What is Marital and Separate Property in a Virginia Divorce?

In a marriage, sometimes the lines become blurred between what is marital and what is separate property. After all, couples married for a long time share many assets together and often co-mingle assets that started out as separate before marriage. The lack of clarity usually does not matter until couples decide to divorce. Then, who owns what can be hotly contested issues.

According to Virginia statutes, separate property is real property and personal property that either party acquired prior to marriage. It is also property acquired through inheritance or as a gift from someone who is not the other spouse. When, during the marriage, a spouse sold separate property, the proceeds from the sale remains separate property as long as it was maintained as separate. Income derived from separate property is also separate property. For example, when the spouse owns a house and rents it, the rent income is a separate asset as long as the spouse does not deposit it into a joint bank account or the other spouse did not contribute to the rental property, such as by making repairs or doing maintenance work. Likewise, if the value of the rental home appreciates, that value is separate property unless the other spouse contributed to increasing its value, say through home renovations or remodeling. Any contributions would have to be substantial for the court to consider the property marital instead of separate property.

By comparison, marital property is all property titled in both spouse's names, income earned by each spouse, pensions, profit-sharing, deferred compensation and retirement plans acquired during marriage. Virginia Beach asset division lawyers work with clients to characterize separate and marital property and establish their property values during divorce.

Darrell M. Harding has helped clients deal with asset division for more than 20 years.

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Virginia Beach: 757-499-2600
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"In every case Mr. Harding takes, he strives to provide his clients with the highest level of legal service. If you choose Darrell M. Harding Attorney At Law, PLC to represent you, you can expect to receive experienced legal guidance and be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect at all times."

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  • Virginia Beach Office

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    5366 Virginia Beach Boulevard, AAA Building.
    Suite 301
    Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462

  • Chesapeake Office

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    2010 Old Greenbrier Road
    Suite L
    Chesapeake, Virginia 23320

    Phone

    757-401-6804

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    Address

    1500 E Little Creek Road
    Suite 309
    Norfolk, Virginia 23518

    Phone

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  • 5.0/5.0

    Mr. Harding was professional and very competent in handling my case. He explained the benefits and risks of the court case. He was compassionate and forthcoming in his recommedations. Mr. Harding was very easy to work with and a trustwort...
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  • 5.0/5.0

    Working with this lawyer really helped alot! Myself Haveing almost no understanding of law , he was able to explain everything I was going to have to do , and things he needed from me. Great value, didn't break my bank, everything was hand...
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  • 5.0/5.0

    My son and I worked with Mr. Thomas Harding in a custody case. He was very informative and explained everything about the process and procedures of the case. We highly recommend him and have his number on speed dial if any other issues ma...
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  • 5.0/5.0

    I hired Thomas Harding for my custody case regarding the custody of my daughter and throughout this whole experience he has been understanding with payment options as well has had nothing but five Star quality service. He has been thorough...
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  • 5.0/5.0

    Mr Thomas F. Harding is an Attorney that I admire and very knowledgeable, He started on my case in May of 2019 and still in progress and soon to be over, but when I first went to Mr Harding office I was so afraid to go forward with my divor...
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