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Fairfax Family Law Blog

Grounds for Divorce

In Virginia, there are two broad categories of contested divorces: fault-based divorce and no-fault divorce. Virginia recognizes several grounds on which one can obtain a divorce based on specific bad behavior by the other spouse. A divorce based on one of these fault grounds may confer certain legal and procedural benefits upon the spouse seeking the divorce. At the beginning of the divorce process, a fault ground will permit you to file immediately, rather than having to wait a year to file for a no-fault divorce. In the longer term, proving a divorce based on a fault ground can impact the division of property and can bar the guilty spouse from collecting spousal support.

I Just Lost My Job. Do I Have to Keep Paying Court-Ordered Support?

We often receive questions from individuals who have recently lost their jobs asking whether they still have to pay their court ordered child and/or spousal support. The answer is a resounding YES!

Following a job loss, even though an individual may be without the financial means to pay support, that does not alleviate their court-ordered obligation. If you have lost your job and need to adjust the amount of support you are paying, you must file a motion with the court to decrease the amount of support. There are a multitude of factors that go into the court's determination of whether to decrease the amount of support you owe, and there are important differences between child and spousal support, including your income and the income of the person receiving the support.

Second Saturday Divorce Workshop - June 10, 2017

ss.jpgJoin our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop and get the information, support and guidance from professionals. Presenters include:

• David Marquardt - Family Law Attorney

• Bonnie Sewell - Financial Advisor

• Natalie Goldberg - Family Therapist

This workshop will help you explore the legal, financial and emotional issues associated with divorce so you can make the important decisions for you and your family as you move forward and plan for your future.

Three common mistakes to avoid when facing divorce

Men and women alike often face troubling issues when a marriage falls apart. Each individual may have questions about how to proceed - even a person who has gone through divorce before. Parents often have contentious disputes concerning child custody and parenting issues. Yet, during a time of tremendous stress, it is often difficult for people to focus on how to best move forward for the benefit of the kids, as well as for their own well being. Some mistakes seem to be more common than others. For that reason, we are outlining a few of the typical mistakes people make that can make their divorce more difficult.

Some common actions and reactions that may be better to avoid when going through divorce include:

Valuing Commercial Property for Divorce Purposes

Fact Pattern . . . Kristin and Tom were married in 1995. In 2011, Tom and his college roommate, Bill, formed "T&B, LLC," for the purposes of buying an office building in Fairfax. Throughout the years, tenants came and went; however, the building consistently averaged a rental rate of 80+%. Tom realized an average income from the LLC, for the past ten (10) years, of $400,000. Kristin and Tom began experiencing marital difficulties; separated from each other in July of 2016; and, are proceeding toward a divorce.

Quere . . . How is Kristin's interest in the office building determined?

Second Saturday Divorce Workshop - May 13, 2017

ss.jpgSupport. Information. Hope.

Join our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop and get the information, support and guidance from professionals. This workshop will include presentations from the following individuals:

  • David Duff - family law attorney
  • Bonnie Sewell - financial advisor
  • Cary Cucinelli - wills, trusts & estate attorney
  • Trudy Koslow - vocational expert

This workshop will help you explore the legal, financial and emotional issues associated with divorce so you can make the important decisions for you and your family as you move forward and plan for your future.

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.

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Duff Kronfeld & Marquardt P.C.
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Fair Oaks Commerce Center
Fairfax, VA 22030

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