Kelly Byrnes & Danker, PLLC

Virginia Family Law Blog

Gray divorce has far-reaching consequences

Virginia readers may have heard that gray divorce is on the rise. In fact, the divorce rates for couples ages 50 and above has doubled since 1990, while the rate for those ages 65 and above has tripled. Meanwhile, the divorce rates for all other age groups have been declining.

While gray divorce may seem to only impact those directly involved, the phenomenon actually has far-reaching social consequences. For example, adult children can be deeply shaken by their parents' split, and it can cause them to question the status of their own marriages. Divorce can also be contagious. Recent studies have shown that people are much more likely to get a divorce if they have a friend who has gone through the process.

How divorced parents can help their kids succeed at school

Each school year brings its own set of challenges to Virginia children and their parents. However, kids with divorced parents sometimes face extra stresses. In order to ensure the new school year goes as smoothly as possible, parents may want to create a plan for their child's success.

For example, divorced parents should consider what they would like their kids to learn academically and socially this year. Parents could consult with each other and their children to develop mutually agreed upon goals. This could help prevent conflicts and confusion later on. Divorced parents may also need to discuss how extra expenses will be handled throughout the school year. While a divorce settlement typically addresses large child support expenses, smaller expenses like homecoming costs and missing work to care for a sick child need to be addressed. Some parents agree to handle these costs 50/50 while others choose to pay a percentage based on their income. Meanwhile, kids can also contribute through their allowance or income from jobs.

What is a Virginia protective order?

Divorces prove extremely difficult for individuals. Yet especially for those suffering from abusive relationships, separation may provide the opportunity to heal and regain confidence after years of trauma. For men and women facing divorce proceedings involving violent spouses, a protective order may need filing by the court for your safety and security during a trial.

Rebuilding retirement savings after divorce

Getting divorced in Virginia can have a very negative impact on retirement plans. When spouses get divorced, they will have to divide all of their marital assets, including the money that they have saved in their retirement accounts. However, there are several ways that people can recover after their divorces so that they can still retire comfortably.

Part of the challenge of rebuilding retirement savings after divorcing is the limits on the accounts. People may lose a couple of hundred thousand dollars from their retirement account balances in divorces but be limited to maximum annual compensation limits. The most that people under age 50 can contribute to their 401(k) accounts each year is $18,500. If they are older than 50, they can contribute $24,500. People are also limited to making annual contributions of $5,500 to their IRAs or Roth IRAs. If they have pensions, they cannot contribute additional amounts each year.

3 reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement

Planning your wedding is time-consuming and at times very stressful. There seems to be a never-ending list of things to do, from interviewing DJs to trying out different caterers to finding just the right accents to set off your theme, not to mention the big-ticket items like finding a venue, booking an officiant and finding the all-important dress or tux.

One thing that might be missing from your to-do-list? Getting a prenuptial agreement. Whether this is your first wedding or your fourth, here's why you shouldn't skip this very important pre-wedding "must do."

Protecting your separate property in Virginia

When entering a marriage, you bring your personal and financial history to the table. You and your spouse can be coming in with separate property, which is common especially for a midlife marriage. For example, you have a few children, some real estate and/or a small business. The lines can get blurry later into the relationship. Your spouse's name is added to a property title that was once solely yours, or you have been added to their will. Joint accounts and all, it raises the question: "What is mine and what is yours?"

Virginia marital property laws consider "marital property" to be all property you and/or spouse has acquired after the date of the marriage. Virginia recognizes "separate property" as property owned by only you. Property purchased before the marriage, property acquired as a gift before the marriage, or property purchased during the marriage with income earned before the marriage is all considered separate property. Differentiating marital property and separate property can sometimes get complicated. You can take certain measures to keep your property separate no matter the circumstance.

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Kelly Byrnes & Danker, PLLC

Kelly Byrnes & Danker, PLLC

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