Equitable Distribution: What is Hybrid Property?

When spouses in Virginia get divorced, they may ask the court to divide their property. The process of division of property is called “equitable distribution” in Virginia. This process is governed by case law and statute.

The first step in the process of equitable distribution is to classify the property as one of three types of property: (1) Marital Property, (2) Separate Property, or (3) Hybrid Property. If property is “hybrid,” that means that it is part marital property and part separate property. See Virginia Code § 20-107.3(A).

A common example of property that can frequently be “hybrid” property is real estate, specifically, the marital home. A marital residence is often hybrid property when one party purchased it prior to the marriage with their separate funds, and then the parties reside in the home together and contribute marital funds towards the mortgage and repairs.

A Virginia Circuit Court case recently considered this issue in a divorce—the Husband owned the home prior to marriage and both parties made financial contributions to the home during the marriage. Wife then claimed to have a marital interest in the home. The Court found that the “increase in value of the marital equity is marital property due to the marital property of both parties’ income which have contributed to such increase. This increase in value is attributable equally to the financial contributions of wife and the financial contributions of husband from date of marriage to date of separation.” Bostos v. Bostos, Case No. CL20-606, March 16, 2021, Roanoke Cir. Ct. (Dorsey).

Valuing property can be a complicated process, especially if one party claims that part of that property is separate or hybrid. If you have questions about division of property or divorce in general and need assistance from someone with intimate knowledge Virginia family law, please do not hesitate to contact our firm at 804-423-1382 or info@wmmlegal.com to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our experienced Virginia attorneys.

SOURCE: https://valawyersweekly.com/2021/04/23/parties-home-is-marital-and-separate-property/