Purce V. Patterson Brief

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MARRILL W. PURCE, PETITIONERS v. VANESSA C. PATTERSON FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF WESTMORELAND COUNTY Record No. 062368 1. Petitioner(s) and Respondent(s) π Marrill W. Purce Δ Vanessa C. Patterson Present: Hassell, C.J., Keenan, Koontz, Lemons, Agee, and Goodwyn, JJ., and Lacy, S.J. 2. Opinion(s) of the Court Delivered Joseph E. Spruill, Jr., Judge Accordingly, we will affirm the judgment of the trial court that Marrill was not eligible for an elective share of Dorothy’s augmented estate. 3. Facts Dorothy and Marrill were married in July 1988. Dorothy experienced a multiple amount of illnesses throughout her marriage. Dorothy also experience different types of abuse from her husband. Several petitions for protective orders were issued against Marrill. Dorothy owned several rental properties in which she brought into the marriage. Marrill was mostly retired throughout their marriage and provided no financial contribution to the management of those properties. Upon Dorothy’s last illness and an unsuccessful divorce application, Dorothy resided with her daughter in New Jersey. Although Merrill was not aware that Dorothy was residing in New Jersey, he made no attempt to writer, call or use any other form of communication. 4. Procedural History Marrill argues that post-separation conduct is not relevant to whether one spouse abandoned the other. The courts however disagreed. The courts considered statutes to address the disagreement. Code § 64.1-16.3(A) specifically addresses the period of abandonment that is relevant to a claim for an elective share: If a husband or wife willfully deserts or abandons his or her spouse and such desertion or abandonment continues until the death of the spouse, the party who deserted the deceased spouse

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