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Family Law Archives

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!

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?

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.

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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
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