Property Distribution - § 5-3
§ 5-3. Criteria/Award
2018–Garza v. Garza, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1286-18-4
The trial court did not err in determining that Wife was entitled to a portion of the marital share of Husband’s retirement annuity. Although Husband established that Wife had committed adultery, the evidence also showed that the parties resumed cohabitation for approximately twenty-eight years after Wife’s affair. Furthermore, the record demonstrates that the trial court, in dividing the parties’ property, properly considered all of the equitable distribution factors, including the parties’ monetary and non-monetary contributions to the well-being of the family.
2018–Ware v. Srinivasan, Va. Ct. App. Rec. No. 1568-17-2
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in reimbursing Husband for his post-separation mortgage payments.
2017–Wiley v. Wiley, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0844-16-4
In awarding an unequal division of the marital assets to wife, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by considering the impact, economic or otherwise, that husband’s adulterous affair had on the family’s wellbeing. The evidence at trial demonstrated, among other things, that husband had dissipated substantial marital assets in furtherance of his adulterous affair, while at the same time refusing to pay for repairs and maintenance to the marital residence and for the child’s private school tuition and extracurricular activities. The evidence also showed that husband abruptly left the marriage to pursue a relationship with his paramour, that he failed to fully exercise his visitation with the child during the separation, and that the paramour pressured husband to advance his relationship with her at the expense of husband’s relationship with the child. Under this evidence, the trial court did not punish husband for his behavior (as argued by husband), but instead properly considered husband’s behavior in light of statutory factors set forth at Code of Virginia § 20-107.3(E).
2015–Ozfidan v. Ozfidan, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1265-14-2
The trial court properly considered Husband’s cruelty to Wife during equitable distribution of the parties’ assets and debts. The court found that Husband’s cruelty caused the dissolution of the marriage and detracted from the overall marital partnership; it was not necessary to find that Husband’s cruelty affected the identity or value of the marital property. Thus, it was a valid exercise of the court’s discretion to consider Husband’s cruelty and assign it appropriate weight among the totality of the circumstances.
2014–Plaisted v. Plaisted, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0051-14-2
The trial court erred by ordering Husband to transfer a percentage of his interest in a business to Wife because the business interest was titled solely in Husband’s name. Code of Virginia § 20-107.3 is clear, with the exception of pensions, deferred compensation, and retirement benefits, a trial court has no authority to transfer separate or marital property, or separate or marital debt that is not jointly owned or owed.
The trial court did not err by awarding Wife 100% of a Roth IRA that Husband created and managed during the marriage and which was titled in Wife’s name. While a trial court is required to properly classify marital property as such, it is not required to award a party any part of a particular marital asset so long as the overall distribution of the marital property is equitable. It may be appropriate for the trial court to make provisions for the parties from different assets. Here, Wife demonstrated that Husband wasted significantmarital assets. And aside from the distribution of the wasted marital assets, the remaining marital property was divided 60/40 in favor of Husband.
2014–Khan v. Khan, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1997-13-4
The trial court did not err by failing to require that Wife’s equitable distribution award be offset by the amount owed to Husband for attorney’s fees. The final decree included a specific monetary award to Wife and the trial court could not reduce her award by the amount owed to Husband for his attorney’s fees.
2014–Peck v. Peck, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0587-13-4
The court did not err in awarding Wife 50% of Husband’s interest in a development company formed during the marriage although the investment of marital funds in the property was relatively small and Husband’s post-separation efforts greatly increased the value of the property. The law does not require that the court attribute an increase in value of a marital asset to a spouse whose efforts are responsible for that increase in value. Instead, the courts are required to consider a broad range of circumstances in equitably dividing marital property.
2014–Brake v. Brake, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1204-13-4
Husband argued that the trial court erred in not permitting him to pay Wife her share of equitable distribution by use of a QDRO. Husband claimed that the trial court erred by failing to consider the tax implications that would result from withdrawals from his 401(k) to satisfy the monetary award. The Court found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion since the court did not require or suggest that Husband pay the monetary award from his 401(k) and Husband had access to liquid assets from a recent bonus and his interest in future distributions as a shareholder in his law firm.
