Virginia Spousal Support and Adultery: A Manifestly Unjust Application of the Manifest Injustice Exception

When can an adulterer receive spousal support in Virginia?

Va. Code § 20-107.1 states:

“ . . . [N]o permanent maintenance and support shall be awarded from a spouse if there exists in such spouse’s favor a ground of divorce under the provisions of subdivision (1) of § 20-91. However, the court may make such an award notwithstanding the existence of such ground if the court determines from clear and convincing evidence, that a denial of support and maintenance would constitute a manifest injustice, based upon the respective degrees of fault during the marriage and the relative economic circumstances of the parties.” Continue reading

Virginia Marital Property Division: Gunshot Bullets Aren’t So Bad for The Health Of Your Equitable Distribution

Virginia divorce proceedings almost always involve the equitable distribution of marital assets and debts under Va. Code § 20-107.3.  This equitable division is not guaranteed to be an equal division, but experience dictates that it almost always will be an equal division.  Your military pension will almost never receive special treatment.  Your new business concern, too.  Your lazy spouse’s failure to do much of anything worthwhile will likely not cause the court to bat an eyelash.  So what kind of facts would warrant a deviation from an equal division of the marital estate?  How about shooting the other spouse? Continue reading

Is a Student Loan Debt a Marital Debt or a Separate Debt in a Virginia Divorce?

Again a judge renders an uninteresting decision using an interesting rationale.

In the case of Damankah v. Damankah (CL-09-000345), the Salem Circuit Court determined that husband’s student loan debt acquired during the marriage and prior to the final separation of the parties was marital debt subject to apportionment under Virginia Code § 20-107.3.  The court then apportioned the entire debt to husband.  Continue reading

Can You Change Your Child’s Last Name After a Divorce in Virginia?

Can you change your child’s last name after divorce in Virginia? What if the other parent objects?

A person seeking a change of name for themselves or their minor child can petition, under oath, the circuit court where that person, or his or her minor child, resides for an order changing that person’s name.  Virginia Code Ann. § 8.01-217(a) and (b).  If a minor child’s name is sought to be changed, the parent who does not join in the application shall be served with reasonable notice of the application pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-296 and, should such parent object to the change of name, a hearing shall be held to determine whether the change of name is in the best interest of the child.  Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-217(a).  The court, shall, unless the evidence shows that the change of name is sought for a fraudulent purpose or would otherwise infringe upon the rights of others or, in a case involving a minor, that the change of name is not in the best interest of the minor, order a change of name.  Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-217(c). Continue reading

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