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Roanoke Divorce Law Blog

Lobbyist art collectors' divorce could lead to property dispute

A lot can happen during a marital separation, and we don't mean divorce; we mean the time when spouses are no longer living together. Property can be sold without both parties' consent, and assets can be spent, all in the midst of efforts to ensure a firm financial future after the divorce.

For example, consider the high-profile split of husband and wife lobbyists Tony and Heather Podesta. The Democratic movers are also major art collectors, and the peaceable terms with which they announced their pending divorce last year have turned sour.

Will a divorce make you happy?

If you have children, deciding if you should get a divorce is always difficult. You can read a thousand different perspectives, and in the end, you still have to make the decision for yourself. Ideally, you want to make a choice that leaves you and your children happier. Divorce seems like such an irrevocable step, and causes such far-reaching consequences you do not want to take it lightly.

Nonetheless, if your relationship is troubled enough to consider divorce, you need to carefully examine the elements that are wrong or not working. Obviously, if your spouse has bad behavior, such as substance abuse problems or other addictions, like gambling or shopping, that activity can damage your relationship and much more.

Should we be talking about a relationship rate?

The divorce rate in the United States has been a subject of much discussion. It is probably used for everything from marketing laundry detergent to being seen as a marker for the moral decay of the nation. From an academic perspective, there is a growing conclusion that the available information is wrong.

The census data on which much of the calculation of the divorce rate is based has suggested that the rate is declining. New research suggests that it is actually increasing. The argument is that the census data has distorted the divorce rate for years. 

Modification of child support

During a divorce proceeding in Virginia, there are important financial issues that need to be examined. There is the division of the marital property, which is made up of the assets of the couple. In Virginia, this is done by equitable division, where the property is divided with an eye to what is fair, as opposed to merely a 50 percent share to each party.

An important element for the property division is the fact that it is very difficult to change a property settlement once the court has issued a final order. Typically, only a showing of actual fraud will allow a party to reopen a property division.

An equation that must work out

Mathematics and physics have been used to solve some very complex questions, with topics ranging from subatomic particles to the birth of the universe with the big bang. It also has more mundane uses, such as determining the optimal shape for a soda can and how to support long roof and bridge spans. One physicist wondered if he could use modeling techniques from physics to help with his very personal problem involving child custody.

He has two ex-wives and children from each marriage. He also is in a relationship with a woman who has her own children from a former relationship. Ideally, he wanted to create a formula that would allow him have all of the children on every other weekend and that would leave him every other weekend to spend time with his current partner.

Divorce rate for age 50 in the U.S. has doubled

The divorce rate among older people in the U.S. has been steadily increasing. In large part, this may be due to the graying of the baby boom. That demographic cohort has been setting trends since they first arrived shortly after world war two, and they appear to be driving the trend that has resulted in the divorce rate for Americans age 50 and older doubling since the early 1990s.

And, it appears, they are looking for help with their lives after a divorce. Because a divorce, even when you are the person initiating the proceeding, is almost always difficult and painful. If you have been married for a long time, your divorce can still be complex, even without children. The property division for your divorce may include issues of spousal support or alimony, questions of pensions and retirement accounts and Social Security.

Were the chocolates that bad? Divorce after Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is past and an unhappy spouse's thoughts turn to divorce. Or so it would seem. Divorce attorneys note an increase in business after Valentine's Day, and some of them point out that this is more than simply an anecdotal impression. They keep records and can show it statistically.

Why is this? Do spouses who don't like the box of chocolates the received rush out to a divorce attorney the next day to formalize their disappointment? Not really, but Valentine's Day may serve to focus their attention on their unhappiness. While their thoughts may not immediately turn to the prospect of property division or alimony, the hype that surrounds Valentine's Day may highlight their lack of satisfaction with their marriage.

Do people divorce on a whim?

Politicians often raise the question of the divorce rate and the state of marriage in this county. They suggest that the frequency of divorce is "bad," and imply that many divorces are unnecessary or frivolous.

Of course, if you are not in a particular marriage, it may be difficult to understand the real rationale for a divorce. While they speak of how easy it is to divorce, they seem to miss how difficult it may be to create a workable child custody plan or other aspect of a divorce. 

Maybe divorce would be an improvement

When you first consider the prospect of a divorce in Virginia, you may have mixed feelings. On the one hand, you are obviously unhappy enough in your marriage and your relationship with your spouse that you are entertaining ideas of divorce. But, you recognize the difficulties that accompany divorce, especially if you have children.

While you may get a divorce, depending on the terms of your child custody agreement, your relationship with your spouse may continue for many years after your divorce decree is finalized. In addition, you know all of the arguments that suggest that divorce has many negative effects on children. 

Pay attention to your property division

When you begin the divorce process, you may be in an emotional state that is anything but settled. Your emotions may color your perceptions of much of what you see, and you may have difficulty focusing on the substantial and real decisions you need to make. The good news is you have an attorney who can help redirect and refocus your attention to the most important elements of your divorce.

One of the most significant issues you must deal with is your property division. Much of your future financial health will depend on your getting it right during your divorce. This is because, while issues like alimony or spousal support, and child support are subject to modification in later years, should there be substantial changes in circumstance, that is not true for the division of marital assets.

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