• The information provided on this web blog is public information and is not individualized legal advice. Do not take any legal action on any information contained in this blog!!! Always consulting with an attorney in your state about your legal issues. The presentation of information on this blog does not establish any form of attorney-client relationship with my firm or with me. While I have attempted to maintain the information on this blog as accurately as possible, this information may contain errors or omissions, for which I disclaim any liability. Case law from other jurisdictions discussed here are discussed for comparative purposes only. The author is licensed to practice only in the Commonwealth of Virginia and not in any other state. Despite the foregoing, this material could be considered to be ADVERTISING MATERIAL. The responsible party for this blog is Robert R. Hagy, II Esq., an attorney licensed to practice law in Virginia, of the Law Offices of Rob Hagy, P.C., whose address is 154 Hansen Rd., Suite 202-B, Charlottesville, Virginia 22911.

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    Trial Court Correctly Picked The Much Earlier Separation Date-Intent to Separate Doesn't Have To Be Continuous.

    In the case of Lisann v. Lisann, the Virginia Court of Appeals, in a published opinion, upheld the trial court's determination that the parties separated on July 14, 2014, and that the trail court correctly relied on that separation date when making its equitable distribution award. Husband contended that the trial court erred in finding that the parties’ separation date was in July 2014 rather than December 2018—the date on which husband contends that he intended the separation to be permanent. This dispute about the separation date matters because it impacts the trial court’s equitable distribution and spousal support determinations.

    Husband argued that wife’s conciliatory statements and activities subsequent to July 14, 2014, show that wife did not
    continuously maintain the intent to permanently separate after that date. Husband further contends that the trial court erred in relying on the July 2014 separation date when determining its equitable distribution award and spousal support award. Addressing husband’s argument requires this Court to resolve an issue of first impression in Virginia: whether a party who
    intends to separate permanently at the commencement of the statutory separation period for a no-fault divorce must—to preserve the separation date—continuously maintain the intent to separate permanently throughout the separation period. 

    As a matter of first impression, the Virginia Court of Appeals held that a party seeking a no‑fault divorce under Code § 20-91(A)(9) is not required to show that either party continuously maintained, throughout the statutory period, an intent to separate permanently. The statutory intent requirement under Code § 20-91(A)(9) is satisfied when, at the commencement of the statutory separation period, a party has the intent to separate permanently. Therefore, the trial court did not err in finding that the parties’ separation date was July 14, 2014, and not December of 2018.

    If you have questions about your separation, please contact our office at (434) 293-4562.

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    Important Laws Affecting Family Law Matters

    • Virginia Code Section 20-107.3
      This provision of Virginia law governs the manner and rules for dividing martial property upon divorce.
    • Virginia Code Section 20-108.2
      This provision of Virginia law sets forth the child support guidelines-a table of reference for determining the base monthly child support obligation.
    • Virginia Code Section 20-124.3
      This statute sets forth the factors that a court will consider in divorce proceedings, temporary proceedings, or modification proceedings to determine what custody and visitation arrangement would be best for the child or children involved.

    Child Support Calculator