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Is Virginia a community property state?

If you and your spouse are considering a Virginia divorce, you likely are concerned with how all the property the two of you accumulated during your marriage will be divided between you. FindLaw explains that Virginia is not a community property state, but rather an equitable division state.

What this means is that if you and your spouse are not able to negotiate a property division agreement, the court will make that decision for you based on a number of factors including the following:

  • The earning capacity and liabilities that each of you have
  • Whether and the extent to which either or both of you can support yourself
  • Whether one of you pays alimony to a previous spouse
  • The length of your marriage
  • Your respective ages and health
  • Whether either or both of you will receive retirement benefits

Equitable division also means that the property division between the two of you must be fair, not necessarily exactly equal.

Separate versus marital property

Any property you owned prior to your marriage is your own separate property and not part of the equitable division. Likewise, any property you received during your marriage by gift or inheritance is yours and yours alone. So is any property you purchased with money you received by gift or inheritance or by selling a piece of your own separate property.

In Virginia, marital property is all the income the two of you earned during your marriage and the things you purchased with that money. If you own a joint business, it may or may not be marital property depending on when it started and where its value comes from. This is general information only and not intended to provide legal advice.

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