2013–Mancione v. Mancione, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2027-12-3
The trial court did not err in distributing the marital assets equally to both parties, despite Husband’s predominant financial contributions to the marriage. In its consideration of the Va. Code §20-107.2(E) factors, the trial court identified Husband’s predominant financial contributions and Husband’s fault that ended the marriage as the most significant factors. It then gave the factors equal weight in its distribution of marital property.
2013–Wiencko v. Takayama, 62 Va. App. 217
The trial court erred in considering separate property as a factor for purposes of equitable distribution. The trial court’s decision to award the Wife all of the marital retirement accounts based in part on the existence of Husband’s separate retirement accounts was a misapprehension of the equitable distribution statute. Separate property is irrelevant to the equitable distribution analysis.
2013–Crater v. Crater, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1933-12-3
The trial court did not err in awarding forty-five percent of marital property to Husband and fifty-five percent to Wife. There is no presumption in Virginia that marital property should be divided evenly. The statutory factors, under Va. Code §20-107.3(E)(1), relevant to the determination of equitable distribution include “[t]he contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family,” “[t]he circumstances and factors which contribute to the dissolution of the marriage, specifically including any ground for divorce...,” and “such other factors as the court deems necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable monetary award.” Pursuant to Va. Code §20-107.3(E)(1), it was proper for the trial court to consider the Husband’s strained relationships with his Wife and his Wife’s daughter. These considerations are proper for purposes of equitable distribution even if the divorce is not based on fault grounds and regardless of whether the activities result in a decrease in the value of marital property.
2013--Hamad v. Hamad, 61 Va. App 593
The trial court did not err in considering the “source of funds” in distributing marital property. Husband’s family contributed a considerable amount of property to the marital estate, but husband, inexplicably, failed to trace the property. While husband’s failure to trace barred the court from classifying the property as separate or hybrid, it did not bar the court from considering the source of funds as a factor when distributing the marital property.
2012–Fox v. Fox, 61 Va. App. 185
The trial court did not err in refusing to divide two parcels of real estate in its equitable distribution award, opting instead to have the parties retain ownership as tenants in common, subject to foreclosure or sale. Neither parcel had a positive equity value. The Court of Appeals relied on Hodges v. Hodges, 2 Va. App. 508 (1986) in holding that an asset with no value, or with negative value, was not subject to equitable distribution. Though Va. Code §20-107.3(A) mandates a determination of legal title, ownership, value, and classification of all property, as well as a determination of “the nature of all debts,” Va. Code §20-107.3(C), which deals with the division or transfer of said property, is merely permissive, and thus allows the trial court to opt not to order the division, transfer, or sale of certain property or debts. Given the inability of either party to refinance the existing debt on either of the parcels, and the fact that a forced sale of parcels, if possible due to the negative equity, would have had a negative and extreme impact on the value of the marital estate, the trial court was not obligated to divide or allocate the parcels.
2012–Taylor v. Taylor, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0077-12-4
The trial court did not abuse its discretion when awarding Wife the marital residence and all debt associated therewith. Although Husband had invested personal labor in improving the property through additions to the kitchen, stonework, and building a retaining wall, Wife saved the property from going into foreclosure when Husband stopped making payments on the second mortgage.
2012–Jones v. Jones, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2086-11-3
The trial court did not err in “allocating” the rental value of a marital parcel of real estate to husband, despite the fact that no rent had actually been received. Evidence revealed that husband was allowing the current tenant to occupy the property rent-free, over wife’s objection.
The trial court did not err in imposing a constructive trust for the parties’ children in its award to wife of a large farm owned by the parties. The parties conceded that the farm was purchased using money taken from the children’s trust funds, and that the Husband told the children that the purchase was “an investment for [the children’s] futures.” The imposition of the constructive trust, rather than simply recognizing a “debt” of the parties to the children, did not affect the equitable distribution award.
2011–Prizzia v. Prizzia, 58 Va. App. 137
The trial court erred in conditioning payment of wife’s equitable distribution award upon wife’s compliance with a visitation order. Though Va. Code §20-107.3(E) permits a trial court to determine the “method of payment” of an award, it does not permit a trial court to set conditions of payment that are unrelated to the award itself.
