Financial Considerations in a Virginia Divorce

Divorce can be messy, emotionally and legally, but there are also many financial concerns to be aware of too. It’s important that you are aware of all the different financial issues that could come into play during a divorce, so that you can weather the separation more easily. Here are a few things to keep in mind during a Virginia divorce.

Dividing Assets

In the state of Virginia, marriage is considered to be an economic partnership as well as a legal one, which means that dividing assets after the fact can be tricky. The court will determine which assets are marital (such as a home titled in the name of both spouses, other jointly-titled property, or other property obtained during the marriage) and which ones are separate property (such as gifts from third parties). The joint assets will be valued and then divided based on a variety of factors, such as the economic contributions of each party to the marriage and the tax consequences of divided property.

Debts

Unfortunately, possessions aren’t the only things that get divided—so are the debts. As discussed in a past blog post, “How Is Debt Divided in a Divorce?,” liabilities are also classified as marital or separate owned and then divided according to the same factors that are considered in dividing property.

Spousal and Child Support

In many marriages, one spouse is more financially dependent than the other, and a divorce can represent a serious blow to their finances. Spousal support (AKA alimony) is decided based on factors such as the standard of living established during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the earning capacity of each party, and the contributions made by each party to the family. It is not designed to recompense or punish either spouse. When children are involved, child support might also be necessary to help provide for their needs.

Individual Finances

There are many financial habits that might have to be adjusted in a divorce. If you and your spouse shared bank accounts, then you’ll have to open new ones under your own name as an individual. If you filed taxes jointly, you’ll have to begin filing alone. Also consider writing a new will—you can’t will away property you no longer hold. Divorce can be financially complex, but a little bit of preparation can make the transition smoother.

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Matt Kurylo

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