Shannon Otto and I recently published an article on the topic of separate property at Work It, Richmond. It begins:
In a divorce, the division of marital assets and debts is known as equitable distribution. One big area of dispute in equitable distribution cases is where one party’s separately owned property increases in value over the marriage and whether the non-owning spouse can make claim to the increase. Historically, the non-owning spouse had the burden of proof to show that the increase in value was marital property. However, David v. David, a very recent decision from the Virginia Supreme Court, shifts the burden of proof away from the non-owning spouse in cases where an increase in the value of separate property is at issue.