1999-White v. White, 257 Va. 139Trial Court erred in the interpretation of the spouse`s agreement to pay the mortgage on the marital residence in 120 equal payments to the bank as a obligation to pay spousal assistance after the mortgage debt was honored. The husband stopped paying monthly mortgage payments when the wife sold the house and used the proceeds to satisfy the remaining mortgage debts. Despite the language in the final divorce settlement, the agreement registered as “a convention … with respect to support and assistance,” the agreement contained no provision for the husband to make payments to the wife and did not confirm the intention of the parties that the undertaking would survive the satisfaction of the mortgage debt, regardless of how the debt was extinguished. 2012-Parsons v. Parsons, Va. Ct.
of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 1051-11-4The court has no error in considering the marital stay of the parties in a fair distribution, despite the language in the pre-marital arrangement which purports to waive all rights to a fair distribution. Although the agreement contained a waiver of all the equitable distribution rights of each party, it contained an explicit exception to that waiver of all commonly acquired property “with the intention that each party`s co-ownership would show an interest.” As the marital residence was jointly titled, the Tribunal correctly held that such titling demonstrated a clear intention of the parties that the co-ownership of each party was in common and that, therefore, the residence was considered to be fairly distributed. 2010- Schuman v. Schuman, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0631-09-4The court erred in considering these provisions in a pre-marriage agreement made by the spouses for estate planning reasons, applied in a divorce context, despite a separate provision in the agreement providing for the inclusion of the agreement in a divorce order.
Although the agreement was duly included in the divorce decree in accordance with its terms, each of the provisions of the property agreement expressly states that the requested distribution plan should be implemented in the event of the death of one or both parties and not in the event of divorce. Thus, the Tribunal made a random decision by applying these provisions relating to the distribution of real estate with a view to a fair distribution of the property at issue. 2014-Quinn v. Irons, Va. Ct. of Appeals, Unpublished, No. 0851-14-4The court has no error in concluding that the parties concluded that the real estate transaction agreement was unequivocal. Real estate settlement contracts are contracts and are subject to the same building rules as those applicable to the interpretation of contracts.
Whether the language of the treaty is ambiguous is a question of law. When executing the contract, the courts give ordinary words to their ordinary meaning. The length of the contract is not ambiguous simply because the parties disagree on the meaning of the term. Here, in the agreement in question, the woman demanded to “keep” the savings accounts of the children`s school. The word “keep” means to maintain, possess and not delete, reject, modify, lose or lay off something. Thus, the court correctly held that the agreement clearly obliges the woman to hold or hold the university`s savings accounts for the children, not to liquidate the accounts or to treat them as their own separate property.