2011–Moore v. Moore, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0117-10-4
The trial court erred in ordering husband to maintain wife as beneficiary on a life insurance policy after the parties' divorce. The trial court found that the parties had agreed that husband would maintain wife as the beneficiary on the policy, based solely on husband's testimony that he "didn't want to remove her as a beneficiary, but had no choice after the divorce." Although Va. Code §20-109.1 allows the court to order the maintenance of a life insurance policy with one spouse as the beneficiary by incorporating a valid agreement by the parties to do so, Va. Code §§ 20-149 - 20-155 require any agreement between divorcing spouses to be in writing and signed by both parties, or alternatively, that the agreement be recorded and transcribed by a court reporter and affirmed on the record by the parties personally. No evidence of either was present here.
The trial court did not err in awarding wife one half of the $69,000 that husband withdrew from a marital account and used to purchase a house shortly after the separation, despite the fact that, at the time of trial, the $69,000 had already been spent. The fact that husband no longer had the $69,000 in his possession did not change the value of the $69,000.
2011–Whitmore v. Whitmore, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1644-10-4
The trial court did not err in awarding wife possession of the parties’ dog and, in exchange, ordering her to pay to husband $750.00 for the initial cost of the dog. Both parties contributed to the maintenance and acquisition of the dog, and both played a significant role in the life of the dog. However, the dog had primarily resided with wife, in the marital residence where the dog had resided since purchase, for the majority of the separation. The court properly concluded that allowing visitation or shared custody of the asset was ill-advised.
2011–Pascarella v. McCoy, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0485-10-1
While Va. Code §20-107.3 requires the court to classify and value the property of the parties prior to distributing it, the specific findings as to classification and value of each individual item of property need not be included in the court’s final written order if they are announced orally by the court.
2010–Dunfee v. Dunfee, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0870-10-4
Trial court did not err in refusing to give wife credit for her post-separation mortgage payments on the marital residence. Wife enjoyed exclusive use and possession of the residence during the separation, had husband removed from the home and changed the locks, and provided husband no access to marital funds or credit cards, forcing him to instead rely on separate savings and family charity.
Trial court did not err in ordering each party to pay the respective credit card debts in his and her individual names, and in awarding husband an additional $2,000 to offset the amount by which the credit card debt in his name exceeded the debt in wife’s name. In refusing to give wife credit for her post- separation payments towards the credit card debt in her name, the court noted that she had refused to afford husband access to the marital residence or to marital funds during the separation, despite knowing that he had no other place to live nor significant money to rely upon, and that she made significantly greater income than husband.
2010–Andrews v. Creacey, et. al., 56 VA. App. 606
Once one party entertains an intent to separate, and the parties have lived separate and apart without any cohabitation and without interruption for one year, the grounds of divorce are complete. It is not relevant whether the party entertaining the intent to separate remained competent during the entire one-year separation period.
2010–Johnson v. Johnson, 56 Va. App. 511
Pursuant to Va. Code § 20-107.3(D), a party against whom a monetary award of marital property is made may satisfy the award in whole or in part by conveyance of property, subject to the approval of the court. The statute makes no mention of consent, approval, or acceptance by the party to whom property is to be conveyed, but does make the transfer subject to court approval. This provision serves to prevent unilateral action by the party seeking to make payment through a transfer of property. The granting or withholding of court approval of the transfer must reflect the exercise of sound judicial discretion, in light of all of the circumstances presented, to determine whether the approval of the transfer is an appropriate method of payment.
Trial court did not err in approving husband’s transfer of $120,000 of the marital share of his retirement accounts as satisfaction of an installment payment on the monetary award to wife. Although wife argued that a liquidation of those assets after the transfer would net her less than the $120,000 installment ordered by the court, the court interpreted its own equitable distribution order to mean that husband was obligated to transfer property worth $120,000, not property which, when liquidated by wife, netted $120,000. (Citing Albert v. Albert, 38 Va. App. 284 (2002) for the principle that trial courts have the authority to interpret their own orders).
2010–White v. White, 56 Va. App. 214
Trial court did not err in considering the future financial needs of husband in the context of the "age and physical and mental condition" factor of Va. Code §20-107.3(E) when making its equitable distribution award. Husband was 75-years-old, suffering from Parkinson's disease, and living alone in an assisted living facility. Although "future need" is traditionally a consideration thought to be limited to a determination of spousal support, there is no way to interpret the "age and physical and mental condition" factor of Va. Code §20-107.3(E)(4) in a way that wholly ignores future needs. Thus the trial court did not err in taking husband's future needs into account only to the extent they related to his age and health - a mandatory consideration under Va. Code §20-107.3(E)(4).
