Sometimes a divorce doesn't happen while a couple is still young and naive. Sometimes couples in Virginia who have been together for decades may find themselves in an unhappy marriage. There may be a certain breaking point in their marriage, such as an affair, or they may simply have grown apart over the years. However, when couples aged 50 and up decide to end their marriage -- an act known as a "gray divorce," - they may face issues younger couples do not, especially with regards to retirement.
Many people in Virginia will spend a lifetime accumulating a wide variety of assets. Some of the assets may be financially valuable, while other assets hold more sentimental value. Some of these assets were obtained before a person got married, while others were obtained during the course of the marriage. However, the classification of property as either marital or separate is essential when it comes to property division in a divorce. This is because separate property will be retained by the party that owns it, while marital property will be divided between the spouses.
When a couple in Virginia has been married for years or even decades, they will accumulate a lot of property. Some of this property is tangible, such as houses, automobiles, furniture and electronics. And, some of this property is intangible, such as retirement accounts, stocks and bank accounts. Some of a couple's assets will be highly valuable financially, but even assets that are not worth a great amount still may have a great deal of sentimental value.
When a couple in Virginia decides to divorce, one or both of them may be anxious to move out of the marital home and into their own home away from their ex. In the event that a couple decides to sell the marital home and split the proceeds or in the event that one spouse is leaving the marital home, one or both spouses may be interested in purchasing a new home in their name only. However, should they go through with the home buying process before their divorce is finalized?
Our homes are where we go to relax after a long day at work and where family memories are made. Married couples in Virginia may find that the family home is one of their most emotionally and financially valuable assets. Perhaps that is why the family home becomes such a sticking point if a couple decides to divorce. Both parties may be fighting over who gets to keep the home. Sometimes one party wants to keep the home, but the other party wants to sell it. When it comes to deciding what to do with the family home couples need to look at the situation objectively.
Last week on this blog, we discussed how couples in Virginia who are about to be wed, or are already married, can keep separate property from becoming marital property. Keep in mind that marital property is considered to be owned by each spouse and thus is included in the divisible estate should the couple divorce. This is very important, since both spouses in a divorce have a vested interest in seeing that the property division process is fair and appropriate. Last week we discussed the "do's" of keeping separate assets separate. This week we will discuss the "don'ts" of keeping separate assets separate.
When a couple in Virginia gets married, it is possible that both spouses owned property in their own name before they wed. In general, separate property remains the property of the spouse that owned it prior to the marriage. Therefore, if the couple divorced, each party's separate property would not be subject to property division, unlike property acquired during the course of the marriage (marital property).
In addition to issues such as child custody, child support and alimony, Virginians seeking a divorce will have to reach an agreement on how to fairly divide their assets. Virginia is an "equitable distribution" state, meaning that their marital property will be divided based on what the judge deems is fair. Sometimes a couple's assets are split relatively equally in the property division process, but it is not a rule in equitable distribution states, where an uneven split of property may be ordered if that is deemed to be fair and equitable.
Married couples in Virginia spend years or even decades accumulating property. They may have purchased a home, furniture, electronics, artwork, automobiles, stocks and more. Of course, not every union is meant to last, meaning that some couples may eventually face the prospect of divorce. That being said, spouses may not be so keen to let go of the property they spent so much time and money accumulating.
The end of a marriage is often a time of sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and other turbulent emotions. You may feel like your heart is breaking, or that you are losing your sense of your place in the universe. By contrast, the process of divorce itself is often largely about money.