There are many different types of property that must be considered in cases involving Virginia division of marital assets. Each type of property may have its own specific regulations as to how it is handled in Virginia divorce cases.
To best understand how any relevant property involved in your divorce proceedings may impact your case, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to help divide the property efficiently and ensure that your property and assets are handled properly throughout the process.
The most universal type of property involved in Virginia marital assets is the marital home. The marital home, in common terms, usually refers to the residence that the parties shared as partners and typically it is the last place that they lived together as spouses. Just as any other asset would be, it is subject to classification, evaluation, and division as part of the divorce case in Virginia.
The marital home could be the place that one party is permitted to live while the case is pending. It is not uncommon when two parties are getting divorced that one may ask for exclusive use of the house. However, this is not always a guaranteed thing.
Marital property is presumed under the law to be properties that were acquired by one party or the other, or both of them together, between the date when they got married to the date when they separated. There are exceptions to that rule, but that is the starting point in Virginia law for determining what marital property is when dividing assets in Virginia.
As defined by Virginia law, real property is considered land, homes, buildings, and the like. Real property refers to real estate.
Personal property refers to the assets of the parties that are not real properties. This could include bank accounts, retirement accounts, household furnishings, jewelry, and what people may not realize are properties including household pets. Such assets can be best defined by a lawyer when dividing marital assets in Virginia.
When dividing assets or when a court is dividing assets, they have to look at all of the assets that belong to the parties. However, if there is an asset that is titled in the name of only one party, that is not an asset that can be given to the non-titled party. There are, however, ways for the court to divide that property.
For example, if there were a home that was titled only in the name of one spouse, the court cannot give it to the other spouse but the court could, for example, give a monetary award to the other spouse that would represent their share of the marital interest in it. However, if the property is titled in the name of one party then that is the only party who is allowed to come out of the divorce with that asset.
The presumption is that separate property is anything that was acquired by a party prior to the date they got married or after that date that the parties separated.
Separate property may also be property that was inherited by one party during the marriage, or property that may have been given as a gift to one of the parties by somebody other than the spouse that is considered to be separate property.
Hybrid property is property that has both marital and separate components to it. An example of this is if a spouse owned a home prior to the marriage and then during the marriage, the parties put renovations into the house with marital money that increased the value of that property.
That home is considered a hybrid because it was separate when it was brought into the marriage by one spouse but by contributing marital assets to increase the value, there is also a marital portion of that asset. Such complications associated with this property can be explained by an attorney.
Jointly Titled Property
Jointly titled property simply means property that is owned by both parties. Just because something is jointly titled does not necessarily mean that it would be determined to be marital.
Privately Held Business
A privately held business is one that is owned by one or both spouses and it can sometimes be owned by third parties who are outside of marriage. This could be a corporation or it could be an LLC but it is a business that would be owned in part by at least one of the spouses.
When the court is being asked to look at and ultimately divide a business, the court is required to assign a value and in cases that involve privately held businesses, one or both of the parties will bring in an expert who has assigned a value to the business and that will be useful for the court to determine the value of that asset as part of the divorce case.
A business in terms of who owns it would fall under the same rules as any other property. If they business is acquired or created between the date of the marriage and the date of the separation, then the presumption is that it would be marital. Similarly, if the business was formed prior to the date of marriage, then the presumption will be that it is a separate business.