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Fairfax Family Law Blog

Understanding The Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act

Members of the military have an important duty to fulfill and that duty should not be used against them when it comes to their rights as parents. The Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act was passed in 2008 to protect military parents’ rights to contact and visitation (when possible) even during periods of deployment.

Addressing Military Family Care Plans In A Divorce

Military service members with children going through a divorce must create or amend a family care plan. All branches of the military require these plans to ensure that the children of military parents will be properly cared for, particularly in the event of sudden deployment.


How Are Spousal Support Payments Calculated?

Virginia law outlines a clear schedule of monthly basic child support obligations, so people going through a divorce often assume that a similar schedule is available for spousal support or alimony obligations. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Instead, the law indicates the factors that courts should take into consideration when making spousal support decisions.

You can't just move away if you have a child custody order

During your divorce, you had the challenging task of attempting to create a child custody arrangement that would not only work then, but in the future as well. Unfortunately, you can't account for every eventuality when all you have to work with is a snapshot in time and hopes for the future.

You may reach a point where taking the next, best step in your life requires you to move. The problem is that you can't just move away with the children since you have an existing child custody order. If you want to relocate and take the children with you, you will need the court to approve the relocation and modify your existing order.

Would you consider a plan where the kids are the empty nesters?

The term "empty nesters" ordinarily applies to parents whose adult children have left home. So, you may be asking yourself, under what circumstances do children become empty nesters? It happens through a relatively unique type of co-parenting arrangement in which the children remain in the family home after a separation, or even possibly after divorce, and the parents rotate in and out of the home on a predetermined schedule.

As you can imagine, this type of custody arrangement - often referred to as "bird nesting" or just "nesting" - offers many advantages for the children and family as a whole, but also causes some complications for the parents. Many parents are able to handle the negatives and think the benefits to this arrangement are worthwhile, especially on a temporary basis.

Common reasons for the breakdown of a marriage

The reasons why couples divorce are as numerous and unique as the couples themselves. As each marriage progresses through time the spouses’ two personalities ebb and flow – one stronger at one time, the other weak; the two personalities melding and harmonizing for a period, and then dramatically contrasting. Each conflict is different from what the same couple may have experienced at a different time in their lives and it is different from what another couple may experience even when the disputed issue is the same or similar.

If you are approaching a divorce, you may find it difficult to talk about it, fearing that few people would truly understand what you are going through. And, in many respects, what you are going through is especially unique to you.

What to do with the house in a divorce

You have memories, fond or otherwise, of purchasing your home, whether it was your first starter home or the home of your dreams. You moved in, decorated it, made it your own, and lived your life in it for years. Now, the question of what to do with your home is one of the more difficult ones to answer as you go through the divorce process.

Your choices are rather limited, but the consequences of making the wrong decision may have heavy financial and emotional repercussions. There are many factors to consider, including your home's proximity to work or the children’s schools, how well the home will fit into your post-divorce life and, of course, the financial considerations.

Parenting Time and Happy Childhoods

The traditional vision for raising a child involves two married parents - each pitching in with feedings and diapers, sharing play time and reading bedtime stories, and later helping with homework, and attending school events as a family. You and your spouse may have even achieved this vision for a brief period of time. Now, however, you have decided to divorce.

How can you and the other parent keep putting your child first now that you are living apart from one another and in two different homes?

Wading into the uncertain waters of military divorce

Being married to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces may seem like one challenge after another. Between training exercises, deployment, frequent moves and moves to unfamiliar cities, and your spouse's reluctance (and inability) to share certain aspects of the job, you may feel as if the world is conspiring against the success of your marriage.

Just like in every marriage, many of the trials you face will pass and you may be able to move forward with a stronger relationship. Many couples have found that marriage counseling was a great help to them. However, if counseling is not for you or hasn't helped and you are worried that you are headed toward a divorce, it is important to understand that a military divorce can be as complicated as a military marriage.

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