Unlike Community Property states like California and Nevada, Virginia’s system of property division is known as “equitable distribution”. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, but rather it is contemplated that the assets and debts will be fairly divided, based on a number of factors, including the monetary and nonmonetary contributions to the property as well as to the marriage.
Property is classified as either separate property, marital property, or hybrid property (part separate and part marital). Under Virginia law, separate property is property acquired by either party before the marriage, property acquired during the marriage by inheritance or gift from a third party, and property acquired during the marriage in exchange for or from the proceeds of the sale of separate property, provided that it is maintained separately.
Establishing values for the property can sometimes be difficult, and the parties may need the assistance of valuation experts or other professionals to assist them, and the court if necessary, in establishing values for the various assets. Family Law Associates of Richmond PC can assist you in gathering information necessary to determine an equitable division of the assets and debts accumulated during the marriage, and can arrange for an expert to assist in valuation if needed.