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Fairfax Virginia Family Law Blog

Tax questions to answer before accepting a settlement

Despite what you may feel about how your divorce is going, settlements are very common. In fact, only a small percentage of contested divorces actually go to trial. However, before any settlement offer is accepted (or rejected), it is critical to understand whether such a compromise will make financial sense.

Indeed, part of compromise entails giving up something, but what may appear to be a good deal may not be acceptable after the tax implications are considered. As such, any settlement proposal should be viewed by asking the following questions.

Should a bankruptcy come before divorce?

Money problems commonly lead to marital discord and then to divorce. For potential divorcees who are swimming in debt, questions may arise as to whether they should file for bankruptcy prior to divorce. After all, they probably know that the divorce could involve prickly arguments over who was responsible for particular debts, and how to divide it. At the same time, a bankruptcy could eliminate troublesome debt with one fatal swoop.

Nevertheless, the question of divorce versus bankruptcy is a valid one, so this post will provide some helpful tips in order to answer the question.  

Can I protect my business in a divorce?

It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to refer to a business venture as "their baby." After all, they may have nurtured it from birth, putting in long hours and spending nights tending to it as if it were an infant who was totally dependent on its parents. As the business grew, the entrepreneur became proud of its accomplishments and even entrusted its growth to other people. Suffice it to say, the relationship between an entrepreneur and a business may become more important than the entrepreneur's marriage.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. For many different reasons, small business owners face divorce. While the marriage may be over, the business certainly is not, and they don't want to sacrifice their business because of a divorce.

What should I expect in discovery?

It almost goes without saying that divorces can be contentious. The emotions of a marriage gone bad can spill into the proceedings and make even routine exercises seem vindictive. When it comes to the process of discovery, emotionally wounded parties can take things very personally. This is probably why discovery is arguably one of the most contentious parts of a divorce.

Indeed, no one wants an outside party probing through their “dirty laundry” looking for dirt, which is why there are limits to what may be discoverable under Virginia law. However, discovery is a common part of divorce litigation, and this post will highlight a few examples of what may be discovered.

Basics of child support in Virginia

It is public policy in Virginia that both parents shall be liable for the financial responsibilities of raising a child, whether they are married, romantically involved, divorced or otherwise estranged. As such, Virginia courts have the authority to establish a child support order to compel a non-custodial parent to support the custodial parent in raising the child. This post will address some basic questions associated with child support, including who is liable for paying support, and how child support may be calculated.

Thoughts on divorce after a long-term marriage

If you are going through a divorce after a long-term marriage, you may feel sad, lonely and afraid. You may feel like you’ve wasted half of your life on a relationship that is no longer there, and your married friends may suddenly shun you because they don’t want their marriages threatened by you, as if divorce is a communicable disease.

Indeed, none of these feelings are uplifting, but you can take solace in a number of positives that come out of divorce. This post will highlight them.

Worried about an ex-spouse's tax problems following you?

Getting out of a troubled marriage is arguably the top priority for divorcees. Indeed, they want their fair share when it comes to dividing property and setting a parenting time schedule, but many divorcees may not think about the tax implications that an unscrupulous spouse can leave behind; only to be discovered years later when tax fraud accusations are levied.

If you had little, if anything, to do with preparing a fraudulent or misleading tax return, you may still be held accountable by simply signing the return. This may be possible even though you were not complicit with or took part in the alleged fraud. Fortunately, there are two important ways to find relief.

Who gets the family home in a divorce?

Dividing property is not just a simple value proposition. Much of what you and your spouse own has sentimental value. Your family home, in particular, likely holds some of your best memories.

Even if you are able to separate your emotions, the family home is often a couple’s most valuable asset and getting fair value for it in a divorce may seem impossible.

Common tax issues you may need answers to

As we begin the first week of March, we know that this month is known for three things: the end of winter (and hopefully the end of snow), the NCAA Tournament, and the frantic rush to complete federal income tax returns. It is natural that our readers look forward to the first two, but getting tax returns ready may be anything but simple for those in the midst of a divorce or are completing their first tax return since finalizing one.  Simply put the uncertainty and questions that may drive them crazy. With that said, we offer a post that can help answer some of the most common questions you may have as a new (or soon to be) divorcee.

How can grandparents get custody or visitation rights?

Grandparents often play a significant role in their grandchildren's lives. Their presence can offer stability and security. Depending on the family, they may even be the best equipped to have legal custody of their grandkids.

However, unless presented with evidence to prove otherwise, courts presume that a parent is the best person to raise their child. So when can a grandparent intervene?

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