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June 2015 Archives

Debt separation in Virginia divorces

In every divorce, the couple's marital assets will be divided, either in a negotiated agreement that is approved by the court or by the court itself. This process will also include their marital debts. Different types of debt aredivided in different ways. Credit card obligations, for instance, will in most cases belong to the person whose name is on the account. If both parties are on the account, they each may be responsible for a portion of the debt.

Many states consider changes in child custody laws

Judges are generally more willing to grant child custody to fathers than they have been in the past, as traditional parenting roles no longer apply in all cases. In courtrooms in Virginia and around the country, judges look at factors like a parent's ability to care for a child and the existing relationship each parent has with their children. However, 83 percent of custodial parents are mothers according to census data. While there may be many reasons for this, several states are deciding whether to change their laws about physical custody.

Removing liens through bankruptcy in Virginia

On June 1, the Supreme Court ruled that a debtor could not void a junior lien through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This reaffirmed a ruling from a 1992 Supreme Court case that said a debtor could not strip down a partially underwater mortgage. In the 2015 case, it was initially decided by an appellate court that since the debtors were completely underwater, the law allowed a junior lien to be eliminated through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Mistakes that are often made during a divorce

Virginia couples going through a divorce should know that their financial well-being may be at stake because of a few mistakes that are often made during the process. Many of these are caused by emotions getting in the way of logic, leading couples to errors ranging from trusting each other too much where assets are concerned to making verbal agreements without putting them into writing. The first mistake comes from a lack of understanding about the household finances, what the marital assets consist of and where they are located. Property division can sometimes be as simple as performing a calculation, but in cases where one spouse knows where more of the assets are than the other, the property might be divided in a way that strongly favors that spouse.

Affleck and Garner divorce raises Social Security questions

Virginia residents may have heard or read about the speculation about a possible rift between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. The two high-profile stars have not commented on the matter, but that has not stopped Hollywood gossip columnists from putting forward theories about why the couple may be thinking about a divorce and how their estimated $150 million in assets could be divided. However, some family law observers are paying more attention to the timing of the possible divorce.

Supreme Court rules on bankruptcy conversion issue

A recent Supreme Court decision may be of interest to Virginia residents who are considering filing for bankruptcy as a form of debt relief. In a unanimous decision on May 18, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that debtors who convert to Chapter 7 should be entitled to keep any funds that have not yet been distributed by the Chapter 13 trustee, absent a showing of bad faith.

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