Dividing Property In A Divorce
For most couples, the decision to get divorced is a painful choice that is reached only after all other options have failed. Dividing property is not typically discussed until after the divorce proceedings have started. The process of sorting through marital property and deciding how to divide it can have long-term effects on the credit and financial status of each spouse. When terms for dividing assets and debts can’t be agreed on, the next step is to go to court.
Using Equitable Distribution To Divide Your Marital Property
Courts in Virginia use “equitable distribution” laws to establish a fair division of assets and debts in divorce cases. The process begins by identifying each asset and debt as either marital property (jointly owned) or separate property (anything owned prior to the marriage, excluded by a prenuptial agreement or acquired during the marriage by inheritance or as a gift from anyone besides the spouse).
Equitable distribution law only allows jointly owned marital property to become separate property for an individual if both spouses agree to it. However, the law does lay out several ways that separate property can become marital property. Common ways that this can occur include mixing separate property with marital property in a way that makes them too difficult to legally separate or failing to maintain separate property.
Dividing Marital Debt
Equitable distribution is used to identify debts with the same criteria used to identify assets. The court will analyze your financial situation to determine the total of your marital debt and then assign individual debts to each spouse. Because both spouses remain responsible for debts acquired during marriage even after the divorce is finalized, it is often recommended that some assets be sold to pay off debts during the divorce. This reduces the risk of damaging your credit due to an ex-spouse failing to pay marital debts.
Contact The Divorce Lawyers At Luis A. Perez P.C. Law Office
Having an experienced divorce lawyer to negotiate the division of your marital property and debt can save you time and money and reduce your stress. We understand how the division of your assets and debts affects your taxes and the possibility of child support and spousal support. To set up a consultation, call Luis A. Perez P.C. Law Office at 703-278-2084 or contact us online.
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