Dividing property is often a key issue during a Fairfax, Virginia, divorce. You might disagree with your spouse about who has the rights to a specific piece of property, or there may be many different points of contention. In either situation, you deserve to have your interests fully represented.
The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC is here to help. Our Fairfax property division lawyers have significant experience helping families in the area and can be your advocate throughout the entire process. We provide our clients with compassionate yet effective legal counsel and can put our track record of success in your corner as soon as you’re ready.
How The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC Can Help With Your Property Division Case in Fairfax
The way your divorce unfolds can significantly impact your future well-being. When it comes to property division, Virginia courts aim to make the process as fair as possible. However, the law still leaves room for spouses to advocate for their interests. Without an experienced Fairfax family lawyer on your side, you might end up with an unfavorable outcome.
At The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, we do everything in our power to help our clients achieve their goals. Our award-winning property division lawyers in Fairfax, VA, have garnered recognition as Top 10 Attorneys Under 40 by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, among numerous other accolades.
If you hire us for help, we’ll:
- Ensure you understand how Virginia law applies to your case
- Conduct a thorough evaluation of your circumstances and your desired outcomes
- Devise a strategy that prioritizes your best interests
- Hire experts, such as accountants and other financial professionals, as needed
- Gather evidence in support of your rights
Contact our law office in Fairfax today to learn more about our legal services. We understand that you’re likely going through an incredibly difficult time, and we want to be there for you to the best of our ability.
An Overview of Virginia’s Property Division Laws
Per Virginia law, property is divided based on the principle of equitable distribution during a divorce. This is the system most states follow and is distinct from the less commonly used community property method.
As we’ll discuss in more detail below, this means that property will be divided fairly, not necessarily equally. Property division is also treated separately from spousal support (alimony) in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Marital vs. Separate Property
Within a divorce proceeding, property is generally categorized as marital or separate. Virginia family courts only divide marital property. Marital property is broadly defined as any property either spouse earned or acquired during the marriage.
Separate property includes property that belongs only to one spouse prior to the marriage. Most gifts and inherited property that were given to only one spouse will likely constitute separate property as well.
When dividing marital property, Virginia courts look both to assets as well as debts. Examples of marital property include:
- The family home
- Household objects
- Retirement accounts
- Income and wages
As you might suspect, disputes can arise regarding whether certain property should be considered marital or separate. For instance, in some circumstances, separate property that was used to benefit the marriage may be considered marital property for the purposes of distribution.
What Factors Do Courts Consider When Determining Property Division in Fairfax, VA?
During the property division process, the court must first assess whether property is marital or separate. From there, the judge must determine the property’s value based on information provided by the spouses.
Once the property is evaluated, the court may divide it based on factors such as:
- Any applicable tax consequences
- Length of the marriage
- The nature of how the property was acquired and used
- Each spouse’s liabilities and debts
- The degree to which each spouse contributed to the property, whether monetarily or non-monetarily
- Each spouse’s health status, mentally and physically
- Whether one spouse is largely at fault for the divorce, such as by committing adultery or being arrested for a crime
Other factors may be considered as well, depending on the facts involved in the case.
Equitable Distribution Does Not Necessarily Mean Equal
When dividing property in a divorce proceeding based on equitable distribution, “equitable” means “fair” rather than “equal.” This is an important distinction because what constitutes fair can be subjective and is not always straightforward.
Consider the steps that must take place during the property division process:
- Identifying what should be considered marital vs. separate property
- Determining the property’s true value
- Evaluating which property you wish to retain after the divorce finalizes
- Allocating the property between the spouses based on the factors discussed above
Spouses may disagree and advocate for their interests at each stage of the proceedings, which is why having legal representation can make a significant difference.
If you hire an experienced attorney, they can present your strongest arguments every step of the way. Property division issues can often become incredibly complex, sometimes requiring expert assistance to comprehend what should be done. These experts may include:
- Forensic accountants
- Tax professionals
- Real estate professionals
- Retirement plan analysts
This isn’t the time to cut corners; your future livelihood is at stake. Our family law firm will exhaust every resource at our disposal to help with your case. That may include hiring the experts mentioned above, using legal means to gather any information that is in your spouse’s possession, and more.
Contact Our Experienced Fairfax Property Division Attorneys Today
Going through a divorce is one of the more difficult experiences imaginable, even in the best of circumstances. When there are disagreements about critical issues like property division, things can become even more complicated and stressful.
The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury can provide you with meaningful legal representation at all times. Our experienced Fairfax property division lawyers will do all we can to help ease your burdens and ensure you achieve your goals.
Contact us today for more information and to set up a consultation.