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.
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.
This research was conducted by the National Legal Research Group
Can you voluntary retire at a normal retirement age and go to court to lower the amount of your alimony payments?
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.
Marriage is serious decision in Virginia, but so is divorce. As a result, some couples choose to protect themselves and their assets by signing a prenuptial agreement prior to tying the knot. In fact, according to a 2016 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, family law attorneys have seen a 60% increase in couples choosing to enter into prenuptial agreements since 2013.
What do you do when your spouse is hiding, disposing of, stealing, transferring, dissipating, wasting marital assets and running up huge amount of debt?
In the first part of this blog, I discussed the many ways your spouse can intentionally and maliciously manipulate marital money, accounts, property, and debt to deprive you of your fair share of assets and support during a divorce. What I described happens all the time, particularly to the spouse that has no control over the finances. Also, your spouse may be doing this when he or she knows that the marriage if over and you may believe the marriage is in good shape. By the time you find out, it may be too late-assets will be gone and debts skyrocketing.
When parties are about to separate or during separation-or where your spouse intends to separate but you have no idea, you may notice your bank accounts, assets. and other money and assets disappear. You may see bank account balances decrease. You may notice credit card balances and debts are increasing. Your spouse may be taking money out of the home equity line of credit. Maybe you observe your spouse changing his/her lifestyle, such as staying out, traveling for pleasure, and partying-spending money on frivolous matters or spending more that he/she has historically spent. Traveling for "work" more often. Traveling for "work" during the weekends. You are trusting. You don't want your family broken up. You don't' see the clues. You don't want to see the clues. Your spouse is manipulative.
Alarm bells should be going off. This is a Five Alarm Fire that you to put out immediately. Act now!
Call a divorce lawyer.
Evidence can be presented to the Judge to increase your odds of getting custody of your pet. You brought the pet into the marriage. You bought or adopted the pet. Your name is one on the ownership papers as the pet's owner. You take the pet to the veterinarian for check-ups and emergencies. You walk the pet. You take more care of the pet. The pet responds more to you and comes when you call his/her name. You are remaining in the residence where the pet has lived, so the pet's routine will not be disturbed. Your residence has more space indoors and outdoors for the pet. Your work hours allow you to spend more time with the pet during the day. You can take off during work to go home to tend to the pet. You feed the pet. You take the pet to the groomers. You are physically able to tend to and walk the pet.
In the second part of this Blog, I will review Virginia case law on the subject of how courts have dealt with pets in divorce cases.
The law has traditionally treated DOGS AND CATS and other PETS as personal property in divorce cases. Divorce courts consider a pet just as they would any other piece of property, like household furniture. As insensitive as this is, if the court even agrees to listen to your pleas for custody of your pet, it will either treat the pet like dividing of a piece of furniture. Or the court might just say it does not deal with pets and force you and your spouse to work it out. This seems a very cold approach, given the close bond and attachment with have with our pets-they are part of the family and closely bonded and attached to us and our kids. But it is the law. The law does not care about the best interests of the pets. Having said that, arguments can be made to appeal to the court to consider the special circumstance involving a pet.