Virginia has adopted the “equitable distribution” model of dividing marital assets. This model is distinguished from the “title” method (if it is in your name, you get it, and your spouse can’t claim an interest in in), and from the “community property” model (it’s half mine, regardless). “Equitable” means fair, and a fair distribution of the marital assets is the goal of the process.
Determining Equitable Distribution In a Divorce
To determine who gets what marital property, the court will consider: the contributions, both monetary and non-monetary, that each party made toward promoting (or destroying) the family unit, contributions to the acquisition, care and maintenance (or dissipation) of the marital property, the length of the marriage; the ages, health, skills, and abilities of the parties; the relative ability of each party to acquire property in the future; tax consequences attendant to the award of a certain piece of properly; liens associated with a particular piece of property; and such other factors that the court considers appropriate to achieve a fair and equitable division of the marital property.
Seems simple enough, right? There’s more…