Duff Kronfeld & Marquardt P.C.
Contact Us
View Our Practice Areas

Fairfax Family Law Blog

Revoke that Power of Attorney - Now!

At some point during the majority of marriages, when things are sunny and bright, and love is in the air, spouses will frequently execute a written Power of Attorney, giving the other spouse the legal authority to act on behalf of each other. Such action commonly includes the ability to buy and sell real estate; to incur and pay debt; to deal with financial issues; and, to make medical or health-related decisions.

Obviously, the granting of a Power of Attorney to another is founded upon a high level of trust in that person's maturity, intellect, honesty and sense of propriety. When a marriage is "solid," and based upon mutual love and respect between the spouses, this generally presents no problem at all; and, is often both convenient and necessary. However, when the foundation of that marriage begins to weaken, or the trustworthiness of one or the other spouse is called into question; or, the continued viability of the marriage itself becomes an issue, one should re-evaluate the prudence of any outstanding Power of Attorney.

Children Testifying in Custody/Visitation Cases

A question often asked in a custody/visitation matter is: "How old does my child have to be in order to tell the judge what he/she wants?" The simple answer is that there is no minimum age requirement. Virginia law expressly provides that any child, who is of reasonable age, intelligence and experience, is deemed to be competent to testify as to his/her preferences regarding custody or visitation issues. Of course, the amount of weight that the presiding judge is likely to give such testimony will tend to increase with the age of the child witness.

Second Saturday Divorce Workshop - Fairfax

ss.jpgSupport. Information. Hope.

Join our Second Saturday Divorce Workshop and get the information, support and guidance from professionals. This workshop will include presentations from a family law attorney, a financial adviser, a private investigator and a mortgage broker.

Time to Re-Visit Your Will

It is an extremely common practice for husbands and wives to execute simple Wills, during their marriage, providing that everything they each own should pass to the other spouse upon death. The Wills are often mirror images of each other; and, so long as the marriage remains strong, there generally is no problem.

However, if the love and mutual trust, that is inherent in a successful marriage, begins to weaken, there is absolutely nothing in the law that prevents one spouse from deciding that he/she wants to dispose of his/her estate in a different manner, i.e., leave the money or property to someone other than his/her spouse. There is no legal requirement that the unsuspecting spouse be given any notice at all of this intended change in Wills.

If My Fiancé and I Break off our Engagement, Who Keeps the Engagement Ring?

For the longest time, this was one of the must frustratingly unanswerable questions in family law. If an engagement is broken off before a marriage is consummated, the law of divorce is completely inapplicable to the parties, and so concepts of marital property and separate property would not apply. Complicating matters, there is a law in Virginia known as the "heart balm statute" that says that one party cannot sue another for breaching a "promise to marry." With essentially no direction from the higher courts in the Commonwealth, the law surrounding retention or return of engagement rings varied wildly (if it existed at all) from county to county. Some judges ruled that the courts were powerless to return the ring, some ruled that it must be returned, and some ruled that its return was dependent upon the reasons for the termination of the engagement.

Second Saturday Divorce Workshop - March 11, 2017

ss.jpgSupport. Information. Hope.


Join our Second Saturday Divorce Workshop and get the information, support and guidance from professionals. This workshop will include presentations from a family law attorney, followed by a financial advisor, a wills, estates & trusts attorney and a family therapist.

Payment for College in the Divorce Context

Under Virginia law, neither parent has any legal obligation to pay for a child's college education. Whether a moral obligation to do so exists, is another matter not addressed herein. Therefore, if you find yourself in Court, litigating your divorce issues, then you can feel confident that the presiding judge cannot, and will not, order that either parent pay to send a child to college.

Four Tips For Breaking Divorce News To Children

When a marriage breaks down, there are many difficult decisions to make. When kids are involved, parents often think about how they want to handle custody, visitation and support issues in the divorce. However, it is easy to overlook an important first step: discussing the divorce with the children.

Even if your children are aware that your marriage is in trouble, breaking the news is never an easy task. Moreover, children have different levels of maturity and different temperaments. The age of a child may play a strong role in his or her understanding of what is going on. There are some general guidelines that you can follow to break the news to the children, while reassuring them that you still love them.

Second Saturday Divorce Workshop - February 11, 2017

ss.jpgSupport. Information. Hope.

Join our Second Saturday Divorce Workshop and get the information, support and guidance from professionals. This workshop will include a round-table discussion with a panel of two attorneys, followed by presentations from a financial advisor, a mortgage broker and a family therapist.

This workshop will provide unbiased information to help you understand all of your options, answer your questions and move forward with your life. We believe the more information and support you have, the better the decisions you will make for yourselves and your children, and the more hopeful you will be about the future.

Changing the Amount of Spousal Support - Up or Down!

If the two parties are able to reach an agreement with respect to the amount of spousal support one will pay to the other, then they are also allowed to agree between themselves on whether such amount of spousal support will be forever "locked in cement," i.e., non-modifiable; or, in the alternative, whether the amount will be subject to change in the future. If you are the spouse receiving the support, then it may be of benefit to have the amount of spousal support characterized as "non-modifiable," so that it will never change; and, you are more easily able to budget your monthly income. The down-side, of course, is that your spousal support figure will never increase either, even if your former-spouse's income should skyrocket.

Email Us For A Response

Contact Us Today For Knowledgeable And Client-Centered Assistance

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Duff Kronfeld & Marquardt P.C.
11320 Random Hills Road
Suite 630
Fair Oaks Commerce Center
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-591-7475
Fax: 703-273-4537
Fairfax Law Office Map