Your divorce will be as unique as your marriage, but the basic terms that you will be required to hammer out between yourselves – or that will require the court’s intervention – do not vary from divorce to divorce. Because these terms will directly affect your financial and parental rights, working closely with an experienced Williamsburg divorce lawyer is always in your best interest.
For those divorces involving shared children, child custody arrangements are obviously a primary concern. Legal custody determines whether you and your ex will make the important parenting decisions together, whether one of you will take on the responsibility by himself or herself, or whether you will divide the responsibility according to the kinds of decisions being made. The categories of decisions that make up legal custody include:
Physical custody determines the parenting schedules each of you will have, and while you can devise any schedule that meets your family’s needs, the basic options include splitting your time down the middle (or close to it) or assigning a visitation schedule to one of you (while the other becomes the primary custodial parent). Because the court is guided by the best interests of the children and finds that children’s needs are best served when they continue forging strong bonds with both parents, it is loath to seriously curb a parent’s visitation rights without a convincing reason for doing so.
The State of Virginia deems both parents responsible for supporting their children financially throughout their childhoods, and child support is the tool that is used to help balance this responsibility across both parents after divorce. The state uses a child support calculator that makes the matter fairly straightforward.
The property and assets that you and your spouse acquired during the marriage are marital property (with very few exceptions), and they must be distributed between you equitably upon divorce. Equitably means fairly given the unique circumstances involved, and this division is often one of the most complicated components of a divorce.
Spousal support is Virginia’s name for what you may think of as alimony, and it refers to a payment system in which the spouse with greater financial means helps the spouse whom the divorce leaves less financially independent gain firmer financial footing. Generally, spousal support is ordered for the amount of time considered necessary for the recipient to obtain the education or experience to become better able to support himself or herself.
If you are facing a divorce, the practiced Williamsburg divorce lawyers at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, are well versed at helping clients like you resolve even the most complicated divorce sticking points favorably, and we are here for you, too. To learn more about how we can help, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us today.