Pre-Divorce Financial Planning Attorneys Fairfax, VA
In Family Law, knowledge and information are extremely important. The more you know, the better prepared you are to make important decisions. If you are contemplating divorce and have the benefit of time, it is advisable to talk with a knowledgeable and skilled attorney who can provide you with personalized advice and a comprehensive analysis of your specific circumstances. Making decisions about whether you should pursue an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce will turn on whether you reach amicable decisions with your spouse about divisions of assets, debts, and property. In order to make those decisions, you will need to take the time to inform yourself of your big picture.
What is Marital Property and Marital Debt?
One of the most important things to understand is the concept of “marital property.” In Virginia, nearly all money that is earned, financial investments made, and property purchased during the marriage is considered marital property, which is subject to a division between both spouses, regardless of which spouse actually earned the money or purchased the property. The same goes for all debts incurred during the marriage.
Therefore, even if one spouse earned a majority or all of the income during the marriage, all financial assets and property that can be traced to those earnings are subject to division in the divorce. By the same token, it does not necessarily matter if property is titled in only one spouse’s name as that will not dictate who receives that property in a divorce.
Similarly, debts (credit cards, loans, installment contracts) are also marital debt, regardless of whose name is on the account and subject to division in divorce.
What do I need to do to be prepared?
There are several things to do in order to prepare yourself for the financial discussions that lie ahead:
- Make a list of all the marital property you are aware of, including real property, jewelry, vehicles, and other high-value assets.
- Make a list of all financial accounts, both individual and joint, and keep an eye on the balances, transfers and spending.
- Consider your individual budgetary needs. This is the time to start paying attention to your spending and discerning your monthly financial need.
- Start gathering copies of important financial documents relating to your marital property and marital debts in order to compile your own portfolio of reference materials.
Contact One of Our Fairfax, VA Pre-Divorce Financial Planning Attorneys
If you have a pre-divorce financial planning issue or other family law issues, please contact Leary Porter Law today to discuss your issues at 703-359-7111. We are here to help you.