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What is separate property in Virginia divorces?

Many things impact what will happen with a given asset in a divorce. One of the bigger factors is whether the property in question is separate or marital. Marital property generally is eligible for division in a divorce, while separate property typically isn’t. Today, we will go over the basics of separate property in Virginia.

Common types of separate property

Property obtained by one of the spouses prior to the marriage typically is separate property. Inheritances also generally fall into the separate category. Gifts typically do as well, though there is an exception to this. This exception is that gifts from one spouse to the other are generally marital property.

What happens with income from or extra value generated by separate property?

Sometimes, a spouse’s separate property gains value or generates income during the course of a marriage. In these situations, the income generated or value gained during the marriage is also generally separate property. An exception to this is if the personal efforts of either spouse were a contributing factor to the income or the value increase.

What happens with proceeds from the sale of separate property?

During the course of a marriage, a spouse might opt to sell some of his or her separate property. Generally, property obtained from the proceeds of a such a sale will be separate property if it is maintained as separate.

As a note, these are just some of the general rules in the state on separate property. There are various things, such as commingling and re-titling, that can greatly complicate the issue of what property is separate and what is marital in a divorce. Given this, the question of whether a given asset will be subject to division in a divorce isn’t always a simple one. So, it is among the questions individuals may want to take to skilled family law attorneys when heading into a divorce.

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