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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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How High-Value Assets are Divided in a Virginia Divorce Proceeding


Some divorces have assets that extend beyond the family home and a couple of cars. Some couples have their own businesses and a lot of assets. Some of these assets can be worth a lot of money, like antiques, artwork, stocks, intellectual property, and more. The process of dividing these assets can be time-consuming and filled with plenty of tension. Sorting out who gets personal items is easy, but when there are valuable assets that were acquired by both spouses, you’ll need the assistance of a skilled Leesburg divorce attorney who can help. 

Factors Considered in Property Settlement Agreements 

If you don’t reach an agreement with your spouse on how to divide your marital assets, the court will be left to sort it out for you. To do so, they will look at a number of details. For example, if you and your spouse are big art collectors, determining who gets the art and what the value is are important decisions the court has to make. In order to make a ruling, the court will consider factors like:

  • When was the art purchased? Was it purchased during the course of the marriage?
  • Is any of the artwork inherited by only one spouse during the course of the marriage?
  • Is there any art that was inherited or purchased by one spouse prior to the marriage?
  • Did one spouse give the other spouse a gift of artwork?
  • Was the artwork purchased during the course of the marriage using separate funds from one spouse only?
  • Regardless of how the art was acquired, did it gain a lot of value during the course of your marriage? Was it ever used as collateral to fund the marriage’s lifestyle?

What happens if the artwork was created by one of the spouses? This can be a confusing twist to deal with. You may assume that whoever creates the artwork is entitled to take it or claim its full value. However, there are situations where the other spouse may be entitled to some of the value. Imagine if the artist spouse works full time from home on their craft. If the non-artist spouse is the one working a traditional full-time job to pay the bills, he or she may be entitled to a portion of its value due to the “shared” effort.

How to Determine High-Value Assets Worth?

Determining the value of these type of assets can be more challenging compared to something like a piece of land or a vacation home in another state. In cases involving assets like artwork, antiques, stocks, retirement accounts, etc., valuation experts are used. These are specialists who can help reach a determination on the value of complex assets. Do not be surprised if both sides reach different value figures. If you cannot come to an agreement after this, the court will still need to make their own determination on the value and who gets what share. 

Contact a Virginia Family Law Attorney

If you are preparing for a divorce in Virginia, contact Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC today to schedule an initial consultation. Let one of our skilled family law attorneys help with your divorce and with retaining experts to value complex assets that need to be divided.


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