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  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.


    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

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  • Ruth M. McElroy


    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

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  • Jennifer D. Cisneros


    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

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Common Questions about Property Division in a Virginia Divorce


During a Virginia divorce, dividing marital assets and liabilities is typically one of the most difficult aspects to resolve. Before you get worried about losing everything, you need to contact a Leesburg divorce attorney who can put your fears to rest. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about property division in a Leesburg divorce.

What is Marital Property versus Separate Property?

The court will determine how property is classified and what it is worth before it is divided. Marital property is any property that includes property, income, other assets, and debts that were accumulated during the course of your marriage. Marital assets and liabilities can include retirement funds, real estate, wages, pensions, personal property, credit card bills, car loans, mortgages, and more.

Separate property would remain with whoever it belongs to, which can include pre-marital assets and debts, along with inheritances or gifts specifically given to you and not to both you and your spouse. It’s imperative to understand that there are some circumstances where separate property can turn into marital property if you commingle it, which means mixing it with your marital property.

Who Gets to Keep the Marital Home?

There is no definitive answer on who keeps the marital home. This is something you can negotiate during the property settlement agreement. If you are the parent who has primary physical custody, you may get the home, but the question is whether you can afford it. You need to weigh the pros and cons of whether it’s truly feasible for you to remain in the home. In many cases, the best decision is to sell the house and for both spouses divide the money.  Another option is one spouse buys the other spouse out of the home for a percentage of the equity in the home, usually 50%.

How do You Determine the Value for Marital Assets?

Once you identify all your marital property that will be divided, you have to determine its worth. You will need to outline your assets and determine what the fair market value is for each. This isn’t necessarily what the purchase price was for a particular item, nor does it mean the value of what someone would pay for the item today (replacement value). The fair market value is essentially what someone would pay the seller for an item when there is not the need to sell or buy the item in question.

Do Prenuptial Agreements Protect my Assets?

Prenuptial agreements typically define property that is marital and property that is separate. Drafting a prenuptial agreement isn’t a guarantee that your property will be protected, however. Some agreements are not valid and will therefore be rejected by the court. This is one of the reasons why it’s important you have a knowledgeable Virginia prenuptial agreement attorney draft your agreement.

Is my Spouse Automatically Entitled to Half of my Retirement Accounts?

Not automatically.  Depending on the circumstances, there is a chance that your spouse could be entitled to half of your retirement accounts. Any part of your retirement that was earned during the marriage could be considered marital property and therefore subject to division.  Virginia law provides that as spouse can only get a maximum of 50% of the marital share of the other spouse’s retirement account

Contact a Virginia Divorce Attorney

If you need assistance with your pending Virginia divorce, contact Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC today to schedule an initial consultation.


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