2010–Spreadbury v. Spreadbury, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1053-09-4
Although the trial court erred in classifying a business acquired during the marriage with marital funds as husband’s separate property where husband failed to rebut the marital property presumption, the court did not err in failing to account for the business in making its monetary award, as wife presented no evidence of the value of the business. The only evidence presented at trial was that the business was not actually licensed to do business, and was, in fact, operating at a loss. Effectively confronted with the value of this piece of property as zero, the trial court could not divide the asset, and therefore did not fail to consider the property when making its monetary award.
Trial court did not err in awarding 65% of the interest in the marital residence to husband and 35% to wife, where evidence showed that husband had been the sole income producer throughout the marriage and that he had made a significant and disproportionate contribution of his assets to purchase the residence. Although the court held that husband had failed to adequately trace his contribution of significant assets to separate property, thereby finding that contribution to be transmuted into marital property, the source of the funds was nonetheless a factor that the court properly considered in fashioning the award.
2010–Schuman v. Schuman, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0631-09-4
Trial court did not err in refusing to adjust its equitable distribution award based on the potential tax consequences to the parties. Although Wife’s expert testified as to the potential tax liability facing the parties and advised wife to file amended tax returns and retain a tax attorney, the trial court noted that the IRS had neither investigated the parties’ tax returns nor conducted an audit, and that no tax liability existed at the time of trial. On those grounds, the trial court found the claim of potential tax liability too speculative, and refused to adjust the equitable distribution award. Although Va. Code §20-107.3(E)(9) requires the court to consider tax consequences when formulating an equitable distribution award, it does not mandate an adjustment to the award for tax consequences, regardless of how certain or uncertain.
2010–Leake v. Taylor, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0737-09-4
Trial court did not err in awarding husband $6,000 of total $16,750 of marital equity in the marital residence and 40% of wife’s retirement accounts, where the marriage lasted less than two years, wife had made the majority of monetary and nonmonetary contributions, and wife had made numerous post- separation payments that directly benefited husband and his daughter from a previous marriage, such as the mortgage, utilities, and support payments while husband remained unemployed and living in the marital residence.
2009–Lewis v. Lewis, 53 Va. App. 528
Trial court erred in ordering Husband to obtain and maintain life insurance policy for the benefit of Wife. Although Wife was entitled to some remedy for Husband’s destruction of her right to a lifetime pension under the Property Settlement Agreement, the trial court did not have the authority to order Husband to obtain life insurance for the benefit of Wife when the Property Settlement Agreement did not address the life insurance in any way. Absent agreement of the parties in a Property Settlement Agreement, Va. Code §20-107.3(G)(2) prohibits a court from ordering that a person obtain life insurance on himself for the benefit of a former spouse.
2009–Tye v. Tye, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0833-08-1
Trial court did not err in granting wife 65% and husband 35% of the net proceeds from the sale of the parties’ marital residence. Following the parties’ separation, husband was permitted to occupy the residence on the condition that he would reimburse wife for her continued payment of the mortgage and comply with court orders to cooperate in placing the house on the market. Husband failed to do either. Furthermore, husband’s failure to vacate the residence to permit it to be placed on the market and his failure to maintain the house while occupying it caused the residence to fall into disrepair and depreciate in value, further justifying the 65/35 award.
2009–Attiliis v. Attiliis, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1087-08-4
Nothing in the divorce statutes empowers circuit courts to compel a spouse to contract for life insurance with the former spouse as the beneficiary. Va. Code §20-107.3(G)(2) explicitly excludes life insurance policies from the types of survivor benefit plans or annuity plans for which a court may order a party to designate a former spouse as beneficiary.
Consideration of negative non-monetary contributions to the well-being of the family, unlike waste/dissipation of assets, requires no showing of adverse economic impact. The well-being of the family relates to the effect on the family’s emotional welfare and condition. (citing Watts v. Watts, 40 Va. App. 685 (2003). Thus, an award for negative non-monetary contributions is separate and distinct from an award for waste/dissipation.
