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My Spouse Was Laid Off and Given a Severance. How Will This Affect Our Pending Divorce?

A party losing their employment, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, can have earth-shattering ramifications for a divorce at any stage, whether during the divorce process or after a divorce decree has already been entered. This is particularly true where spousal support or child support is being paid by one party to the other. Typically, a loss of employment income can be a trigger for a reduction of those support amounts, as the payor will claim they do not have sufficient income to pay support at the same level. Where the loss of employment is involuntary, such a request may well be granted. However, the payor receiving a severance from their employer could change that outcome in several ways.

Second Saturday Divorce Workshop - September 9, 2017

Support. Information. Hope.ss.jpg

Join us for our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop and get the information, support and guidance from professionals, so you can make the important decisions for you and your family as you plan for your future. Speakers for this workshop include:

Co-parenting can be positive for children after divorce

When parents divorce, child custody disputes may often involve stress and anxiety. The loss of trust between spouses after a marriage breaks down can fuel animosity, making child custody decisions complicated. Today, many parents understand the importance of co-parenting after divorce. Coming to terms with the idea of shared parenting responsibilities even before the divorce is final can help to ease stress during an emotional time. For many, however, that is often easier said than done.

When parents agree to put the children first, it becomes easier to construct a custody arrangement and parenting plan that works for the benefit of the children. When parents work together after divorce to raise their children as "co-parents" despite their differences, the experience can be more positive and provide a stronger foundation for the children.

Beware the Late-Night Mediation!

The process of formal Mediation has evolved into a very popular, and hugely successful, alternative to divorce litigation. No doubt, the rise in using Mediation to resolve divorce and custody issues, can be attributed, in great measure, to economic considerations. The act of settling a divorce case, or a custody dispute, through Mediation, results in a savings to each party of tens of thousands of dollars that each would incur in litigating those same issues through the court system.

Court Can Order Ex-Spouse to Maintain Life Insurance Policy to Secure Support Payments


Individuals receiving spousal support often ask themselves, "what happens to my support payments if my ex-spouse dies?" Beginning July 1, 2017, Virginia law now allows the Court to order the paying ex-spouse to maintain a life insurance policy for the benefit of the party receiving support in order to secure those spousal support payments in the event of death.

Can I Continue to Receive My Spousal/Child Support Payments If My Spouse Dies?

When a party paying child support or spousal support dies, those payments end with the payor's death. Thus, if you are receiving support, it is quite legitimate to consider what might happen if the payor dies before the term of support would otherwise naturally end. This may be especially important to consider where your children have special financial needs, or if you agreed to receive a greater amount of spousal or child support in lieu of other money or property. Alternatively, if you are paying child support and the other parent passes away, such that you become your child(ren) primary custodian, your living expenses could increase dramatically. Fortunately, Virginia law provides a "Plan B" to protect parties in those catastrophic circumstances.

Imputing Income to the Unemployed Spouse

When one spouse is either voluntarily unemployed, or is under-employed, Virginia law does allow the other spouse to take the position that income should properly be imputed to such spouse when addressing a determination of spouse and/or child support. Stated differently, Virginia law will generally not allow a spouse to refrain from working at a paying job, or working at something less than his/her earning capacity; and thereby cause the other spouse to pay an increased amount of support.

Who Gets the Pet in Divorce?

It is commonplace for a couple to purchase or adopt a pet during their marriage. That is all well and good, but what happens when the parties separate and eventually divorce?

We all like to think of our animals as members of the family, however, divorce law in Virginia does not take the same approach. In Virginia, a pet is not considered to be a member of the family, but rather, it is considered to be a piece of property subject to division between the parties.

Tips for Reentering the Workforce

Whether you've been a stay-at-home Mom, taking care of a loved one, or have been absent from the workforce for whatever reason, you may be asking yourself "how do I get back into the workforce and make a living?" Here are a few tips and resources to help pave the way:

1. Research the job market: what is in great demand?
2. Re-evaluate your skill set and what you need to do to brush up;
3. Network. Network. Network.
4. Attend job fairs;
5. Staffing agencies offer temp, temp-to-perm, and permanent positions;
6. On-line training;
7. Join groups which pertain to your area of interest;
8. Volunteer;
9. Prepare a Resume;
10. Social Networking; job boards;
11. Reference: The Occupational Outlook Handbook

(published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Second Saturday Divorce Workshop - July 8, 2017

ss.jpg Support. Information. Hope.

If you are someone who is considering divorce or is in the early stages of divorce, you will want to attend this empowering workshop that is designed to help you take the next step, no matter where you are in the process of untying the knot.

Join us for our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop and get the information, support and guidance from professionals, so you can make the important decisions for you and your family as you plan for your future. Speakers for this workshop include:

  • Adam Kronfeld - Family Law Attorney
  • Melissa Reaktenwalt - Financial Advisor
  • Jennifer Meredith - Mortgage Broker
  • Patrice Garver - Family Therapist

Pre-registration is recommended, as space is limited. Please note that our July workshop is our last for the summer and our next workshop will be on September 9, 2017.

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