Virginia Divorce & Finances

The division of joint property during divorce can lead to many questions and much frustration. How will the court divide property? What will the effects be on your taxes? Are there estate planning issues to be resolved? Is there a possibility of spousal support (or alimony) payments, and if so, what will the parameters of those payments be? The following headings discuss laws specific to Virginia divorce and finances.

Virginia Property Division/Community Property/Debts:

Virginia is an “equitable distribution” state. Marital property will thus be distributed on terms considered to be fair. Note that “fair” in this context does not always mean equal. In fact, it is more likely that the division will not end up being 50/50. The factors the court will consider in making the determination over the division of joint property include, among other things, the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate, the total value of the properties of the parties, the economic circumstances of each party, any misconduct that may have occurred, and the amount of spousal support awarded.

Virginia Spousal Support:

Spousal support is not automatically granted. Whether spousal support will be awarded is always decided on a case-by-case basis, either as agreed to by the parties, or at the court’s discretion. Any fault grounds for divorce are considered in making the determination. Additionally, the court will look to the following factors:

  1. The needs and resources of the parties, including all forms of income;
  2. The subjective standard of living during the marriage;
  3. Marriage duration;
  4. Any special circumstances including age, physical or mental conditions, especially those that would impact employment potential; and
  5. Each party’s contributions to the well-being of their family, monetary or otherwise

Note that the spousal award amount and duration, once determined, are not permanently fixed. The award may be modified or eliminated as circumstances dictate, such as one party entering into another marriage or similar arrangement, or a material change in the financial circumstances of a party.

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