2008–Rosedale v. Rosedale, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2414-07-4
Trial court did not err in awarding wife 65% of the overall value of the marital assets, based on evidence that, although husband was the primary breadwinner, wife’s nonmonetary contributions to the family far exceeded those made by husband. In addition to serving as primary caretaker for the parties’ daughter and home throughout the marriage, wife also cared for husband’s ailing parents while they lived in the marital residence, enabled husband to earn a college degree during the marriage, and managed the household while husband was away for extended periods. Husband was in good health, while wife suffered from a number of physical ailments. Evidence further established that wife had insufficient funds during the separation to meet her and her daughter’s needs, incurring significant debt and attorney’s fees as a result.
2008–Rinaldi v. Rinaldi, 53 Va. App. 61
Trial court did not abuse discretion in awarding what amounted to a slightly higher rate of return on the marital share of a parcel of real property than on Husband’s separate share, given finding that Wife’s significantly higher income, which was marital property, contributed disproportionately to the parties’ ability to hold the property long enough to benefit from the market appreciation.
2008–Chretien v. Chretien, 53 Va. App. 200
So long as the basis for an award of property is proper, the trial court’s error in classifying the property is harmless if the court would have made the same award had it classified the property properly. Trial court’s error in classifying personal injury recovery as Wife’s separate property was harmless, as Court indicated on the record that, if the personal injury recovery was in fact marital, it would nonetheless award all of the recovery to Wife due to Husband’s negligence in causing the injury that led to the recovery.
2008–Rinaldi v. Rinaldi, 53 Va. App. 61
Trial court did not err in awarding Wife 60% of the marital share of real estate upon finding that Wife made larger monetary contributions throughout most of the marriage; that despite Wife having agreed to Husband’s plan to stop working as a lab technician and operate his own construction business, Husband failed to work diligently at the business, choosing instead to sleep late and indulge in his marijuana habit; and that Husband’s marijuana addiction and his refusal to obtain treatment for it had sufficient negative impact on his monetary and non-monetary contributions to the family to support and unequal distribution.
2008–McIlwain v. McIlwain, 52 Va. App. 644
Trial court did not err in awarding Wife one-half of the fair-market-rental value of marital home for the period in which the divorce was pending, as part of the overall distribution of marital property. Husband made very few non-monetary contributions during marriage, and made significant negative monetary contributions by failing to pay the parties’ income taxes without Wife’s knowledge. Moreover, after the parties last separated, Husband used the marital home as his own separate residence, would not allow Wife to remain in the home, changed the locks, and refused to accept the responsibility for the marital tax problems that he created.
2007–Hosier v. Hosier, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0767-06-1
Trial court did not err in ordering the sale of the marital home despite wife’s request that she be allowed to buy out husband’s interest and retain the home for herself and the children. The court found that wife’s evidence as to her ability to assume the indebtedness on the property and finance the purchase of husband’s interest was vague, unpersuasive, and insufficient to convince the court that such a purchase could be accomplished in a timely manner.
2007–Brooker v. Brooker, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2445-96-1
Trial court did not err in admitting and considering evidence of Husband’s extramarital affair when making the equitable distribution award.
2007–Cote v. Cote, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1008-06-4
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding wife a 60% share of her retirement account. Although the evidence supported a finding that, although Husband may have made more significant monetary contributions over the course of the marriage, Wife worked full-time during most of the marriage and made substantial contributions as well. The evidence also supported a finding that Wife’s non-monetary contributions were more significant that Husband’s. Additionally, Wife did not have sufficient funds to meet her expenses.
2007–Strausbaugh v. Monroe, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1040-06-3
The trial judge did not err in his use of the statutory marital share formula as set forth in Va. Code §20.107.3(G)(1) to calculate ex-Wife’s share of ex-Husband’s pension. br> The trial court did not modify the substantive provisions of the final divorce because “ Va. Code §20.107.3(K)(4) creates a limited exception to the strict directive of Rule 1:1 and gives the trial court continuing authority to modify the terms of the final decree’s retirement or pension provisions to effectuate the expressed intent of the original decree provided the modification is consistent with the substantive provisions of the original decree and not simply to adjust its terms in light of the parties’ changed circumstances.” Caudle v. Caudle, 18 Va. App. 795 (1994).
2007–Harrison v. Allegretto, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1916-06-1
Trial court did not err by failing to apportion marital debt paid by Husband after the parties separated when making the equitable distribution award. Husband presented no documentation addressing the basis for the debts or substantiating his claim that the debts were marital.
