What Constitutes Separate Property in Virginia?

Separately owned belongings do not mechanically end up marital upon marriage, even when it’s miles located into joint names. Suppose one party invested separate funds into a marital asset; if they can trace out or show that investment, they will be entitled to a return on the purchase or the amount invested plus appreciation. This is a massive difficulty in lots of cases. The tracing procedure links each purchase to its primary supply, separate or marital assets. Harris v. Harris, 2004 Va. App. App 459; 470S.E. 2nd 605, 1996, preserving that the interest passively earned at the husband’s premarital assets are separate. LEXIS 138 (2004). See Mann v Mann, 22 V.A. additionally.

The Code of Virginia, §20-107.Three(A)(1)(iv) defines “separate property” as “that a part of any belongings categorized as separate according to subdivision A.Three. Code of Virginia, §20-107.3(A)(3)(e) presents that “while marital assets and separate property are commingled into newly received property resulting in the loss of identity of the contributing houses, the commingled property will be deemed transmuted to marital belongings. However, to the volume the contributed belongings are retraceable by a preponderance of the evidence and became now not a present, the contributed belongings shall hold its authentic class.” (emphasis added). Code of Virginia, §20-107.3(A)(three)(g) provides that phase (e) of this segment shall observe jointly owned belongings. No presumption of the present shall stand up beneath this section where (ii) newly obtained assets are conveyed into joint ownership.


The increase in the cost of separate property during the wedding is separate belongings until marital assets or the personal efforts of either celebration have contributed to such increases and then best to the volume of the increases in price attributable to such contributions. The non-public efforts of either celebration must be widespread and result in sizable appreciation of the separate assets if any boom in value attributable to it is considered marital belongings. See Code of Virginia, §20-107.Three(A)(three)(a). In this case, the increases in the actual estate are due to market fluctuations.

Tracing involves a two-prong burden to look at. First, a celebration has to prove he invested separate assets into the real estate, which he did. It is undisputed that all the money used to buy the estate was his traceable separate belongings. Then, the Complainant’s burden shifts to show that the transmutation becomes a gift by clear and convincing evidence. (See Va. Code Ann. § 20-107.3(A)(three)(g)) and Tunis v Turonis, 2003 Va. App. LEXIS 130, (2003)). No presumption of a present arises because one party positioned the real estate within the parties’ joint names.

There is not any proof of a gift in this situation. (See also Von Raab, 26 Va. App. At 248, 494 S.E.2nd at one hundred sixty and Utsch v. Utsch, 38 Va. App. 450, 458, 565 S.E.Second 345, 349 (2002) (quoting Theismann, 22 Va. App. At 566, 471 S.E.Second at 813). If the celebration claiming a separate interest proves traceability and the alternative party fails to show transmutation of the belongings by the present, “the Code states that the contributed separate assets ‘shall retain its authentic classification.'” (emphasis brought) Hart v Hart, 27 Va. App. 46, sixty-eight, 497 S.E. 2d 496, 506 (1998). (quoting Code § 20-107.Three(A)(3)(d), (e)) West v West, 2003 Va. App. LEXIS 512 (2030).

The second issue is the passive appreciation of the value of the collection titled actual estate. Pursuant each to Virginia Code Va. 20-107.3(A) and the usage of the Brandenburg formulation, which has in no way been held erroneous through the Virginia appellate courts (See Turonis, Supra), All of the passive appreciation on a party’s separate investment in actual property is likewise different assets. ” This trouble changed into addressed in Kelley v. Kelley, No. 0896-99-2, 2000 Va. App. LEXIS 576 (Ct. Of Appeals Aug. 1, 2000), retaining that the trial court docket erred in failing to recognize that passive appreciation on the husband’s separate funding to the actual property turned into also the husband’s assets. (emphasis added0.

This problem changed into also addressed in the case of Stark v. Rankins, 2001 Va. App. LEXIS 375 (2001), keeping that “in pertinent part, Code § 20-107.3(A)(1) affords that “the boom in the value of separate assets during the marriage is separate assets, except marital property or the non-public efforts of either birthday celebration have contributed to such will increase and then simplest to the quantity of the will increase in value attributable to such contributions.” Read as an entire, subsection (A) of the statute includes a “presumption that the boom in fee of the separate belongings is separate.” (emphasis introduced) Martin v. Martin, 27 Va. App. 745, 753, 501 S.E.2nd 450, 454 (1998). Moreover, we’ve got held that the trial decision has a responsibility “to decide the volume to which [a spouse’s] separate property interest inside the domestic accelerated in fee at some stage in the… Marriage.” Id. At 752, 501 S.E.2nd at 453. There is a statutory presumption that the growth in value of the separate property is separate. Id.

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