Overview of the property division process in a Virginia divorce

Property division can sometimes be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. If you are planning on going through the divorce process in the near future, it’s good to know what to expect so that you can prepare yourself to fight for what you most want and need out of your marital estate.

Negotiating an agreement

The first thing to know about your divorce is that you don’t have to leave the asset division process up to the court. If you and your spouse are willing and able to work together and negotiate in good faith, you have the option of hiring attorneys and negotiating your own divorce agreement that divides your property up however you see fit.

After you create your agreement, the judge will look it over. If the judge decides that it is fair, they will incorporate it into the final divorce decree. If not, they will give it back to you with required revisions to make.

If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement as to how to divide your assets and debts, you may have to litigate the matter in court. If so, the court will come up with a divorce decree following a set method that the Virginia legislature established.

The two categories of property

The first step that the court will take is to sort all of your property into two categories – separate property and marital property.

Generally speaking, separate property constitutes things that you had before you got married. It also includes things that somebody gave specifically to you during your marriage, such as gifts and inheritances.

Marital property, on the other hand, is anything that you or your spouse obtained during the marriage. There are exceptions to these two categorizations, but in general this is how the court will see your property. The court will categorize your debit in the same way.

You will keep all of your separate property. The court will divide the marital portion of your property after taking into account several key factors.

Among other things, the court will look at the education, earning capacity, age and health of both you and your spouse. They will then apportion your marital property and debt in a way that is fair to both parties.

While divorce is often a brutal affair, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a long one. With proper preparation, good negotiating skills and open communication, you will hopefully be able to get through it as quickly as possible, and with a satisfying result.

Common traffic violations and the Virginia demerit system

When drivers face the criminal penalties of a significant traffic offense or see their demerit points increasing, it can often be a life-altering experience. From the loss of driving privileges and fines to potential of increased insurance premiums and mandatory driver improvement courses, Virginia motorists must take traffic violations seriously at all times.

While there are countless types of traffic violations, here are the three common categories and several infractions associated with each:

  • 3-point violations: Speeding (1-9 mph above the posted speed limit), impeding traffic, improper passing, improper U-turn, violation of intersection turns on red, driving without lights, failure to dim lights and driving with no Virginia license.
  • 4-point violations: Reckless driving, speeding (10-19 mph above the posted speed limit), passing when unsafe, failure to stop for police/fire/emergency vehicles, failure to yield the right-of-way, failure to stop for pedestrians and failure to drive on the right half of a highway or street.
  • 6-point violations: Reckless driving (speeding in excess of 85 mph), racing, passing an emergency vehicle, speeding (20 mph or more above the posted speed limit), driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, refusing a blood/breath test, or driving with a revoked or suspended license.

Drivers rely on the convenience of hopping in the car and quickly reaching even far off destinations. From simple chores like driving to school or completing household errands to crucial activities like commuting to work or taking a vacation, drivers often take this convenience for granted. Unfortunately, when confronted with the loss of driving privileges, even a simple task can become challenging.

It is wise to understand your options for fighting a traffic violation or getting demerit points on your license reduced.