2006–Kennedy v. Kennedy, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0218-06-2
Trial court committed reversible error in awarding wife 65% of the marital value of the parties' residence when it considered facts not in evidence.
2006–Robbins v. Robbins, 48 Va. App. 466
Factors and circumstances leading to the dissolution of the marriage may be considered during equitable distribution–even if those factors have no financial impact on the marriage–as long as those factors detracted from the overall marital partnership. Trial court did not err in a 65/35 equitable distribution division of assets in favor of the husband where, inter alia, Wife’s romantic involvement with a co-worker was a precipitating event in the divorce and Husband made most of the monetary contributions to the marital estate.
2006–Hackemeyer v. Hackemeyer, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1204-10-4
Trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Husband was not obligated for payments under the new mortgage. When Wife refinanced the mortgages and purchased Husband’s interest in the house, Husband’s obligation to make mortgage payments ceased under the terms of an August 2001 order, which required Husband to do no more than make first and second mortgage payments for the house.
2005–Bomar v. Bomar, 45 Va. App. 229
Trial court erred in concluding that it did not have the authority to order that wife, who received the marital residence as an equitable distribution award and was ordered to “assume any indebtedness secured by the property,” refinance the debt on the residence or take other steps to remove husband’s name from the debt. Virginia Code §20-107.3 clearly empowers the trial judge to condition the transfer of marital property upon terms that will not leave the other party at risk of financial ruin if the receiving party is not financially responsible.
2005–Burnette v. Burnete, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1561-04-3
Trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Wife one-half of the difference between the eventual sale price of the marital residence and a higher price previously offered. Wife acquired a firm offer to buy the residence from a third party, but Husband objected to the sale, and instead offered to buy the residence himself for the same price. However, Husband later equivocated on his offer and refused to take action, resulting in the eventual sale of the home for approximately $13,000 less than the initial offer.
2005–King v. King, 46 Va. App. 677
Although the losses that gave rise to federal income tax refunds were generated by Husband’s separate property, the tax refunds were jointly-titled marital property, equally owned by the parties, and, pursuant to paragraph 14 of the Premarital Agreement, should have been equally divided.
Moreover, the loss to Husband’s property was but one of the factors that produced the amount of the award. Had the parties not filed jointly, the amount of the refund would have been substantially less, and the wage withholding of both parties contributed to the size of the refund.
2005–Irwin v. Irwin, 47 Va. App. 287
Trial court erred in ordering that, while Wife’s property interest vested and pension payments were due to her as of date of final decree, Husband was not liable for the difference between pendente lite spousal support paid and an amount equal to one-half of pension amount from the date of the final decree to the date Wife began receiving one-half of the pension under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. The court’s refusal to require Husband to pay Wife directly her one-half share of the monthly pension while the Qualified Domestic Relations Order was pending was an abuse of discretion upon a finding that she was due payment from the final decree date.
2005–Morrill v. Morrill, 45 Va. App. 709
Trial court did not abuse its discretion in hearing forgery evidence for
purposes of equitable distribution where Wife amassed $86,000 in credit card debt under Husband’s name.
2005–Ranney v. Ranney, 45 Va. App. 17
Although not explicitly listed in Va. Code § 20-107(E) as a factor, the trial court did not err in considering wife’s misrepresentation to husband that she had been married only once before, when in fact she had been married four times previously, when determining the equitable distribution award.
2005–Wiese v. Wiese, 46 Va. App. 399
Trial court did not improperly consider child support in granting Wife the right of first refusal to purchase Husband’s share in the marital home. The court granted Wife the right of first refusal based on the facts that Wife lived in the home, had primary custody of the children, and the children would benefit in staying in the only house they had ever known.
2004–Hoebelheinrich v. Hoebelheinrich, 43 Va. App. 543
Trial court did not err in awarding wife half of the value of husband’s medical practice. Record revealed that parties were married for 22 years; that wife worked while husband attended medical school; that when husband graduated from medical school, the parties agreed that wife would stay home to raise children; that wife raised four children well, involving them in numerous activities; and that wife was accustomed to a comfortable life style, belonged to country clubs, purchased new vehicles on a regular basis, and never “wanted for anything.”
