Property Division and Divorce

Coronavirus Family Lawyer

There are probably a lot of issues you’re worried about if you are in the middle of a divorce. Just one of those issues might be how your property is going to be divided. Perhaps you own multiple properties as a married couple, and perhaps you only own a few small assets together. In either case, it’s important you get what you feel you deserve, but how does it all work?

Community Property or Not?
The first thing a court will do is determine whether the property is community property, or owned by both spouses, or if it is non-community property, or owned by just one spouse. Though the definitions can get complex, they are basically as follows.

  • Community Property – All earnings, debts and properties incurred and acquired during the time the couple was married. This does not apply for debts in which a creditor seeks payment from one spouse’s private property.
  • Non-Community Property – Just because a couple is married, doesn’t mean they own everything together. Some non-community properties include inheritances and gifts that were given to just one spouse. It also includes properties that either party owned privately before the marriage. If one spouse used his or her private funds that were acquired before marriage to purchase a property during marriage, that may be considered non-community property. Also included could be a business that either spouse owned before the marriage.

Are There Exceptions to the Rule?
Keep in mind there are circumstances in which these rules don’t apply. For example, if one spouse owned a home before the marriage, and the other spouse moved in upon getting married, they may both be equally entitled to that property if they lived there together for a certain period of time.

There are other situations in which a couple will use community assets and non-community assets to invest in property together. In these cases, the property will typically become community property. If one spouse is able to show the separate amount he or she personally invested into the property, he or she may be entitled to keep that value of it.

Contacting a Lawyer to Get Help
When you’re in the middle of a divorce, the emotions can run high. If you’re already unsure what to do and how to handle the situation, those emotions can complicate the issue. For help in learning about property division and how to obtain what you feel you deserve, contact a family lawyer, like a coronavirus family lawyer in Arlington, Virginia, for help.

Thank you to the experts at May Law, LLP for their input into family law and the coronavirus.