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Failure to Prove a Material Change in Circumstances Defeats Motion to Amend Custody

Hill v. DeMott; Court of Appeals of Virginia, December 7, 2021   The mother appealed from a Circuit Court Order denying her motion to amend child custody.  On appeal, Court views the facts in the light most favorable to the party who prevailed Circuit Court.  In the original divorce, the parties were awarded joint legal custody of their adopted child, who has suffered from various health and behavioral issues. The original trial court noted the health and behavioral issues as well as the fact that the mother did not co-parent with the father well and found that the mother was

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Order Dividing Retirement Benefit Modifiable to Calculate Proper Marital Share

Crawley  v. Crawley, Va. App (2021)   Va. Rule 1:1 provides that “all final judgments, orders, and decrees . . . remain under the control of the trial court and may be modified, vacated, or suspended for twenty-one days after the date of entry, and no longer.” However, there is a statutory exception to the rule which grants a trial court continuing authority to make any additional orders necessary to effectuate and enforce any order entered pursuant to the equitable distribution of retirement funds by modifying any order intended to affect or divide any pension or retirement benefits and to

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Pre-filing Conduct Dooms Debtors Post-filing Plans

In re Wetter, 620 B.R. 243 (Bankr. W.D. Va. 2020)(Black, J.) The Debtor filed a Chapter 7 case as he was personally liable on a number of his business debts. The debtor exempted an investment LLC as tenant by the entireties, claiming to own half of the company with his spouse.  The Chapter 7 case was filed on July 31, 2019; the Debtor purportedly made the transfer from his own name to TxE with his spouse on January 1, 2018.   The Trustee was wary of this transfer.  Section 727(a)(2) provides that the Court shall not grant a discharge if

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Bankruptcy Judge Has Broad Discretion to Determine What Constitutes “Cause” To Allow State Law Issues To Be Resolved in State Court Action

In re Rizzo, 603 B.R. 550 (Bankr. D. SC 2019)(Waites, J.) The Guardian for an Incapacitated Person, with whom the Debtor shared a joint bank account with, filed suit in state court against the Debtor in state court seeking recover of $250,000 the Debtor withdrew from that bank account. The Debtor filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the Guardian filed a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay to proceed in state court. The Bankruptcy Court held that the Debtor’s plan did not depend on the use of disputed funds for its feasibility and that the estate could be further

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Debtor Has No Interest In Property After Foreclosure Sale and Ratification

Singh v. Shao Lin Lai, 2019 WL 4750420 (D.Md. 2019)(Hazel, J.) Property was foreclosed on and sold in February of 2017 and was ratified on July 25, 2017 by Montgomery County Circuit Court. On September 28, 2018, the Debtor filed this present bankruptcy case. The purchasers of the property filed a Motion to Confirm Termination or Absence of the Automatic Stay with respect to the Property which the Bankruptcy Court granted holding that the bankruptcy estate had no recognizable interest in the property. Under Maryland law, the Debtors’ interest in the property was terminated, as has the right to redeem

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IRS Violates the Automatic Stay If It Refuses to Allow Debtor to Modify Withholding to Prevent Over-Withholding

Moulden v. IRS (In re Moulden)(Alquist, J. 2020) Th Debtor asserts that the IRS sent a “Lock-In Letter” to her employer which directed her employer to disregard her W-4 form and instead withhold taxes using a “Single” filing status and no exemptions. The Debtor asserts that this caused a compulsory over-withholding and that the IRS violated the automatic stay of the 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) by refusing to allow the Debtor to adjust her tax exemptions. The Debtors allege that their wages are property of the estate, and that the IRS has violated the automatic stay by refusing to allow

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