Property Division in Northern Virginia
When two people decide to get married, they often have acquired a significant amount of property, and in many cases debt, before their wedding day. Once the parties are married, they often move in together, if they have not already done so, and continue to build their new life together. They parties will purchase property together, pay off each other’s credit card debts and student loan purchase a home as joint tenants in common, and commingle all of their assets to use the legal term.
Things are all going well for the couple and they are continuing to commingle their assets until one day, everything is not okay, and one or both spouses has decided the marriage is not working and it is time to get a divorce. At some point before or after filing for a divorce in a court in Northern Virginia, the parties will have to deal with how will they will divide all of their assets and how they will divide their debts.
The best thing you can do if you should ever find yourself in this situation is to seek a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney in Northern Virginia who can do everything possible to get you the best possible results within the confines of the situation. While this could mean going to trial and heavily litigating the matter, it could also mean working peacefully with other side to reach an agreement that everyone can life with. That is often the best thing that can happen because if the parties can agree, the court will honor the parties’ agreement.
If the parties can agree, one of the parties’ attorney will typically draft what is known as Property Settlement Agreement (PSA), and sent it to the other party’s attorney of record, or directly to the other party if he or she does not have his or her own attorney. In some cases, where parties are generally able to work together, it may be possible for only party to retain an attorney. If the process begins to get more adverse, the other party may choose to retain an attorney, but initially only having one attorney may be what the parties choose to keep the costs down. This is perfectly acceptable, but the attorney must make it clear to the non-represented party that they represent their own client’s best interests and not both. However, if after this required warning, many divorces can be accomplished with only one party having an attorney.
If the parties cannot agree, the court will make a determination as to property division based upon some of the following factors as outlined in Code of Virginia § 20-107.3:
- The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, each party made to the family during the marriage.
- The length of the marriage.
- The ages and physical and mental condition of the parties of the marriage.
- How the parties obtained the property.
- Whether or not the property is liquid.
- How the parties will be affected by taxes following property distribution.
The family law attorneys at DiPietro Family Law Group have years of experience handling domestic relations cases in jurisdictions across Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland. Contact us to schedule a consultation today at (703) 370-5555.