Dannenbaum Law Firm, PLLC

Arlington Family Law Blog

Uncontested divorce benefits

Divorce, by its very nature, is an adversarial process. Most Virginia couples whose marriages are headed for termination realize the advantages of avoiding an all-out war in achieving a fair split. The ugly, contentious divorce is almost a cliché where exorbitant amounts of money are spent, emotions are exhausted, and a settlement nobody is happy with is imposed by the court. On the other end of the spectrum, where the two parties can amicably agree on all the legal issues necessary to obtain a divorce, a streamlined process may be possible.

The relative ease in which a couple can marry belies the scope of legal issues that must be settled for a divorce to receive final judicial approval. Divorce experts list the following as matters that must be agreed upon by a couple considering an uncontested divorce: division of personal and real property; division of debts and assets; child support, child custody and visitation rights where minor children are involved; and alimony or spousal support. A written agreement on these issues should be filed at the same time the initial divorce petition is filed with the court.

What Should We Do About The House In A Divorce? Part 2 of 4

You and your spouse own a marital residence. What happens to the house in divorce. There are a few options.

In Part 1, I discussed placing the house on the market for sale to a third party. In this Blog, I will deal with the situation where you need to decide if you want to remain in marital residence.

What Should We Do About The House In A Divorce? Part 3

You and your spouse own a marital residence. What happens to the house in divorce. There are a few options.

In Part 1, I discussed placing the house on the market for sale to a third party. In this Blog, I will deal with the situation where you need to decide if you want to remain in marital residence.

In Part 2, I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of your keeping the marital home and buying out your spouse's equity.

In this Blog, I will discuss the issues relating to your spouse keeping the marital home and what it means for you.

What Should We Do About The House In A Divorce? Part 1 of 2

You and your spouse are getting a divorce. You and your spouse must decide what to do about the family house. There are many options. The disposition of the family home can be a complicated issue. You must consider many factors before you agree on what to do about the house.

Should You Leave The House During Separation

You and your spouse are fighting frequently and intensely. You see the emotional toll this is having on your kids. You are stressed out and emotionally exhausted. Your first instinct is to move out of the house. Should you leave?

Before you do anything, go see a divorce lawyer. Moving out can have adverse effects on your case in many ways.

How to divide the 401(k) in a divorce

In a Virginia divorce, some property is easier to divide than others. Furniture can be divided simply by each party taking what he or she desires, provided both parties agree. No special document outside of the divorce decree or property settlement agreement is needed.

The property division is a little more complicated with real estate, vehicles and retirement benefits. With a 401(k) retirement account, the matter becomes more complex. In Virginia, a 401(k) is subject to division in a divorce, even if only one party contributed money to the account. A court may award all or a portion of the account to the other party. Since the account is often one of the larger forms of marital property, a judge awarding a portion to the other spouse is common.

Should you get a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding agreement between two people who intend to marry that determines how assets and debts shall be divided upon a separation, divorce, or death. It may also determine whether or not or how much spousal support or alimony will be paid upon separation or divorce.

There are many good reasons for getting a prenuptial and some reasons for avoiding one.

Can you reduce the amount of alimony payments to your ex-spouse when you retire? Part 2 of 2

This research was conducted by the National Legal Research Group

It may also be helpful to examine a few post-Stubblebine trial court decisions. In Poland v. Poland, 2005 WL 4277920 (Va. Loudoun County Cir. Ct. 2005), Judge James H. Chamblin reduced the husband's spousal support from $3,500 per month to $2,870 per month. The major changes in circumstances justifying the reduction was the husband's retirement and the related sale of his business:

Can you reduce the amount of alimony payments to your ex-spouse when you retire? Part 1 of 2

Can you voluntary retire at a normal retirement age and go to court to lower the amount of your alimony payments?

Before recently, this question was not that clear. Now Virginia's legislature has stepped in and given some guidance to this recurring question. The new statute provides much needed clarity and specific guidelines for courts to use in modifying the amount of alimony to be paid when a person voluntarily retires. Before the new statute, it was a murky matter on whether a court would reduce alimony payments when a person reached retirement age and decided to voluntarily retire.

Tax Matters: Hire A Competent Certified Public Accountant

When you are considering separation or divorce, you need to find specialized professionals. One professional you may consider hiring a competent Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Your divorce lawyer will refer to a CPA. If you and your spouse have already being employing an accountant to prepare your taxes, don't use him or her for advice during the separation and divorce. Find an accountant independent of your spouse and with no prior ties to your spouse or his or her family.

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