Divorce puts you in the unique and difficult situation of having to deal with serious emotional upheaval while also facing a serious legal matter. It’s a lot for anyone, but when you make it your goal to find an experienced divorce lawyer near me, you help to ensure that you protect your parental and financial rights throughout the process and that you address the matter head-on with the professional legal guidance you need.
While no two marriages or divorces are ever exactly alike, every divorce boils down to negotiating terms, which do not vary from divorce to divorce and which include (as applicable):
If you and your divorcing spouse are able to negotiate terms that you are both willing to accept, you can settle these terms however you would like (as long as they remain within the boundaries of the law), and you won’t need the court’s intervention (other than to finalize your divorce). In your efforts, your respective divorce attorneys will help you find common ground, and if negotiations stall, there are alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options, such as mediation. Ultimately, most divorcing couples prefer to keep the decision-making power between themselves, but in very contentious divorces, going to trial is sometimes the only path forward. Finally, this is not an all-or-nothing proposition, and only those terms that remain unresolved will need to be addressed by the court.
The law considers that those assets that you and your spouse acquire over the course of your marriage are marital property, and they must be divided equitably (or fairly) upon divorce. This division is complicated to begin with, but factors such as the following can make it more so:
In Virginia, the law divides child custody into both physical and legal custody. Legal custody determines who will be making important decisions on behalf of the children, and physical custody refers to how the parents will divide their time between the children. Both legal custody and physical custody can be either sole or joint.
Child support is the payment system that helps to ensure that financial support for the children remains balanced between both parents throughout their children’s childhoods.
Alimony only applies when one spouse experiences a financial downturn with a divorce, and the other spouse has the financial means to help him or her obtain greater financial independence (usually through education or job training).
If you have reached the difficult decision that you need a divorce, the trusted divorce attorneys at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, in Virginia Beach have the experience, legal insight, and dedication you are looking for. Our legal team is on your side and is well-positioned to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.