Divorce is a difficult but often necessary legal action, and because the terms of your divorce will resonate with you and your children’s future, it’s important to allow your divorce the careful attention that it deserves. If you are facing a divorce, it’s time to consult with an experienced divorce attorney in Newport News.
Most divorces in the State of Virginia are what is known as no-fault divorces, which means you won’t need to prove that your spouse did anything to cause your divorce. Nevertheless, fault can play a role in how the terms of your divorce are settled. If you proceed with a no-fault divorce, there is a one-year separation requirement, which can be reduced to six months if you hammer out a settlement agreement that you’re both willing to sign off on and you do not have any children together.
Your divorce will be unique to your family and your situation, but the terms that you’ll need to settle between yourselves (or that the court will settle on your behalf) will include all of the following:
Marital property refers to those assets that you and your spouse acquired together as a married couple, regardless of who did the purchasing or whose name is on the deed. In the event of divorce, your marital property is intended to be divided equitably, which means fairly rather than equally. The court will consider your assets in their totality and will divide these assets in a manner that makes sense given the circumstances. That property that you bring into your marriage with you (and keep separate throughout) will remain your own separate property.
In Virginia, your child custody arrangements are referred to as your parenting plan, and this plan will spell out the details of your custody arrangements. Custody is categorized as both legal (who makes the important parenting decisions) and physical custody (whom the children live with and according to what schedule), and they can both be either joint or sole.
The court’s primary concern when it comes to child custody, however, is always the best interests of the children, and that typically includes spending time with both parents. Virginia holds both parents responsible for supporting their children financially, and child support payments, which are calculated according to highly specific state guidelines, help keep this support balanced between both parents.
Not every divorce leads to alimony, but if one spouse will experience a financial deficit upon divorce and the other spouse has the financial means to help offset this downturn, alimony payments may be in order.
If you are going through a divorce, the accomplished divorce attorneys at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, in Newport News have an impressive range of experience helping clients like you obtain favorable divorce terms. We’re on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact us today.