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Leesburg VA Divorce Law Blog

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.

Virginia politician threatens staffer's ex-wife over child support

Child support can be an emotional matter, such as when the custodial parent accuses the noncustodial parent of failing to keep up on payments. Sometimes people lose their temper, which is understandable but rarely helpful. Setting and adjusting child support requires cool heads, when possible.

A Virginia politician has apologized for threatening his campaign manager’s former wife over her child support questions. The politician, Carl R. Loser, is running for state Senate. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, around mid-September his campaign manager’s former wife contacted Loser. She asked about her ex-husband’s position with the campaign and what salary he was earning.

The importance of no-fault divorce in Virginia

A look at divorce laws in another country may shed light at some of the advantages Virginians enjoy when they must end their marriage. Today, we will discuss a decision by South Korea’s top court denying a man the right to file for divorce, because he was responsible for the marriage falling apart.

South Korean law does not allow a spouse who is at fault for the marital relationship ending, such as through infidelity, to initiate divorce proceedings. The man in this case tried to file for divorce in 2011, International Business Times reports. He left his wife 15 years ago and moved in with another woman, with whom he now has a child.

Should Virginia presume shared child custody most of the time?

Recently, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published an opinion piece by Christian Paasch, the chairman of the National Parents Organization of Virginia and a member of Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines Review Panel. In the piece, which you can read here, Paasch calls for Virginia to emphasize shared parenting in child custody matters.

Readers may naturally be curious about shared parenting, how it differs from sole custody, and how divorced parents might be able to successfully share parenting responsibilities.

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.