In a Virginia divorce, both your marital and non-marital assets are taken into consideration when the courts decide how to reasonably distribute debts and assets. Non-marital property, also referred to as separate property, includes assets that are not a part of community property and are not divided between you and your husband.
Separate property that can be excluded from the marital estate can include:
- assets acquired before marriage;
- assets protected by a prenuptial agreement;
- certain proceeds acquired from personal injury agreements;
- inheritance; and
- gifts given to you personally.
It’s important to be aware that although separate property is generally not regarded when the courts divide marital property during a Virginia divorce, certain activities can give marital value to it.
Various instances can occur that make your personal property lose its non-marital value and become susceptible to equitable distribution:
- Co-mingling – mixing your separate assets with marital assets can add them to the marital property lot, such as depositing some of your inheritance money in a joint banking account.
- Improving non-marital assets – using marital money to improve non-marital assets can turn the assets into marital property, which would then be subject to equitable distribution.
- Active appreciation – acting in a way that adds value to an non-marital asset, such as improving real estate, can give marital value to the asset.
- Protecting your personal property is vital when going through a Virginia divorce. You may not be quite sure of the difference between your separate property and marital property, and can inadvertently waive your rights to items that should rightfully remain in your possession. A Newport News divorce attorney can help you become aware of your rights, and help you take steps to protect your personal property when going through a Virginia divorce.
Contacting a Newport News Divorce Attorney Throughout your divorce proceedings, you’ll naturally have a lot of questions specific to your circumstances. Get your questions answered by requesting one of our FREE divorce guides for women, or reserving your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.
- The Newport News divorce attorney team at Hofheimer Family Law Firm is committed to fighting for your rights, assisting in child custody disputes, and advocating that you receive everything you are entitled to and need in order to start your new life.