Hampton Roads Divorce Attorneys
If you’re facing a divorce, you have some challenges ahead, but understanding the basics when it comes to divorce in Virginia can help. In addition to being an emotional rollercoaster, divorce is a complicated legal matter that can have serious implications for you and your children’s future. This is exactly why consulting with an experienced Hampton Roads divorce attorney should be one of the first steps you take.
To obtain an uncontested divorce in the State of Virginia, one of the following must apply before you can file:
- You and your spouse have no children who are under the age of 18, and you have lived separately for at least six months and have a comprehensive Property Settlement Agreement
- You and your spouse do share a child who is under the age of 18, and the two of you have lived separately for at least one year and have a comprehensive Property Settlement Agreement
Because hammering out divorce terms that you’re both willing to sign off on can take a considerable amount of time – and because you can begin your negotiations before filing – this separation may not slow the divorce process considerably.
Fault or No-Fault?
Most divorces in Virginia are no-fault divorces, which means that neither party is predicating the divorce on the alleged misdoing of the other. Sometimes, however, divorces are based on one spouse’s fault in the matter. The grounds for fault include:
- Adultery (or other sexual acts outside the marriage)
- A felony conviction that leads to a sentence of at least a year (with some actual imprisonment)
- Willful abandonment or desertion
- Cruelty in which the offending spouse caused reasonable fear of bodily harm or bodily hurt
Other than the felony conviction, these charges are very difficult to prove. If you do prove fault, however, it can skew the division of your marital property and alimony in your favor, which means it can significantly affect your financial future.
The Elements of Your Divorce
Your divorce will not mirror anyone else’s, but the following elements pertain to every divorce (as applicable):
- Child Custody Arrangements – Child custody is divided into physical custody (whom the children live with) and legal custody (who makes important decisions on behalf of the children), and both can be either joint or sole.
- The Division of Marital Property – The marital property (those assets accumulated over the course of the marriage) will be split equitably (fairly, given the circumstances) upon divorce.
- Child Support – Both parents share the responsibility of supporting their children financially, and child support is the court’s way of balancing this responsibility between the parents. Child support is calculated according to a state schedule that is based on the spouse’s individual gross incomes.
- Alimony – Alimony is called spousal support in Virginia, and while it is awarded less frequently than not, it can play an important role in divorces after long marriages, in situations in which one spouse has substantially fewer financial resources than the other, and in instances in which one spouse can’t work due to a disability or lack of skills and/or education.
Reach Out to a Hampton Roads Divorce Attorney Today
No two divorce cases are ever exactly alike, and that’s why the trusted Hampton Roads divorce attorneys at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, are committed to bringing the full force of their considerable experience and skill to your unique case. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact us today.