How are assets and debts divided?
In a divorce case, the court is tasked with a multi-step process to divide assets and liabilities. First the court must identify the asset. Next, the court must classify it, or determine whether it is marital property, which will be divided by the parties; separate property, which belongs solely to one party or the other; or hybrid property, which is property that is both marital and separate. If the property is marital or hybrid, the court must value the property. Generally, the court values the property as of the date of trial and the value of debt as of the date the parties separated. However, the court can use an earlier valuation date if good cause is shown. Once the property or debt has been identified, classified, and valued, the Court must distribute it between the two parties. In making its decision as to how the property or debt will be distributed, the Court is required to consider the factors enumerated in Code of Virginia §20-107.3(E).
Author: Virginia C. Haizlip