Marriage is intended to be forever, but sometimes life gets in the way. Maybe you simply grew apart, stopped sharing the same interests and beliefs, or maybe your spouse was unfaithful. For whatever reason, you, your spouse, or both of you have decided the relationship has come to an end. The first step after making this decision should be to hire a compassionate Chesapeake divorce lawyer who can answer your questions and guide you through every step of the process.
Each state has its own laws when it comes to the requirements and processes for the legal dissolution of a marriage. Under Virginia laws, one spouse needs to reside in the state for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. Members of the military need to be stationed in the state or living on a ship with a Virginia home port, or living on a federally controlled military base in the state for at least six months. For those that are stationed outside of the United States, the divorce residency requirement can be met by proving that they lived in the state for six months immediately preceding their foreign assignment.
Virginia is also an equitable distribution state, as opposed to a community property state. Property of value is categorized as separate or marital. Marital property includes anything that the couple obtained after their legal marriage, such as real estate, vehicles, and retirement accounts, unless it was inherited or a gift and has not been commingled. Property obtained before the marriage and after the date of separation is separate property. Each spouse gets to keep their own separate property in a divorce, and marital property must be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. If you are unsure which category some of your property falls under, be sure to check in with your Chesapeake divorce lawyer.
Generally, there are two types of divorce cases; contested and uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses work together, sometimes using mediation or negotiations to create mutually agreeable solutions regarding the major issues in their divorce. Once they solidify their agreements, a judge will ensure that they are fair and put them in the divorce decree. It is usually better if a couple can file an uncontested divorce as it gives each spouse more control over what happens.
In a contested divorce, the judge will render decisions on the issues that the couple could not come to an agreement on. These include significant issues such as:
At Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, we know that this is one of the most difficult times of life that you will have to endure. Here you will find a compassionate Chesapeake divorce lawyer that fits your budget and matches your personal needs for a lawyer. Our attorneys can attend to all aspects of your divorce and help you move forward. Contact us if you are ready to schedule your divorce case consultation today.