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Lump Sum Awards of Virginia Spousal Support

In virtually every case I’ve seen, spousal support is a specific amount of money paid each month from the higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse. In virtually every case I’ve seen, the higher earning spouse hates this. Like, really, really hates this. In virtually every case I’ve seen, he (it’s usually a he)…

Juvenile Court v. Circuit Court: Where Do I File?

Knowing which court does what and where to file your petitions is anything but easy, especially in family law. Our cases are handled both in the juvenile courts AND the circuit courts, and there can be some interplay between the two, depending on the specifics of each case. Let’s talk about it. What petitions do…

Does it matter who files first in Virginia divorce and custody?

Does it matter who files first in Virginia divorce or custody? I was recently reading a book, “The Respondent”, about a dad who faced a divorce and ongoing custody battle in California, allegedly as a result of the lies his wife told about his relationship with his two young boys. I have a lot of…

Is it unfair that women have to pay men spousal support sometimes?

No one wants to pay spousal support. No one. No man, no woman, no one, wants to pay money each month to help support and maintain their ex partner. It used to be that only men could be required to pay support to their ex-wives. It wasn’t sexist, either, because in previous decades, women didn’t…

The cost of divorce to women

  A friend of mine is getting a divorce. Just like everyone else, it happens from time to time, but an occupational hazard of mine is that they all reach out to me for advice and general support. It’s just the way it goes. It’s a time of crisis, especially in the beginning. And though…

What makes a good separation agreement?

It’s the million dollar question, and it’s a hard one to answer because, frankly, what makes a good separation agreement is something that is completely and entirely subjective. Though you may have two women who’d answer the question the same – like, for example, that they just want it to be over, or they just…

What is manifest injustice in Virginia spousal support?

In the law, we like to use terms that other people don’t understand. “Manifest injustice,” “best interests of the child,” “continued cohabitation in a relationship analogous to marriage,” “material change of circumstances,” on and on, ad nauseum. Oh, right – and the Latin! Pendente lite, habeas corpus, pro bono, a mensa et thoro, ad litem,…

What is a Gray Divorce?

  A “Gray Divorce” is the term that is used nowadays to describe divorces where the parties are over the age of 50. You may not prefer the term – because, hey, JLo is over 50, and she’s TOTALLY not gray – but the reality is that we often lump these types of cases together…

Why don’t you just divorce him?

  I’ve been guilty of it, too, in the past. I’ve asked a friend, who confided in me about the misery involved in her relationship, why she stays. Why she doesn’t just go, because doesn’t she know she deserves better? These days, I try not to. Because I know it won’t help. Because I know…

Negative and Positive Monetary and Non Monetary Contributions

  In Equitable Distribution, the legal process through which we divide the assets and liabilities of a marriage between the parties, the court doesn’t automatically assume a 50/50 split. This is different than states that follow a Community Property model of division. In equitable distribution (or ED, as we sometimes call it), it’s almost like…