In the context of a stock account, routine adjustments to the portfolio, such as adding to stocks that are performing well and culling underperforming stocks, does not constitute the significant personal effort necessary to render any increase in the value of the account during the marriage to qualify as marital property. Remand was necessary for trial court to determine, based on the existing record, whether the increase in value of husband’s brokerage account was caused by husband’s significant efforts during the marriage or whether that increase in value occurred for some other reason, for purposes of determining whether the increase in account’s value during the marriage was marital property that was subject to equitable distribution upon divorce.
Laura W. Morgan is the owner and operator at Family Law Consulting in Charlottesville, Virginia.Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website. www.famlawconsult.com