In divorce, property division is typically one of the most contentious processes. Protecting your property and the property belonging to your family may be an important concern you are facing in an anticipated divorce. The Charlottesville Divorce Attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. are committed to understanding our client’s objectives and pursuing the necessary legal action to meet them.
The Charlottesville Equitable Distribution Lawyers of MartinWren, P.C. have experience dealing with the complicated legal and factual property division questions that arise during a divorce. As part of a divorce, Virginia law permits a trial judge to sort through the personal and real property of the parties to classify separate and marital property.
Separate property, owned solely by one of the parties to the marriage, will remain the separate property of that individual. Marital property, on the other hand, is all property that is jointly owned by the marital couple. The trial judge has the authority to classify property as a hybrid of the two — part separate and part marital. Based on the property that exists between the parties, the trial judge also has the discretion to provide a monetary award to one of the parties to the marriage, which will be provided irrespective of any spousal support or maintenance award given.
When dividing the marital property, apportioning marital debt, and determining the amount of any monetary award, the trial court must consider the following statutory factors:
- The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;
- The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party in the acquisition and care and maintenance of such marital property of the parties;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The ages and physical and mental condition of the parties;
- The circumstances and factors which contributed to the dissolution of the marriage, specifically including any ground for divorce under the provisions of subdivisions (1), (3) or (6) of § 20-91 or § 20-95;
- How and when specific items of such marital property were acquired;
- The debts and liabilities of each spouse, the basis for such debts and liabilities, and the property which may serve as security for such debts and liabilities;
- The liquid or nonliquid character of all marital property;
- The tax consequences to each party;
- The use or expenditure of marital property by either of the parties for a nonmarital separate purpose or the dissipation of such funds, when such was done in anticipation of divorce or separation or after the last separation of the parties; and
- Such other factors as the court deems necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable monetary award.
Va. Code § 20-107.3 (2009).
MartinWren, P.C.’s Charlottesville equitable distribution lawyers have worked with estates of all sizes and have experience representing individuals in large and complex estates.
MartinWren, P.C. is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale Hubbell, and provides comprehensive Domestic Relations Law and Family Law services to clients in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the surrounding area. Our family law attorneys have consistently been recognized for their expertise and personal service. In 2010, readers of Albemarle Family Magazine recognized MartinWren, P.C. as one of the top three family law firms in Charlottesville. The magazine again recognized MartinWren, P.C. in 2011 as a “Silver Award” winner in the category of favorite Family Lawyer.
William C. “Scotty” Scott, a family law attorney at MartinWren, P.C., has been recognized by the prestigious “Best Lawyers in America” publication as one of the leading divorce lawyers in Virginia. In 2012, Scotty was named a “Legal Eagle” by Virginia Living magazine as one of Virginia’s best divorce lawyers, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch named Scotty as one of Virginia’s Top Rated Lawyers in the area of domestic relations law.
For additional information, or to schedule a consultation with one of our equitable distribution attorneys or family attorneys, please call William C. “Scotty” Scott or John B. Simpson at (434) 817-3100.