Navigating through a divorce can be overwhelming for many people. Adding the complexities of military benefits, pensions, and acronyms on top of everything can add a tremendous amount of pressure to an already stressful situation. Both servicemembers and their spouses rely heavily on their friends and family for support during the difficult time of separation and divorce. However, many military families go through a divorce while stationed in another state, apart from their support networks.
Each state has its own set of laws governing divorce, and Virginia has a very particular set of divorce laws. However, the benefits to which servicemembers and their spouses are entitled both during and after a divorce are based on federal law—meaning they will remain the same in every state.
Given the complex interaction between state and federal law in every military divorce case, a large number of … Read More »
The Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark decision on June 26, 2015 when Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015) allowed for same-sex marriage in all fifty states. What this opinion did not address, however, was parentage of children born into those same-sex marriages or legal rights of non-birth parents to children born into those marriages through assisted conception.
Under Virginia law, a marriage creates a presumption of parentage. Virginia Code § 20-158 states that the gestational mother or “birth mother,” and the spouse of a birth mother, are the two parents of a child resulting from assisted conception. This allows for a birth mother and her wife to both be listed on their child’s birth certificate when the Department of Vital Statistics records the child’s information.
However, the presumption of parentage does not necessarily convey legal … Read More »