Protect What’s Yours With An Experienced Property Division Attorney
Divorce often involves the division of a variety of types of property and debt. This process, called “equitable distribution” in Virginia, can be incredibly stressful for clients as they try to plan for their futures. Before dividing property, courts first determine (or the parties agree) which property is separate and which property is marital. Some property may also be hybrid, meaning that it is part marital and part separate. If you believe assets may lose their proper classification as separate or marital property, speaking to a property division lawyer is imperative early in the separation.
Our attorneys at Hirsch & Ehlenberger, P.C., are familiar with the nuances of property division and have handled equitable distribution cases throughout Northern Virginia. We have experience with all types of assets, from common holdings such as retirement and real estate, to unique assets such as stock options and business interests.
Asset Classification May Make A Big Difference
Beginning at your consultation, our attorneys look for any assets that might be separate or hybrid so we can assist you in obtaining the documentation and evidence needed to prove such a claim. Gathering evidence early in a case allows settlement negotiations to go more quickly and successfully and can ensure that we are ready for a hearing if a settlement is not possible.
The next step is the appropriate division of the marital property. Virginia does not have a presumption that marital property and debt will be divided equally, but that does not occur in many cases. . If the matter goes to court, the court must consider the factors listed in Virginia Code § 20-107.3, which include financial and other contributions, the duration of the marriage and other important relevant information.
Discovery And Preparation
Preparing for an equitable distribution (or property distribution) hearing involves substantial advance work. There are often scheduling orders that require all documents to be produced well before trial to ensure that both parties have a fair day in court.
Much of the trial process involves “discovery.” Discovery often includes interrogatories (written questions which have to be answered in writing), requests for production of documents, subpoenaing documents, expert witness evaluations and depositions. If documents or information are not produced in discovery well before the trial, parties may be barred from using the documents or information to prove their side of the case at a hearing.
Contact Our Family Law Attorneys Today
If you would like more information about what to expect during the division of property (equitable distribution) or any other family law matter, contact Hirsch & Ehlenberger, P.C., for an initial consultation. Call 703-481-6063 or email us.