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Contested does not have to mean litigious in a divorce case

Could your divorce become contested over a technicality? It’s possible, as one Virginia woman and author of a comic coloring book about divorce has learned the hard way.

The author was married at a religious ceremony, but in the bustle of the wedding, the couple didn’t procure a Virginia marriage license until they went to their local clerk of court two weeks later. The couple sent it to the rabbi that officiated their ceremony, but he accidentally dated it a month later.

The couple filed for divorce nine years later. The final divorce decree directed that the author’s former husband was required to pay $150,000 in spousal support each year. Two years after the divorce, the author’s former husband advanced a novel legal argument, arising from the discrepancy between the couple’s wedding ceremony date and the date indicated on the marriage license. The former husband asserted that the marriage had been null and void, thereby relieving him of any alimony obligations under the divorce decree. The case is still pending in the Virginia court system.

Our Virginia family law firm has represented many spouses going through contested divorces. From a legal standpoint, it is important to remember that contested is not a dirty word in divorce law. It simply means that a couple was not able to negotiate an agreement on at least one of the several issues that must be finalized in a divorce.

Where possible, we work to negotiate a settlement on these divorce issues, including marital property division, alimony, and child custody and visitation. For some issues, a couple might need the judge to make a final decision. Our law firm can protect you through that process.

Source: The Washington Post, “A Virginia woman hopes her funny coloring book will ease the sting of divorce,” John Kelly, Feb. 13, 2017

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