Entries by Michael Callahan

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Divorce Without Moving Out

With home prices down and unemployment up, some people who would like to divorce cannot afford to separate.   As in other divorce topics in the Washington area, the answer to the question “Can I get a divorce if neither I nor my spouse has moved from the marital home?” is, “It depends on the jurisdiction.” […]


Accrued Leave

There was another issue in the Smith case that I discussed last week.  Mr. Smith had retired two weeks before his divorce trial.  Before the decision was entered, we asked the judge to reopen the trial to take evidence of money that Mr. Smith failed to disclose in the amount of $30,000 that he received […]


Mother’s Gift to Couple Is Marital

During their marriage, Mr. Smith’s mother conveyed real estate to her son and his wife, jointly.  In their divorce, we represented Mrs. Smith.  Mr. Smith contended that his mother really intended to give the property to him.  But he told her to make the deed jointly to him and his wife for convenience, so that […]

Dividing Up Debt, Part 3

This is the last in a series of articles about how debt is handled in divorces in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. No matter where your divorce case is heard, the divorce court cannot order the creditor to collect from one spouse rather than the other.  That is because your creditor is not […]

Dividing Up Debt, Part 2

What if all the marital debt is in one party’s name? Suppose divorcing parties have no substantial assets, no children, both are employed and they have substantial debt spent for marital purposes which is all in one party’s name.  What can the divorce court do?  It depends on the jurisdiction. In D.C. and Virginia, the […]


Dividing Up Debt

In previous articles, I discussed the differences in property distribution in a divorce in Maryland, Virginia and DC.  Another area where the law of our three local jurisdictions is not the same is allocation of debt in a divorce. In the District of Columbia and in Virginia, the divorce court has authority to allocate debt […]

Shopping for the Best Marital Property Law

When you and your spouse have separated, intending to remain separated, and do not have a property settlement agreement, in Maryland and the District of Columbia the property you acquire from the date of separation until the date of divorce is marital property. In Virginia such property it is not presumptively marital, and in general […]

When Does Property Stop Being Marital?

In last week’s blog on forum shopping, we saw that adultery on the part of the prospective alimony payee can have entirely different consequences in Virginia than in Maryland and the District of Columbia.  This week’s article concerns when the accumulation of marital property ends.  This is another area where Virginia law differs from the […]