Virginia Equitable Distribution: The Strange Burden of Giving

John Smith buys a house before he gets married to Jane Doe.  John then gets married to Jane.  He wants his to become theirs.  She wants hers to become theirs.  So they open joint bank accounts.  They consolidate their finances.  And he deeds the house into their joint names.  But their love dwindles.  They separate.  And they file for divorce.  So what happens to the house?  Does John get to keep all of the equity in in the property because he owned it before the marriage?  Or does Jane get an equitable share in the equity because she clearly owns the property, too? Continue reading

Virginia Spousal Support: Spouse’s Needs v. Children’s Needs

In Virginia, the spouse requesting spousal support often introduces a worksheet showing his/her monthly income and expenses in the hopes of proving that spouse’s need for support.  Given the circumstances, these worksheets often included grossly exaggerated expenses.  Moreover, they often include expenses associated with other people, like those paid on behalf of the children or other third parties.  So what’s a court to do when determining spousal support when it’s faced with expenses that can be associated with both the spouse and the children? Continue reading