Entries by Michael Callahan


Post-divorce Review of Estate Plan

          After your divorce you should review your Will and all beneficiary designations to ensure that you do not unintentionally include a gift to your former spouse.  Although we strongly recommend against relying on statutes to correct your estate plan despite your own inaction, there are statutes that provide that the judgment of divorce eliminates prior […]

Spousal Rights and Non-Probate assets

Generally spousal claims apply to the probate estate which only includes assets that the decedent owned at death and which did not pass by operation of law or beneficiary designation or other contract provision.   Virginia expands the spousal protections to the “augmented” estate, the calculation of which includes certain non-probate assets and prior gifts.  A […]

Spousal Estate Rights

The marital contract that spouses enter into at the time of the marriage includes many provisions that I often find are a surprise to some people.   One area where marriage makes a big difference is how property passes at death.  If you are married at the time of your death your spouse has important rights […]

Alimony — The Most Unpredictable Issue

When alimony is at stake in divorce settlements and trials, it is the most unpredictable issue.  Unlike child support, which is determined under statutory guideline in all three local jurisdictions, and all the other states, alimony depends on “all the circumstances.” The courts consider a whole range of factors in determining the amount and duration […]

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Alimony and the Use of Guidelines and Calculators

Various alimony guidelines have been developed around the country.  The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) has developed a guideline that uses incomes and length of marriage to calculate the starting point for determining alimony.  The Kaufman guidelines, developed by a Michigan divorce attorney and initially published locally by the Montgomery County Commission for Women, […]