The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of more than forty states that utilizes an equitable distribution law when determining the division of marital property and debt in divorce proceedings. Since marriage is considered an economic partnership, in order to determine a fair and equitable division of marital property and debts, Virginia law that the property and debts be categorized and classified as marital, separate, or part marital and part separate; that the property and debts be properly valued and that the property and debts be equitably divided in accordance with the factor enumerated in the Virginia Code. This article addresses the classification of marital property.
Under Virginia law, marital property is defined as all jointly-owned property and all other property, other than separate property, acquired from the date of the marriage to the date of separation. Common examples of marital property include a marital residence that has been titled in the names of both spouses or an investment account that increased in value over the course of the marriage even if the account is only in the name of one spouse. Gifts from one spouse to another are considered marital property. Marital property is subject to equitable distribution between the parties in a divorce action.
The classification of property as marital, separate, or part marital and part separate has a direct effect on how the property is ultimately divided to the parties during the divorce proceedings. For more information, contact an attorney at Paulson & Paulson, PLC.