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How is property divided in an equitable distribution state?

Property division can be one of the most hotly contested issues during a divorce. However, how marital property is ultimately divided can come down to whether a state is a community property state or an equitable distribution state. Virginia is an equitable distribution state, which means that a divorce court takes into account what the financial capabilities of each spouse are. Here are some common factors that Virginia courts take into consideration during the property division process.

Equitable distribution is more flexible when it comes to property division, but it can also be tougher to predict the outcome. One factor that plays a part in dividing up marital property is how long a couple has been married. This is important, because the longer a couple has been married, the greater the amount of assets and possessions they will have acquired. A couple that has been married only for several years won't face this dilemma.

Other marital property factors that an equitable distribution state considers during a divorce include the mental and physical health of the spouses as well as the standard of living that they established during their marriage. The court will also look at factors such as how much money and property each spouse bought to the marriage and whether the couple signed any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements about property distribution. The court may also look at the earning and income potential for each spouse and if any of them helped pay for the education and training of the other.

These are only a few factors the court may consider when making property division decisions. Understanding how property division works is key to obtaining an outcome that is fair and appropriate. Those who have questions about property division in Virginia may want to speak with a divorce attorney so that they can get a better understanding about how the process of property division in Virginia is handled.

Source:, "Financial issues in divorce in Virginia", Accessed Sept. 19, 2016

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