Virginia Wedding Gifts: Lord of the Rings

Is a wedding ring or other wedding gift marital property or separate property upon divorce in Virginia?

Virginia Code § 20-107.3 defines separate property as, inter alia, all property, real and personal, acquired by either party before the marriage, and marital property as, inter alia, all property acquired by each party during the marriage which is not otherwise separate property.  So what happens when you receive a wedding ring before the officiant pronounces you husband and wife?  Would not the ring be treated as separate property because it was acquired before the actual marriage? Continue reading

Virginia Spousal Support: The Factors

What do Virginia courts consider in spousal support cases?

Reasons to Not Award Spousal Support in Virginia:

Virginia Code § 20-107.1(E) states that in determining whether to award spousal support in the first instance the court shall consider the circumstances and factors that contributed to the dissolution of the marriage, specifically including adultery and any other ground for divorce under the provisions of subdivision (3) or (6) of § 20-91 or § 20-95. Continue reading

Why Do We Even Have Spousal Support in Virginia?

Why do we even have spousal support in Virginia?

Author Stephanie Coontz highlights at least one good reason that gets traction in some cases: “Women who quit their jobs or cut their hours suffer a wage penalty that widens over the years, even if they return to the job market and work continuously for two more decades.  Over a lifetime, even a temporary absence from the workforce can cost a woman hundreds of thousands of dollars, making her more economically vulnerable in case of divorce or the death of her spouse.”  Stephanie Coontz, Five Myths About Marriage, The Washington Post, May 27, 2012.