Property In Divorce FAQs

Valuation Methods in the Division of a Business

When a husband or wife, or both, own a business during marriage, they will need to determine the marital value of same in order to divide same if they divorce. Like other assets, a business can be included in the marital estate for division, or Aequitable distribution,@ upon divorce. Also like other assets, the business […]

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Bankruptcy and Divorce

Spousal and child support debts are not subject to discharge (forgiven) in bankruptcy. However, other debts owed from the bankrupt spouse to the other may be discharged.  Consider a Virginia case where the Husband in chapter 13 bankruptcy still owned the Wife child support arrearages, but not a substantial lump sum payment on a home […]

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Equitable Distribution of Marital Business

The splitting of a marital business can be a major issue in divorce. Virginia courts will not necessarily find the parties equally entitled to it. Instead, it will consider a variety of factors presented by the divorcing parties. These factors might include the negative and positive contributions to the business and family during the marriage, […]

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What is the first step to take when dealing with property in divorce issues?

The complexity and high stakes nature of property in divorce and other Family Law matters require skilled legal representation. The multitude of issues involved extend far beyond the FAQs herein. An initial consultation is the absolute minimum step that a party should take to learn what their rights are and how to protect them. Contact the […]

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I am separated and my spouse (in anticipation of divorce) is unnecessarily liquidating assets for the purposes of spending for purposes of which I do not approve. What can I do?

There are many options (including but not limited to): A party can petition the court to award an injunction (pendente lite) to safeguard assets until the final divorce hearing. A party can also claim assets purchase with marital resources as marital property. Additionally, for those resources spent for which there are no assets to recover, […]

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I have a pension. Does my spouse have an interest?

Maybe. If the pension was accrued during the marriage (and prior to date of separation), then the date of marriage to date of separation value of the pension is likely marital property. However, the court cannot award more than 50% of any pension to the non-pensioner.

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My spouse contributed very little to the marriage and/or acquiring assets?  Does that matter?

There is no presumption in Virginia that property is to be divided 50/50 in divorce. In fact, in dividing the assets, the court must consider the negative “monetary” and “non-monetary” contributions of each party to the marriage. As a result, the court can award a disproportionate share of property to one party or the other.

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The marital home is under water i.e. its mortgages exceed its value. What are my options?

There are many options (but not limited to) that parties can agree to short sale the home, sell the home and cover the cost of the shortfall, maintain the home for a time with the hopes that its value may increase with the agreement that it will then be sold or refinanced, or (if a […]

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I want to refinance the marital home into my name only upon divorce. What are my options?

There are many options including (but not limited to) that parties can accomplish this by marital settlement agreement or, when a spouse disagrees, the court has the power to permit a party to refinance a marital home and buy out the other party’s interest.

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How are fees for legal services assessed?

In divorce and Family Law matters, the Law Office of William R.F. Conners, P.C., charges by the hour. A nominal fee is required for initial consultations. Visa/MasterCard accepted.

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What is “Hybrid” property?

Hybrid property is generally that property which has a separate and marital component. The separate component must be proven and “traced”.

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What is “Separate” property?

Separate property is generally that property which was acquired prior to the date of marriage or after the date of separation or was received as an inheritance or gift. However, separate property must be proven and “traced”.

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What is “Marital” property?

Marital property is generally that property which was acquired from the date of marriage until the date of separation less any separate interests. All property is presumed “marital” and must be proven otherwise.

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How is the property of divorcing parties distributed?

One of the most complex and important areas of divorce law relates to determining property distributions. The method of distribution used in Virginia is called “equitable distribution.” Equitable distribution may be triggered at the conclusion of the divorce to determine the relative rights and interests of the divorcing parties in property acquired before, during or […]

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After reading the FAQs (above), the first step for most of our clients is the
Family Law Consultation
. At this typically hour long meeting, you will meet with
lawyer William R.F. Conners or another well known and experienced attorney
affiliated with the Firm. We will discuss the many aspects of your marriage
impacting the distribution of property in your divorce case. In the course of
the consultation, we will assess your situation, advise you of your legal rights,
obligations and relevant law and discuss your options and remedies. After the
consultation, you will be better equipped to make important decisions on your
spousal support issues.

During our meeting with you, we will discuss many aspects including:

  • What property is within the marital estate
  • How to determine whether property is “marital” or “separate” or “hybrid”
  • What claims you and/or your spouse may have to property acquired prior to the marriage
  • What claims you and/or your spouse may have to property acquired after your date of separation
  • Arguments for and against classification of property as “marital”, “separate” or “hybrid
  • The manner in which debt is allocated
  • The best methods in utilizing marital assets for post-separation expenses
  • How certain assets may be distributed
  • Strategies for maintaining ownership of favored marital assets
  • The manner and mechanisms in which homes which are “underwater” are disposed
  • The manner and mechanisms in which a party may retain a marital home after divorce
  • The role of judicial discretion in determining division of property
  • How experts can be effectively utilized
  • And much more.
The Law Office of William R.F. Conners, P.C. in Leesburg, Virginia serves the cities of Chantilly, Fairfax, Herndon, Leesburg, Middleburg, Reston, and Vienna, Sterling, Ashburn and Purcellville, as well as all communities in Loudoun County and Fairfax County, Virginia.