Divorce is complex and unfamiliar territory. Even if you have seen a friend or family member going through a divorce, your journey will be distinctly different.
While there are common principles that guide the asset division process, every divorcing couple will have a unique experience.
These are some of the basic principles that come with asset division in Virginia that you should know as you get started in the divorce process.
Equitable does not mean 50/50
Dividing assets after years of marriage comes with many challenges. Some assets, like vehicles and the family home, are unique and have more value, leading to tension and arguments. Other assets, like savings accounts and housewares, can be simpler to divide.
However, as you approach the asset division stage of your divorce, it can be challenging to agree on how “equitable distribution” applies. While you may be willing to let your ex have the house, it may be challenging to determine how to balance what assets you should take with you.
The term “equitable distribution” can be confusing since it sounds similar to equal. When it comes to dividing assets in a divorce, equitable means that there are factors that the court considers, such as:
- Contributions to the well-being of the family
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and physical condition of you and your ex
- Tax consequences of dividing marital assets
These and other factors can mean that one spouse may walk away from the divorce with a more significant amount of marital assets so that both are in a more fair situation as they continue their separate lives.
Debts get divided, too
It is essential to remember that in addition to your assets, you and your ex will also need to divide the debt you accumulated. While there are exceptions, most debts you acquire during the marriage will get divided during divorce so that both spouses carry some responsibility.
Dividing assets can come with many challenges. It is important to have an experienced advocate who can support you through the process.