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Leesburg VA Divorce Law Blog

How student loans are affected by divorce

College education in Colorado and around the U.S. has become so expensive that it could be decades before many recent graduates pay off their student loans. Students who took out loans to help pay for their education had an average of $29,400 of debt upon their graduation in 2012, according to one source. For a married couple, it may not be unusual for the household to have a total of $100,000 or more in student loans.

Paying off those loans may be a significant drag on the family’s finances. And financial problems are a significant reason for many divorces. This begs the question of what happens to the student loans during a divorce.

Dishonest spouses can take advantage of ex's financial ignorance

In many marriages, one spouse handles all of the finances. This can be part of a division of labor within the relationship, and may be a relief for a husband or wife who does not enjoy keeping track of important assets, such as retirement accounts, bank balances and so on.

Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce. If you go through divorce without knowing what is in your marital property, and what those assets' values are, you could end up with far less than you deserve. Taking advantage of your ignorance, your ex could try to fraudulently hide assets from you and your divorce attorney.

Fathers of adopted kids only have a short time to seek custody

Men in Virginia should know that it can be difficult to assert paternity over a child, if they are not married to the mother of the boy or girl. If the mother gives up the child for adoption, the father may not be told about it, so they may lose the chance to fight for child custody before they even learn they have a child.

The law in Virginia says that a father must contest an adoption within six months of when it is petitioned for in court. After six months, it is very difficult to nullify the adoption, or even get visitation rights. For men who unknowingly get a woman pregnant, such as in a brief relationship, this can cut them off from their biological sons or daughters permanently.

In divorce, a business may be part of the property division; pt 2

Readers may recall our last post, in which we discussed how a small business is often part of the marital property in a divorce, even when only one spouse was involved in the business.

Today, we continue our discussion of how a business owned by a spouse can affect the divorce process. Specifically, our post today is about how the value of the company is calculated for marital property purposes.

In divorce, a business may be part of the property division

For small business owners in Virginia, going through divorce may have an added complication that most other couples will not have to face. Like any other asset owned by one or both spouses, a business may be considered part of the marital property. In other words, in order to keep your business, you may have to pay your spouse part of its value.

This may make sense for couples who ran the business together prior to divorce. But what about when one spouse owned and ran the company, while the other spouse was not involved at all?

Study: divorce-themed movies can help heal real-life marriages

Divorce and marital problems are popular themes in movies, as film buffs in Virginia know. Though divorce in real life does not always resemble how it is depicted on the silver screen, a new study suggests that certain movies can help troubled couples work on their relationships.

The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, say that watching a divorce-themed film and then relating the plot to your own life can be as effective as marriage counseling. Their research found that this form of therapy cut the divorce rate after three years of marriage by more than half, from 24 percent to 11 percent. That is the same success rate as conventional therapy, the study says.

How to respond when your ex makes financial threats in divorce

Even in the most civil of divorces, there often will be times where things get heated. One spouse may feel like his or her financial situation or relationship with his or her children is being threatened.

He or she then lashes out, telling his or her spouse that she or he will not get one cent in the division of marital assets. Or maybe he or she threatens to take away the ex’s child custody rights. Anything he or she can say to frighten or intimidate his or he spouse, he or she will.

3 tips for buying presents for the kids after divorce

When it comes time to shop for holiday gifts, pleasing the children as much as possible -- within the budget, of course -- is a primary concern for most parents in Virginia. But for parents who have gone through divorce, there is an additional wrinkle. You must plan, knowing that there will likely be two sets of presents: one with you, and one with your ex-husband or wife.

For this reason, figuring out what to get the kids can be more complicated than it used to be. For example, each parent could accidently get one child two of the same gift. Or one parent could get a gift that is inappropriate for the other’s home. In some cases, divorced parents see the holiday season as an opportunity to outdo the other to “buy” the kids’ love.

Should the subject of Santa come up in your custody talks?

If you’re like most divorcing parents then you probably know that during the divorce process, you will have to have the conversation about child custody. This can range from an easy discussion to a full-blown legal battle, lasting months or even years. Either way, you and your soon-to-be ex spouse will have to determine who will get custody of the child or children and to what extent that custody extends. Will you decide on joint custody or will one parent have primary and legal custody?

As some of our readers know, legal custody gives a parent the right to make long-term decisions about raising the child. This can include making decisions about where the child goes to school or even what religion they practice. But with Christmas just around the corner, we wondered if any of our readers here in Virginia had considered the subject of Santa Clause when it comes to legal custody.

How to guide children through a child custody struggle

Virginia parents who are able to place the needs of their children above their own interests are able to move through the process of divorce differently than those who assume a battle stance. Such parents are able to realize that divorce and child custody issues can provide a valuable learning opportunity for the children who are at the center of these matters. While it can be difficult to reframe the way that we think about these issues, doing so can help children learn positive ways to handle adversity and strife.

For example, parents should always strive to model the behaviors that they would expect their children to exhibit when a difficult situation arises. Just as most parents would redirect a child who issued an angry outburst at a playmate, parents should be aware of the manner in which they speak of each other while in the presence of their children. Doing so demonstrates that even when people are at odds with one another, it is important to treat each other with respect.

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