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Leesburg VA Divorce Law Blog

Could your political beliefs predict your chances of divorce?

Though the more cynical among us may believe otherwise, nothing can predict whether a marriage will last “’til death do us part” or end in divorce someday. Of course, it is natural to be curious about whether certain couples are less likely to stay together than others, because of their backgrounds, jobs, or other reasons.

A new report co-authored by a University of Virginia sociologist suggests that political affiliation just might be a divorce predictor. The study says that Republicans were happier in their marriages and less likely to have been divorced than Democrats.

Arrested Virginia man denies committing double bigamy

It has been nearly two months since we discussed bigamy, or the act of being married to more than one person at the same time. Bigamy is against the law in Virginia; from a family law perspective, a marriage is void if one of the “spouses” was already married to a third person at the time of the wedding.

Bigamy charges are rare in Virginia, but they do occasionally occur. A Virginia man was jailed recently on two counts of bigamy, but he believes the charges are false and fueled by his first wife’s desire for “revenge.”

Divorce rate decreases with age at nuptials -- to a point

Love may find you at any age. Unmarried people should not assume they will be single for life, if they do not want to be. In fact, getting married too young has been associated with higher divorce rates. However, a new university study suggests that getting married later in life also can be risky.

The study suggests that there is a “sweet spot” age to get married, for those looking to stay together with their spouse for life. Too young, and the couple may lack the maturity, interpersonal skills and support network to work out relationship problems. Too old, and other relationship problems seem to arise, according to the Deseret News.

3 situations that can force a change in child support

When it comes to child support, the paying spouse may think that he or she is locked into an ironclad agreement that will never be changed under any circumstance. The monthly figure you pay will be your responsibility until the support agreement is fulfilled, and that's just the way it is.

However, that is completely false. Child support is a court order handed down by a judge, and the paying spouse can appeal to the judge to change the provisions involved in the support agreement. There are a few typical scenarios that arise in a person's life that can necessitate changing the support agreement, so let's take a look at them.

Tension between parents often leads to child custody disputes

When parents share child custody, or one parent has custody and the other has visitation rights, it will be necessary at some point to move the child from one parent to the other. These “swaps” happen every day in Virginia. In theory, a parent with visitation rights is entitled to spend time with his or her child, regardless of any disputes he or she has with the custodial parent, such as allegedly unpaid child support.

In reality, outside tensions between the parents sometimes affect child custody handoffs. The parents may still be dealing with resentment following a bitter divorce, or they may not feel the custody arrangement is fair. Some parents will not bring the kids to the handoff as a way to “punish” the other parent.

Bigamy voids a Virginia marriage, and it's also a crime

Back in October, Virginia joined the several U.S. states in which same-sex marriage is legal, following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal of a lower court decision that overturned the state’s ban. Of course, same-sex couples looking to get married must follow the same rules as everybody else, in order for their marriage to be valid.

For instance, no Virginia marriage is valid if one of the spouses was still married to a third party at the time. Besides voiding the marriage, bigamy is also a crime, as one woman recently discovered.

Who can get an uncontested divorce in Virginia?

Divorce can be a contentious affair, in which the spouses battle in court over their marital property, spousal support, child support, custody and visitation.  However, it does not have to be this way. Many married couples remain on good terms after separating, or at least civil enough to agree on how to resolve their divorce-related decisions.

For these couples in Virginia looking to save time and expense, uncontested divorce may be option.

Man found to be the father of 1 twin, not the other

Virginia law presumes that the husband of a child’s mother is the child’s legal father. This means that if the mother is currently married or was married up to 10 months prior to the child’s birth, but another man is believed by one party to be the biological father, paternity must be established in court.

When there is a question who the father of a child is, DNA testing usually is needed. Occasionally, paternity testing can yield surprising results, as it did in a recent case in New Jersey, where a man was found to be the father of one girl out of a set of twins -- but not both.

Slowly, same-sex divorce arrives in Virginia

As our readers know, a federal court ruling issued last year made same-sex marriage legal in Virginia. The flip-side of this change in the law is that divorce is also now available for same-sex couples in the state who need it.

Still, in the months since this ruling, same-sex divorce in Virginia seems to have been virtually non-existent, according to The Virginia-Pilot. An article on the subject says that a same-sex divorce finalized on Apr. 1 may be the first of its kind in Virginia.

Virginia named 12th-lowest in divorced population percentage

Being in 12th place is nothing to write home about in most competitions, but this may be good news, depending on your point of view: Virginia has the 12th-lowest population of divorced people in the United States.

This statement comes from a report by WTVR-TV, which recounted a study conducted by FindTheHome, an Internet real estate finder. Its findings come from the 2013 American Community Survey, and compares each state’s total population with the percentage of residents who have gone through divorce.