Though child custody issues are generally considered the most contentious in divorce disputes, Randall J. Borden, Attorney at Law in his 30 years of practicing family law, has seen a great many property division disputes that are difficult to resolve. This is particularly true if the marital assets are of high net worth, or if one of the divorcing spouses has a much lower income than the other.

Unfortunately, even though property division appears to be more a financial issue than a personal one, any divorce matter can easily be colored by resentments rooted in a relationship gone wrong. For this reason, property division during divorce proceedings can be complex and emotionally charged, requiring legal intervention. If you are entangled in a property division dispute in Virginia, getting in touch with Randall Borden is a wise move.

Equitable Is Not Necessarily Equal

In Virginia, marital property is legally divided between the spouses according to the principle of “equitable distribution.” This means that the marital assets will be fairly divided by agreement of the two parties or by order of the court so that the outcome is fair rather than simply 50-50.

In Virginia, the following factors are taken into consideration as equitable division is determined:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age and health of each spouse since these qualities affect earning ability 
  • Contributions to the marriage, both financial and non-financial 
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse, including assets and income 
  • Debts and liabilities incurred during the marriage
  • Tax consequences of asset division

Distinguishing Marital Assets From Separate Property

Virginia laws do not consider all property owned by either spouse as subject to division during divorce. Marital assets and separate property are distinct entities.

Marital Assets 

Marital assets are those acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on their titles. In Virginia, these typically include:

  • Real estate properties bought during the marriage.
  • Personal property, such as vehicles, furniture, equipment, and other tangible items.
  • Financial assets, including bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and other investments, and (notably) pensions and retirement accounts.
  • Business interests, including shares in business ventures initiated or developed during the marriage.

Separate Property

Separate assets, on the other hand, are property:

  • Owned by either spouse before the marriage
  • Acquired individually during the marriage as a personal gift
  • Left to one spouse as an inheritance
  • Received as a lawsuit settlement

Common Conflicts That Arise During Asset Division 

It is not unusual for one spouse to feel cheated by asset division and/or the other spouse to feel taken advantage of by a proposed agreement. Couples may have disputes over:

  • The actual value of assets, claiming that their spouse deliberately undervalued or overvalued an item for personal gain.
  • Whether certain assets have been hidden, for example in an overseas bank account.
  • Whether certain resources have been used up, misused, or even destroyed by the other spouse before they could be assessed as part of the couple’s accumulated assets.
  • Which spouse is responsible for the bulk of the accumulated marital debts?

Resolving Property Division Disputes

An experienced family lawyer like Randall Borden is needed to defend your rights and see that the situation is resolved justly, with as little turmoil as possible. If the opposing lawyers cannot reach a negotiated agreement, there are other strategies available, including:

  • Mediation in which an impartial third party trained in compromise helps spouses reach an agreement.
  • Collaborative law in which the two opposing spouses work together with one another and their attorneys to negotiate a viable settlement.
  • Bringing in financial experts, such as appraisers or forensic accountants, to provide clarity by professionally assessing the value of the property in dispute.

If none of these methods yield positive results, the case will have to be adjudicated in court. Fortunately for his clients, Attorney Borden has an impressive track record of successful litigation.

A Skilled Property Division Disputes Attorney Will Guide You Through

Randall Borden has a well-deserved reputation for providing:

  • Insightful guidance as well as personal attention
  • Current, accurate knowledge of state-specific divorce law 
  • Well-practiced negotiation skills
  • Investigative talent when it comes to identifying concealed assets 
  • Advocacy for fair, equitable division of assets that reflects his client’s interests
  • Diplomatic strategies that mitigate conflict

Contact Our Fairfax Property Division Disputes Lawyer Randall J. Borden 

A gifted divorce attorney can make all the difference when it comes to settling a property division dispute and tamping down tensions. Contact Randall Borden to facilitate your divorce, ease your path forward, and restore your peace of mind.