Divorce Attorney: Legal Assistance
with Property and Asset Division
What is Considered Marital and Separate Property in Divorce?
One of the most difficult matters to settle during divorce proceeding is the division of property and other financial assets, as well as debts. Most individuals facing divorce never considered what would happen if the marriage were to be terminated. Essentially, there are two types of property taken into consideration when dividing property and assets: marital and separate property. If a divorcing couple can agree (perhaps with the assistance of a mediator) to divide property according to standard protocol, the division is as follows and a court will not need to be involved:
Marital Property: Everything (earnings as well as debts) acquired during the course of the marriage, even if titled under the name of only one spouse.
Separate Property: Personal injury awards, gifts, inheritances, and pensions (vested prior to marriage). Property purchased with the separate funds of one spouse remain the individual property of that spouse. Businesses owned prior to marriage remain personal property. However, any increased value of the business that occurs during marriage may become marital property. If at any time separate property is combined with marital property, it is likely to be considered marital property.
Equitable Division of Marital Property According to WV State Law
If an agreement cannot be reached regarding the division and distribution of property and assets, the dispute may be submitted to the court. West Virginia state laws will be used to divide the property, which will be divided equitably (fairly, but not necessarily equally). Some factors used to determine equitable division include financial and non-financial contributions, efforts/sacrifices made to increase the other spouse’s earning ability, and each party’s depreciation or dissipation of the value of marital property. A spouse’s personal misconduct (adultery, for example) is NOT considered a factor in property and asset division.
The divorce attorneys at Whiteman & Burdette have assisted hundreds of clients with property and asset division matters during divorce proceedings. Contact us right away so that we can work to help protect your rights and financial future. We offer a free no-obligation initial divorce consultation. Call Whiteman & Burdette, at: (304) 367-9422.