Tuesday, May 3, 2016
VA SUPREME COURT decision on equitable distribution
122145 David v. David 02/27/2014 In a marital dispute under Virginia’s equitable distribution and marital property statutes, the Court of Appeals erred in interpreting Code § 20-107.3(A)(3)(a) as placing an initial burden upon the non-owning spouse, who seeks to establish that an appreciation in the value of separate property occurring during marriage is marital property, of proving that significant personal effort during marriage or a contribution of marital property proximately caused such appreciation. This statute provides that the non-owning spouse has the burden of proving that contributions of marital property or personal effort were made and that the separate property increased in value, and the statute provides that – once this burden of proof is met – the owning spouse has the burden of proving that the increase in value or some portion thereof was not caused by such contributions of marital property or personal effort. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed and this case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.