If I own property acquired prior to marriage, how is it divided in case of divorce?

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If I own property acquired prior to marriage, how is it divided in case of divorce?

Asked on November 17, 2012 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In Virginia, property acquired prior to marriage is generally considered separate property and will go back to the spouse who owned the property prior to the marriage.  Virginia does have some limited exceptions however.  If the property was improved during the marriage because of the efforts fo the other spouse during the marriage, then they could seek contribution or reimbursement during the divorce for part of their efforts.  Sometimes this is accomplished by giving this spouse a greater share of the community estate.  The other exception is if the property became so intertwined with community property that it cannot be differentiated, then it could be deemed community property and divided equally between the spouses.   This usually happens in cases of accounts where both spouses contribute and make withdrawals over a period of years, such that it becomes too difficult to tell who's was who's.  If you have had co-mingling or contribution issues, visit with a family law attorney to review the specific facts of your situation to see if they will be subject to either of these exceptions.


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