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Leesburg VA Divorce Law Blog

Virginia lawmaker reject decriminalizing adultery

The Virginia General Assembly has decided that adultery should remain a crime in the Commonwealth. While the odds of prosecution are likely very low, it does happen occasionally, which should give cheaters something to think about.

It will likely surprise many of our readers to know that adultery is against the law in Virginia. In fact, it is a Class 4 misdemeanor. There is no possible jail time and a maximum fine of $250. Conviction is very rare, with just eight people convicted in the past decade, according to the Galax Gazette. In court, adultery can be impossible to prove unless the defendant admits it. Most defendants invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when questioned under oath.

Father not allowed to pay child support in lump sum

Before the billion-dollar Powerball drawing that took place recently, many of our readers surely spent some time fantasizing about what they would do if they won that kind of money. Readers probably know that lottery winners get the option of getting a lump-sum payment or a regular series of payments for several years.

Each choice has pluses and minuses. The lump-sum payment makes you instantly wealthy, but is a fraction of the official jackpot. The installments are smaller, but they give you a steady source of income, for those who do not want to deal with investments and financial planning.

How is a small business' value determined during divorce?

Though most business owners have some idea of what their company is worth, they likely do not have a firm dollar figure in mind. Getting a valuation of your business has many possible functions, from estate planning to getting a fair price on a sale. It can also be a vital task if the owner or one of the partners is going through divorce.

If the business is a marital asset, then the spouses will probably both want an equitable share of it, or one spouse will have to buy out the other. Before this can happen, the spouses need to know the value of the thing they are dividing up.

Virginia Beach's divorce rate rose the highest since 1970

Back in 1970, divorce was fairly rare in Virginia, and indeed in the rest of the country. Since then, changes to the law, increased job opportunities for women and improved societal attitudes toward divorce has made it much more common. Some experts contend that about half of all marriages in the U.S. now end in divorce, though this figure is in dispute.

Some parts of the country have experienced especially dramatic changes in the divorce rate over the past 46 years. WTVR-TV recently reported on a study that ranked the top 25 U.S. cities by increased divorce rate between 1970 and 2010. Interestingly, a Virginia city came out on top.

Is divorce on the horizon for you in 2016?

Statistically, many individuals or couples put off divorce until after the holidays. In fact, in Leesburg and elsewhere throughout Loudoun County, January is the month when the most divorces are filed. It’s difficult to say with certainty why January seems to be such a popular month, but many speculate that it is closely linked to bringing in a fresh start with the new year.

Several clients arrive at their attorney’s office with the intent to get the process rolling, however many professionals in the field recommend that the first visit with an attorney should focus on what to expect as well as creating a to-do list of things to accomplish prior to filing.

Enjoying the holidays after divorce

Though most of our readers are surely looking forward to Christmas two days from now, other people are dreading the holiday. There are many reasons not to want another Christmas to come around. For those who went through divorce this year, the reason may be that it will be the first Christmas they will not spend with their former spouse and their children.

Holidays after divorce can be tough, but there may be a bright side. The Huffington Post recently asked its readers and bloggers to share stories of how their holiday celebrations have changed for the better since their marriages ended. Here are some examples.

Court says property division order voided at ex-husband's death

After a divorce, it is a good idea to examine your estate plan to see if it needs to be updated. You probably named your former spouse as a beneficiary. Now is likely to the time to change that. Things like life insurance policies may need amending too.

An inconveniently timed death can cause great confusion over who gets the value of a life insurance policy. In a recent decision from outside of Virginia, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled that a woman does not have the right to a portion of her deceased ex-husband’s life insurance policy -- despite a family court ruling that the ex-husband had to give her half its value as part of their divorce.

What is the difference between marital and separate property?

Getting divorce usually means dividing up many valuable assets and significant debts, but not everything you own is necessarily going to be split in two. As with most other states, Virginia law recognizes the difference between “marital property” and “separate property.”

As those terms imply, “marital property” refers to those items the court deems belongs to both spouses, and “separate property” belongs to each spouse individually. When a divorce gets contentious, often it is because one spouse believes an asset is marital property, and the other spouse insists it is not.

Transgender man claims parental rights after divorce

Family law has changed radically in Virginia since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that same-sex couples have a Constitutional right to get married. While this ruling ushered in a new era when it comes to matrimonial and divorce law in this state, it may not be the end of the matter, because it may have left issues of parenting rights unresolved.

In nearby Maryland, a transgender man is appealing a lower court decision that denied him child custody and visitation rights over the child he had with his former spouse. Though the man acknowledges that he is neither the child’s biological or adoptive parent, he is arguing that he is entitled to some parental rights because he assumed the duties of parenting the child.

New dating app is geared toward divorced singles

Online dating services are big business. Increasingly, companies are specializing in order to help singles narrow down the list of potential mates. There are dating websites for particular religious and ethnic groups, farmers, and even the infamous Ashley Madison, for those looking to date while still married.

Now there is a smartphone app for divorced people ready to start dating again, but interested in people who have gone through a similar experience. The app, appropriately enough, is called Divorce Dating.