2003–Buchanan v. Buchanan, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2244-02-2
Trial court did not err in refusing to explain fully to Husband the degree of consideration it gave to every factor of Code of Virginia §20-107.3. The court identified and valued each asset and debt, and indicated that it had “reviewed all pleadings, evidence, and argument of counsel,” and “weighed” them pursuant to the §20-107.3 factors. An appellate court must be able to determine from the record that the trial court gave substantive consideration to the evidence as it relates to Code of Virginia §20-107.3.
2003–Buchanan v. Buchanan, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 2244-02-2
The trial court did not err in prohibiting Husband from encumbering or disposing of his boat, which was marital property titled solely in his name, for purposes other than to satisfy the monetary award to his Wife. Since the boat was titled solely in Husband’s name, the trial court lacked the authority to order its division or transfer, under Code of Virginia §20-107.3(C). Nevertheless, that subsection did not prohibit the court from placing restrictions on any proceeds received by Husband from a sale of the boat before he satisfied the judgment owed to Wife. By placing the condition on the sale of the boat, the court acted properly to protect Wife’s marital interest in the boat.
2000–Iverson v. Iverson, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0314-99-2
The trial court did not err in making an equitable distribution award that resulted in Husband receiving a significantly higher percentage of the tax liability. The trial court is not required to frame its ruling to equalize between the parties, or to minimize or eliminate all tax consequences to one party.
1995–Zitelli v. Zitelli, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0122-94-4
Husband was not entitled to a credit for potential capital gains taxes incurred as a result of the future sale of the residence where he failed to produce evidence that he would be assessed those taxes. Although the trial court is directed by the statute to consider the tax implications in making an award of equitable distribution, taxes which are merely potential and may never in fact be assessed are not contemplated by statute.
1995–O’Loughlin v. O’Loughlin, 20 Va. App. 522
Trial court did not err in concluding that husband’s adultery was a negative non-monetary contribution to the marriage and could therefore be considered both under Va. Code §107.3(E)(5) as well as under §20-107.3(E)(1) for purposes of dividing the marital property. Evidence established that wife worked outside the home and made nearly one hundred percent of the non-monetary contributions to the marriage. Not only did husband make no positive nonmonetary contributions, his adultery hindered wife’s efforts to contribute to the partnership in a non-monetary way. The Court of Appeal’s ruling in Aster v. Gross, 7 Va. App. 1 (1988), that circumstances leading to the dissolution of the marriage but having no effect on the marital property or its value are not relevant to determining the monetary award, was meant to require proof of some relationship between the fault and the marital estate, not to conclusively establish that the negative impact of marital fault or other behavior could not be considered in light of other factors such as the parties’ nonmonetary contributions.
1990–Stainback v. Stainback, 11 Va. App. 13
Husband’s potential future inheritance was irrelevant to the economic potential of husband in determining the equitable distribution award owed wife. The marital partnership notion terminates with the termination of the marriage and whatever marital wealth has been accumulated is to be equitably distributed at that time. It is axiomatic that whatever the future may hold for either of the parties has no bearing on the issue of the appropriate division of what has been accumulated by their contributions during the marriage.
1988–Aster v. Gross, 7 Va. App. 1
Trial court did not err in refusing to hear additional evidence by wife of each instance of husband’s adultery for purposes of equitable distribution. Circumstances that lead to the dissolution of the marriage but have no effect upon marital property, its value, or otherwise are not relevant to determining a monetary award, and need not be considered. A trial court need only consider those circumstances leading to the dissolution of the marriage that are relevant to determining a monetary award in order to avoid an unreasonable result. Wife did not assert or suggest that the multiple acts of adultery resulted in adverse economic consequences to the parties.
1986–Papuchis v. Papuchis, 2 Va. App. 130
The Court of Appeals declined to adopt a rebuttable presumption in favor of an equal division of marital property. The Virginia General Assembly created a statutory scheme that requires courts to determine the amount and method of the distribution of marital property after consideration of defined factors. The use of a presumption would undermine the legislature’s recognition of marriage as a “partnership to which each party contributes, albeit not always equally, to the well being of the family unit.”
1985–McGinnis v. McGinnis, 1 Va. App. 272
Trial court’s allotment to wife of personal property which, though marital, was titled solely in husband’s name, was contrary to the language of Va. Code §20-107.3(C).