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Property division may not be what you expect

Oct 31, 2018 | Firm News, Property Division

Most people are quite attached their property, and understandably so. Whether it is the perfect couch that one spent months shopping for or a favorite book that holds a great deal of sentimental value, a person’s property often feels like an extension of him or herself. This can make dealing with property division during divorce — an already emotionally-trying process — incredibly difficult. However, understanding how the process works in West Virginia can help ease most people’s worries.

Only marital assets get divided during a divorce. This means that a person’s separate property — including personal gifts and assets they accumulated before marriage — will not be subject to property division. Marital property will then be split up according to equitable distribution, which is probably different than what most people expect.

In this sense, the word equitable refers to a split that is fair, though not necessarily equal. This means that West Virginia divorcees should not necessarily expect to receive exactly 50 percent of the marital assets. Depending on a person’s situation, an equitable distribution could closely resemble a 50/50 split or could look more like a 70/30 division depending on the details.

Since each couple in West Virginia is in their own unique circumstance, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to handling a divorce. A number of individual factors can affect property division, including each person’s income and, in some cases, the circumstances of a divorce. As such, individuals may not want to consider seeking guidance on complicated topics from an attorney who is experienced in family law and is equipped to answer tough questions.