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Property Division in Northern Virginia Divorce Mediation

Property Division in Northern Virginia Divorce Mediation

When you and your spouse have decided to seek a divorce, there are many considerations that must be prioritized. Instead of focusing on painful litigation and creating a strategy that confounds your spouse’s legal team, it is much easier—and more intelligent—to focus on what precisely you need from your divorce. In mediation, instead of working separately to gain some advantage in contentious litigation with your spouse, you will work together to forge solutions that benefit your children and both parties.

Alimony, child support, and property division in Virginia divorce proceedings all have certain criteria set out by lawmakers. If you elect to forego expensive, difficult litigation in the courts, a neutral, highly trained divorce mediator will be able to work with you and your spouse efficiently and rationally in an attempt to properly divide up your marital property.

Virginia law sets out standards by which divorcing couples divide property

There are certain criteria for property division decided by the Virginia legislature. An divorce mediator will be able to assist you with the following considerations:

  • Determining property value. When you and your spouse are dividing up marital property, one of the first tasks for any specialist or advocate you work with will be an accurate assessment of the value of co-owned properties. This could mean a house, a business, furniture collections, pension plans, or valuable art. Mediation can help you determine and agree on what should belong to either spouse as his or her sole estate and then agree on a division of the marital property in a sensible way to create as much value for each party as is possible in the circumstances.

  • Determining property ownership. Mediators can help you agree who should become the sole owner of what property that was gained during the course of a marriage. We may also engage experts in taxes, law and real estate that can guide you toward an understandable division of property. If you have separate property, you will have to decide who retains ownership of the property. Separate property in Virginia is usually property acquired prior to or outside of the marriage, or meets several other definitions.

  • Determining marital property. When you acquire possessions and property during your marriage, and then you file for divorce, the division of these items can be difficult. Competent mediators will help you resolve property ownership considering what is best for your family. This can get complicated, and you will need to work with impartial professionals in order to divide marital property fairly and in a way that optimizes your circumstances.

  • Use and possession. This refers to the person living in the home or in possession of other type of property, and whether they have custodial rights over it or not. This can affect where children live. For example, if one parent retains ownership of the house bought in the marriage, but the other parent and the children decide to live permanently in that house for the duration of the children’s school years, this is something that can be determined during mediation.

While the Court in Virginia will consider various statutory factors, those factors are very complicated in application as is evident from the many judicial opinions regarding the division of property. In mediation, you have the ability to structure the division of property in a way which benefits you both and makes the most sense for your family.

Instead of fretting over retaliatory measures and paying expensive lawyer and court fees, consider mediation for a respectful, safe, and affordable way to divide up your property during a divorce. At Divorce Mediation Associates, Ltd., we work with you every step of the way, from our initial meeting throughout the duration of your divorce proceedings needs. Mediation is preferable to antagonistic divorce litigation, and can result in you receiving a more equitable and specific division of property. If you have any questions, or to schedule an appointment to learn about what services we provide, please call 703-665-7592, or use our contact form.


1 Those factors include:

  1. The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;

  2. The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party in the acquisition and care and maintenance of such marital property of the parties;

  3. The duration of the marriage;

  4. The ages and physical and mental condition of the parties;

  5. The circumstances and factors which contributed to the dissolution of the marriage;

  6. How and when specific items of such marital property were acquired;

  7. The debts and liabilities of each spouse, the basis for such debts and liabilities, and the property which may serve as security for such debts and liabilities;

  8. The liquid or nonliquid character of all marital property;

  9. The tax consequences to each party;

  10. The use or expenditure of marital property by either of the parties for a nonmarital separate purpose or the dissipation of such funds, when such was done in anticipation of divorce or separation or after the last separation of the parties; and

  11. Such other factors as the court deems necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable monetary award.