Marital Property Division
How property will be divided is a primary concern for anyone going through a divorce. Property division has a direct impact on your future financial stability and retirement planning.
In Virginia, marital assets and debts are divided using a method called “equitable distribution.” Equitable distribution does not mean property will be divided equally. Rather, when deciding how assets and debts will be divided, courts look at a number of factors, including:
- The value of the assets (or debts)
- The financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse
- The positive and negative contributions of each spouse to the marriage
- The actions of one or both of the parties in contributing to the breakdown of the marriage
The experienced attorneys at Stiles Ewing Powers PC will guide you through the complex and nuanced issues surrounding property division You and your lawyer will consider many issues such as whether an asset or debt is marital or separate, belonging to just you or your spouse; whether your home was purchased with funds earned during the marriage or from before you married; and if you or your spouse inherited any money or received any gifts.
Complex Property Issues
Complex assets include those items that are difficult to value and may require an expert opinion, such as the value of a business, stock options, antiques, or a work of art. Some assets are difficult to value because of future tax implications or an expected future event, such as the sale or merger of a business.
At Stiles Ewing Powers PC, we are experienced in managing complicated asset division in the context of divorce. We partner with expert witnesses such as certified public accountants, business valuators, appraisers, and financial experts to prepare the strongest case possible and protect your financial interests.
Division of Retirement Assets
While it may seem “easy” to divide a company pension or 401(k) because its value is known, it can, in fact, be quite complicated. Retirement assets are treated differently by the IRS than other assets and may require a specialized court order for division. Retirement accounts require careful consideration and calculation of your separate and/or marital interest. If the account division is handled improperly, you can suffer unexpected and costly tax consequences. Each retirement plan is unique and many pension plans can be complicated to divide.
The attorneys at Stiles Ewing Powers PC are experienced in valuing the marital portion of retirement assets and pension plan calculations. We will work with you to secure all benefits to which you are entitled. We have extensive experience with drafting the necessary and complex documents needed to transfer retirement benefits between spouses in divorce.