Equitable distribution can be one of the most complex areas of divorce, because it requires identification and classification of assets and debts classifies them based on how they were acquired and/or managed during the marriage. We can help you understand how the court classifies and divides assets and liabilities, and present these matters to a court for trial if you and your spouse are unable to reach a settlement regarding these issues.

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When parties divorce, the court must classify and apportion the parties assets and debts. While the majority of couples are able to reach an agreement as to these issues outside of court, there are times when an agreement cannot be reached, and it is important that the parties are represented well. In Virginia, this process is known as equitable distribution.

In equitable distribution, the court identifies all the assets and debts and classifies them based on how they were acquired and/or managed during the marriage. Assets and debts are typically classified as marital, separate, or hybrid, meaning partially marital and partially separate. Once the court has classified the assets and debts, the court assigns a value to each, which for property is typically the date of trial. The court then distributes or apportions marital or hybrid property (or debt) based on specific factors set forth in Va. Code 20-107.3. Those factors are:

  • Each party’s monetary and non-monetary contributions to the well-being of the family
  • Each party’s monetary and non-monetary contributions to the acquisition, care, and maintenance of marital property
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Each party’s age, physical, and mental condition
  • The circumstances and factors contributing to the dissolution of the marriage, including any grounds for divorce
  • How and when specific items of marital property were acquired
  • The debts and liabilities of each spouse, the basis of the debts, and whether any property serves as security for the debts
  • The liquidity of marital property
  • The tax consequences to each party
  • Whether either party expended marital funds for a non-marital purpose or to dissipate such funds, when done in anticipation of divorce or separation or after the separation

Equitable distribution can be one of the most complex areas of divorce. Our attorneys can help you understand how the court classifies and divides assets and liabilities. We also have the experience necessary to present these matters to a court for trial if you and your spouse are unable to reach a settlement regarding these issues. Contact the family law attorneys at Kelly & Crandall PLC when you are faced with any issues of equitable distribution.