Joseph H. Beale Attorney At Law, PLLC

Virginia Legal Blog

Making child custody work well after divorce

When Virginia parents make the decision to go through with a divorce, one of their main concerns is what will happen to their children. In order to provide them with security and stability well into the future, some may opt to co-parent. This is a type of child custody arrangement that gives the children time with both parents, and while there are many benefits to this option, it is not always easy for two parents to work well together after divorce.

Parents who have to work together for the sake of their kids will have to put their own emotions to the side in order to make their co-parenting arrangement be successful. One thing that can help is for both parents to remain respectful and involved. Kids will do better when they see their parents treat each other well. It can also help when two parents live close to each other, making the transition between homes easier.

Prepare for divorce with a detailed property division checklist

Married couples typically commingle their assets, while also making joint purchases. From your family home to your vehicles, from your bank accounts to your retirement accounts, sharing is common.

This is all well and good while married, but it can lead to various complications if you decide to divorce.

The importance of wills and what happens to an estate

When a person passes away, it is the responsibility of the loved ones left behind to decide what happens to that person's estate, possessions and money. They also have to make decisions regarding the funeral. When a person has an estate plan, it typically outlines his or her wishes regarding these things. When there are no plans, it can cause significant complications. Wills, trusts and other planning tools can significantly benefit a Virginia family.

Dying without a will can leave a family in disarray. More often than not, family members will have disagreements regarding what should happen to the estate and how the funeral plans should work. Often, it is necessary for a family or beneficiaries to end up in court to settle the issue. There are plenty of examples of how failing to have an estate plan or not updating a plan can lead to trouble.

Getting married and worried about money, divorce? Get a prenup

When deciding on floral arrangements and reception locations, soon-to-be married couples often forget to ask themselves a very important question -- what if things do not work out? While it might strike some as a distinctly unromantic thought, it is an important consideration. As many as half of all marriages end in divorce, so wanting to protect personal interests is not just understandable, it is smart. This can usually be accomplished with a prenuptial agreement.

Creating a prenuptial agreement gives a couple in Virginia the opportunity to outline which property is separate. Separate property are assets that a person acquired before getting married. While this property usually remains separate even after marriage, there are times when its status may be called into question. For example, commingling assets -- mixing separate property with marital property -- can make it difficult to determine exactly what belongs to who during divorce. A prenuptial agreement clearly outlines which property is separate, making property division easier in the future.

Todd Palin seeks divorce from VP nominee Sarah Palin

The husband of one-time candidate for U.S. vice-president is seeking an end to his marriage. Virginia residents will know Sarah Palin as the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee. Her husband of 31 years, Todd Palin, is filing for divorce, allegedly because of incompatibility of temperament. They are both 55 years old.

The couple have four children and Todd Palin is asking for joint custody of the one child who is still a minor under the law. The couple have had to dodge media rumblings of trouble in their marriage for at least the last decade. For the last six months, Todd has not been on Sarah's social media accounts, according to media reports.

Spears and Federline modify child custody agreement

Virginia parents can petition a court to make changes to an existing court order regarding their children. The court always has children's best interests at the forefront when making child custody, visitation or child support decisions. These decisions, however, are not cast in stone, and under certain circumstances, the court may determine that modifying a signed agreement is warranted. Britney Spears and her former partner, Kevin Federline, recently sought to modify their co-parenting plan.

Spears and Federline share two sons, ages 13 and 12. Under the new plan, the boys will split their time with their parents 70/30. Spears has the lesser amount but her visits will be unsupervised. The former couple have been living separate lives for approximately 12 years.

5 critical steps to prepare your finances for divorce

It may not be something you're looking forward to, but it's a necessity to prepare your finances for divorce. With knowledge of your situation, it's easier to make confident decisions that will work in your favor in the future.

Here are five steps you can take to prepare your finances for divorce:

  • Gather all necessary financial records: These vary from person to person, but typically include bank account statements, retirement account statements, mortgage statements, tax returns and pay stubs.
  • Make a list of your assets and debts: Knowledge of both your assets and debts is imperative as you move into discussions regarding property division. Also, make note of which assets are jointly owned and which ones are owned by either you or your ex.
  • Open your own accounts: Once you close joint accounts, it's time to open new ones for yourself. This can include bank accounts, retirement accounts and a credit card account, among others.
  • Create a budget: Your income and expenses are likely to change as a result of divorce, so creating a new budget is a must. This is also a good time to search for unnecessary expenses, as you may want to eliminate these when possible.
  • Get help: You're not alone as you prepare your finances for divorce. There is plenty of help to be had, ranging from a divorce attorney to a financial analyst to your tax professional. These professionals can answer your questions and provide direction during this difficult period.

How income affects the property division process in divorce

When a marriage ends, there are often significant concerns regarding what the financial future will look like. The terms of the final order will affect a Virginia reader for years to come, and a person's income structure will play a significant role in this. How and how much a person is paid will impact how he or she fares in the divorce. 

If a person makes a normally structured salary, such as receiving paychecks every two weeks, this will not be complicated to address during a divorce. However, there are pay structures that can be quite complex, such as those that may offer bonuses, commission pay and more. The lesser-earning spouse may be entitled to spousal support, and the amount of this support depends on the pay of the other spouse.

Why do Virginia couples file for divorce?

The choice to end a marriage is not always an easy one to make. For some Virginia couples, divorce only becomes inevitable after months of separation, discussion and consideration. There are many common issues that can lead to this decision, and understanding why it happens can help a person move forward with his or her divorce.

Most people get married for love, and a lack of love is one of the most common reasons for divorce. Feelings can change over time, and things can happen that can alter spouses' feelings for one another. Even if spouses are friends, a loss of romantic feelings is detrimental to a marriage, as is a loss of trust, mutual respect and sympathy. These are all things that serve as the foundation for many marriages. 

Wills and smart estate planning steps for Virginia couples

Planning for the future is not an easy process, especially for a Virginia couple that just got married. It's difficult to know what kinds of legal protections are necessary and important for two people who may be young with lower incomes and little savings. Drafting wills, trusts and other estate planning steps can be a smart course of action for a couple of any age and financial status.

One smart step for a couple starting out with the estate planning process is to simply take inventory of their assets and their debts. This can help someone understand where he or she is and what protections can be helpful for their current status. In addition to inventorying property and assets, it is also smart to go ahead and identify beneficiaries. This is prudent even for couples who do not have kids yet.

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