Virginia Divorce: The Marriage that Wasn’t – Update!

“They’re baaaack…” – Poltergeist II: The Other Side, 1986

More than two years ago, we told you about the case of MacDougall v. Levick (Case No. CL-2011-4071).  As you may recall, the parties in that case, after believing themselves to be married for about nine years, were told by the Circuit Court of Fairfax County that they couldn’t get divorced because they were never married to begin with.  After more than two years’ worth of additional litigation and appeals (time flies when you’re having fun!) the Court of Appeals of Virginia issued its final decision in this case.  Continue reading

Virginia Divorce: Changing your life insurance beneficiary after divorce – when enough isn’t enough

“Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?” – Morissette, Alanis. “Ironic.” Jagged Little Pill. Maverick/Reprise. 1995.

The most common person to name as the primary beneficiary on your life insurance policy is your spouse. This is something that folks often do without putting much thought into it, and when they first take out a policy. As a result it is no wonder that when people get divorced years or sometimes decades later, they often forget to go back and change that beneficiary designation so that their ex doesn’t get paid when they die. Worry not! Continue reading

Virginia Divorce: The Marriage That Wasn’t

In MacDougall v. Levick (Case No. CL-2011-4071), the parties thought that they were married.  They had their wedding officiated by a rabbi on December 21, 2002.  They applied for their marriage license on January 6, 2003.  They sent it to their rabbi who received it on January 21, 2003.  Their rabbi signed the license with a stated marriage date of January 21, 2003.  The license itself was filed with the Clerk of the Fairfax County Circuit Court on February 11, 2003.  The parties then lived together as husband and wife for the next 8 years before commencing tumultuous divorce litigation in 2011.  What could have gone wrong? Continue reading