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Basics of Virginia marital property law

Virginia is not one of the states in the nation that recognizes the idea of community property. Like most other states, Virginia is an equitable distribution state and each item of property is considered separately and the court determines which party of the divorce will be more inclined to use the item. Here are some other basic concepts about marital property in the state.

Marital property in Virginia includes all income that is earned by the couple after they are married and before they separate. Marital property also includes any property that is bought with funds that come from marital property sources. This can even include property that is purchased after a separation if the spouse's assets were not split up when the property was purchased.

Virginia also recognizes the concept of separate property. This involves any property that was bought by one of the spouses before getting married. It can also include property that was obtained either as a gift or bequeathed from a family member. Separate property can even include property that was purchased after marriage, but with money that was obtained before the individual was married.

Virginia may or may not consider ownership of a business as marital property even if the business was started before the spouses got married. If the concept of the business is what gives it value, then the state may consider it separate property. But, if the value of the business derives from the work and effort of the spouse, then it's more likely that the state will consider the business to be marital property.

Marital property can be one of the most difficult topics to obtain consensus during a divorce. However, any Virginia resident who is considering getting divorced may want to speak with a divorce attorney in order to have a better idea about the separation of their property.

Source:, "Virginia marital property laws," Accessed Oct. 11, 2015

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