family on behalf of both parties in a division of assets process. A positive contribution could be the efforts made by one of the spouses to keep the home clean or to make meals for the family or to fix things in the home so that it is a happy and healthy place for the family to live. Negative contributions could be things like abuse by one party to the other or perhaps somebody had not been participating in the family unit in a productive way.

Division of Assets in Fairfax

In a division of assets process in Fairfax, it is up to the parties to bring a value to the court. What typically happens is that both parties assign values to the assets. If one party asserts a particular value that is agreed by the other side, then the parties are able to stipulate to it.

In presenting evidence about the values of certain items, parties may use appraisers, they may use tax assessed values, or they may use experts to testify about the value of a particular piece of property or a business.

Tracing Separate Contributions

In Virginia, the court has the ability to recognize that one of the parties in the marriage has contributed separate property to the acquisition of marital property. In order to successfully get the court to treat separate contributions separately, they have to be traced properly.

This entails a detailed analysis supported by documentation that shows separate money going into marital property that usually involves bank statements and other documentation that shows where the funds originated in a separate account or in a separate asset. It also includes the complete tracing of those funds until they arrive into marital assets.

Regulation of Equitable Distribution

Many assume there is an equal division and 50% goes to one spouse and 50% goes to another. That is not a requirement in Virginia. Equitable distribution does not require a 50-50 division. The court is supposed to look at the assets, look at the factors, the statute, and decide what the court thinks is equitable or fair in terms of dividing assets.

It is often the case that the court will divide them almost equally, but that does not always happen. There are various things that can impact how the court divides property including the financial contributions, the non-financial contributions of both parties, and the efforts made by the individual parties to increase the value of an asset. All of these things are considered by the court in deciding how to divide assets up.

Collaboration Between Parties

If parties are able to collaborate, they can avoid being forced to accept a division of assets that they do not believe is fair, and they would have control over which assets they get to keep individually.

If a married couple, for instance, owns a lot of money and retirement savings, as well as a home with a lot of equity in it, and one party has the ability to earn more and is more interested in keeping the home rather than keeping retirement assets, they can do this. If two parties collaborate in the division of assets, they get to control not only how the assets are divided but who gets what. That is not necessarily the case when going to court.