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Leesburg VA Divorce Law Blog

Reality stars headed to court for child custody case

Virginia residents who follow reality shows might have heard of the series that takes places in South Carolina called "Southern Charm," and those who are unfamiliar could still be interested when wanting to know about family law issues as the latest drama surrounding two stars of the show involves a custody battle. Various media outlets are reporting that 54-year-old Thomas Ravenel is filing a suit regarding a custody agreement about his two children with 24-year-old Kathryn Dennis.

It seems that these parents do not have a court-ordered custody agreement in place and that Ravenel wants to go to court to obtain one so that he can see his children, a 2-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son, but Dennis claims that Ravenel has not made any recent financial contributions for their children. She also says that he has not seen them in nearly three months and that she is essentially a single parent as Ravenel is not involved in the children's lives.

Modifying child support when circumstances change

Some Virginia parents who are ordered to pay child support may find it difficult to make payments. If the parent has experienced a major change in financial circumstances, it may be possible to seek and obtain a modification of the ordered amount to reflect the change in income.

Changes in income or in a person's financial circumstances normally result when they get a new job or become unemployed. A child support modification may be made on either a temporary or permanent basis. Common reasons to file a modification might include losing a job, becoming disabled, either parent going to jail or prison, either parent having a substantial income increase or if a child becomes more dependent on certain needs.

Issues with child custody

Divorce and child custody disputes can be difficult for both Virginia parents and their children. While the children need to know that they are loved and cared for, the parents may be too wrapped up in their own drama to always recognize this. If parents are not on good terms, one or both may not abide by the parenting schedule, which could put the children in a tenuous situation.

Even worse, some parents may show up on some designated transfer days and not show up on others. This may create confusion on the part of both the parent expecting the other to pick up the child as well as the child who may be left feeling unwanted. In some cases, parents who fail to show for scheduled visits may be fined or given the opportunity to make that time up.

Divorce mistakes to avoid

Virginia couples who are ending their marriages may want to make certain they are taking a logical and smart approach to the process. Doing so can save a person thousands of dollars both during and after the divorce.

A common mistake people make is engaging in protracted and bitter litigation. This drives up legal expenses while drawing out the process. Litigation may also make it more difficult to get along later, which may be important if a couple shares children. There are alternative methods available that are designed to help couples resolve outstanding issues and reach an accord, including mediation and collaborative divorce.

The pluses, and minuses, of uncontested divorce in Virginia

If you or your spouse (or both of you) are considering divorce, there are probably problems in your marriage that, try as the two of you have, cannot be overcome. Perhaps only one spouse is ready to move on, which could make negotiating a settlement difficult.

But if you and your spouse both agree that divorce is the best option, you may be able to save a great deal of time and money compared with the traditional, confrontational divorce path. In Virginia, many couples are able to take advantage of uncontested divorce instead.

Ex-husband gets 4 years for hiding marital assets overseas

Getting an equitable share of your marital assets in your divorce can be difficult when you do not know how much there is to split up. Some couples share in all financial planning, so each spouse has a good idea of what assets they own and what they are worth. Other times, one spouse handles all the finances and earns all he income, leaving the other spouse largely in the dark about money matters.

Uncovering the size and value of the marital asset pile becomes even more complicated when one spouse is dishonest. Unfortunately, some high-income people going through divorce try to hide assets from their ex and the court, to keep those valuable assets for themselves -- even though the ex deserves a fair share too.

Chris Martin: I don't see it as a divorce

There is no rulebook that says what kind of relationship you and your ex must have after your divorce is final. If the two of you have children, ideally you will be able to continue co-parenting. Outside of that, post-divorce relationships range from non-existent to very close.

Years after actress Gwenyth Paltrow and singer Chris Martin announced their divorce, which they called a “conscious uncoupling,” their fans continue to be curious about the state of their relationship. Paltrow has said the two remain close, in a sibling-like way, and in a recent interview, Martin continued to deny that the two had divorced in the traditional way.

Wedding dress photo series helped woman deal with her divorce

Most brides wear their wedding dress once, then store it in the attic as a memento and, possibly, a family heirloom to be passed down to a daughter or granddaughter someday. But one divorced woman wore her wedding dress everywhere, to change it from a reminder of her failed marriage to a symbol of the new phase her life had entered.

The woman, who made a photography project out of wearing her dress, recently shared her story with the Today Show. Depressed after her marriage of 19 years ended, the woman said she tried exercise and therapy, but both failed to help.

How do I request a child support modification in Virginia?

The law in Virginia recognizes that things usually change in the years after divorce. Exes find someone new to marry, or move out of state. Children grow into teenagers, and eventually reach adulthood. One ex might go back to school and enter into a lucrative new career, while the other suffers a disabling injury and can no longer work.

These are just examples of the myriad ways lives can go up or down as time goes by. Among the consequences of these events is that a noncustodial parent who has been ordered to pay child support may someday struggle to pay it, or gain the means to pay more to his or her kids.

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.