VA Code 20-107.3(A)(1) Interpretation

In pertinent part, Code 20-107.3(A)(1) provides that "the increase in value of separate property during the marriage is separate property, unless marital property or the personal efforts of either party have contributed to such increases and then only to the extent of the increases in value attributable to such contributions." Read as a whole, subsection (A) of the statute contains a "presumption that the increase in value of the separate property is separate." Martin v. Martin, 27 Va. App. 745, 753, 501 S.E.2d 450, 454 (1998). Moreover, the Court held that the trial judge has a duty "to determine the extent to which a spouse's separate property interest in the home increased in value during the . . . marriage." Id. at 752, 501 S.E.2d at 453.