There is usually, and understandably, a long list of concerns divorcing couples have once they have made the difficult decision to divorce. Property division is likely on that list of concerns divorcing spouses have.

It is helpful if divorcing spouses are prepared for the property division process and know how property division is determined during divorce in Virginia. By understanding how property is divided, divorcing spouses can better anticipate their own property division negotiations which will allow them to better prioritize and protect their interests during property division process.

Property is divided in Virginia during divorced based on equitable property division rules. Equitable property division rules focus on reaching a property division settlement agreement that is fair and equitable. Unlike in some states, which follow community property division rules, this does not necessarily mean that property will be divided in half on a 50-50 basis.

The family law court uses factors to determine what is an equitable division of property including:

  • The income and liabilities of each of the spouses;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The ages and health of each of the spouses;
  • The pension and retirement benefits of the spouses;
  • If each of the spouses can support themselves financially;
  • The tax consequences of the property division settlement agreement;
  • If either spouse receives alimony from a prior marriage; and
  • Any other factor the family law court considers relevant.

In general, only marital property is divided during the property division process so it is also helpful for divorcing couples to be familiar with the different property categories and what they mean for them during their property division process. Preparing for property division and other divorce-related concerns can help divorcing spouses through the challenges they face during their divorce.