Instead of using a combative approach in court, I work with clients in a process that is consistent with their interests and goals. I help clients identify the questions that need to be answered, understand the law and legal information, generate options for resolution of the issues, and select the best option that is most consistent with their interests and needs. The resolution does not have to be left to the court to decide. Frequently, a settlement can be more creative and more detailed in serving the needs of my clients.
Having a settlement also makes it more likely to be able to resolve any follow-up issues out of court through negotiation, such as a modification to the settlement at a later date. I have spent my entire career developing skills and working with other professionals to assist clients in achieving creative resolution of complex legal issues outside of court. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.
You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Moving Forward with Your New Life.
Maintaining Strong Family Relationships. Preserving Financial Security in Difficult Times. My clients: are concerned about the costs — emotional and financial — of divorce; do not feel comfortable having their personal issues resolved in a public court; desire to reach a settlement that feels fair and respectful to both partners; and care about the best interests of their children.
Note that the legal requirement for separation before filing requires at least separate sleeping arrangements and a lack of physical relations. In Virginia this does not necessarily mean separate households, but it makes our job harder to prove separation to the Court if the parties are still living under one roof.
Renewing physical relations destroys your grounds for divorce. Reconciliation after a divorce may have tax consequences you need to explore.
Detailed information on the laws governing the divorce process in Virginia.
The spouse who files for divorce must have been a bona fide resident and domiciliary of Virginia for six months. Divorces in Virginia can be "contested", which requires adversarial proof, or they can be "uncontested" which are usually based on a mutual and voluntary separation of at least six months.
There some defenses to common grounds for divorce.
There is no such term as a legal separation in Virginia. However, you may obtain a limited divorce, also called a "divorce a mensa et thoro" from bed and board. A limited divorce may have some advantages in certain cases, for example, remaining on health insurance, or tax benefits.
A limited divorce also requires that you have grounds. The grounds for a limited divorce are different than the grounds required for a final divorce, and they are: desertion or abandonment, or cruelty. A divorce is commenced by filing a "complaint. The plaintiff serves deliver the papers to the defendant. The defendant files an "answer" admitting or denying the allegations. The defendant may also raise any defenses or file counterclaims. Most likely the next document drawn up in a case will be a proposed separation agreement -- an indication that the parties wish to settle their dispute.
The separation agreement in Virginia covers the following issues:. Uncontested divorces usually take two to three months, after filing in our experience, and contested divorces can take up to eighteen months. D If you have gone through a contested divorce, and if there is no appeal, your divorce will be final thirty days after the judge signs the final decree.
Alimony spousal support in Virgina can be periodic payments for a defined period or an indefinite basis. The law also allows for lump sum alimony. If temporary alimony cannot bring about rehabilitation, then the court can, in proper circumstances, order alimony on a long-term or indefinite basis. Indefinite alimony is granted less often these days. Technically, husbands can get alimony from wives, but it almost never happens.
Alimony is based upon the relative needs and resources of the parties.
The legislature set out criteria for the court to consider and they include the following: income from salaries, investments, etc, pension profit-sharing, and retirement plans, education and ability of the parties. If you do not get alimony at the time of the divorce, you cannot get alimony later on. Living with someone after the divorce, regardless of whether you have sex or not, may cause indefinite alimony to be lowered or stopped. Death of one of the persons paying or receiving alimony or marriage of the person receiving alimony will terminate alimony unless the divorce settlement agreement provides otherwise.
The court can require a bond or put a lien on property to ensure the payment of alimony or child support. If you cover your spouse or children on your insurance, do not drop them from the policy at least until the divorce is final. A federal law allows most employees to cover their spouses for up to thirty-six months for a small additional premium.
How Much Does Divorce Cost in Virginia?
However, the employer must be notified prior to the Final Decree. The legal standard in deciding who will get custody is what is in the best interest of the children. There are also certain doctrines and presumptions but not inflexible rules or requirements which aid the court in determining the best interest of the child:. In arriving at a fair amount of child support, the court will look at the needs of the children; and the financial assets, earnings, and needs of each parent.
Virgini has enacted child support guidelines. These are based on the relative and combined income of the parties, the number of children, and the time spent with the children. You probably will not have to pay more than half of your net income in combined alimony and child support.
Virginia Laws on Divorce
Net income is total income less taxes and other child support payments. The guidelines provide for an adjustment for health insurance and day care for the children and assume that the non-custodial parent pays for the children during normal visitation.
If there are any extraordinary expenses medical, educational, etc. If the mother and father can agree on visitation, the court will usually approve the plan. A typical pattern is alternating weekends, a few weeks in the summer, and alternating holidays. If the parties are far apart, this pattern will not work.
The pattern then calls for fewer but longer visitation periods. If the parties live very far apart, you must deal with who will provide or pay for transportation. The courts encourage visitation and we do, too except in very extraordinary circumstances. You should create new will after a divorce. Even though you are separated, if you were to die your spouse would still inherit unless you have executed a new will providing otherwise.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Divorce in Virginia? | Tingen & Williams
If you have given your spouse a power of attorney, cancel it as soon as possible. Until you do, your spouse has control over your property and can sell it or give it away. In Virgina, a woman may go back to using her maiden name at any time as a matter of right. However, sometimes it is hard to convince the Social Security Administration or other entities that she has legally returned to her maiden name. A woman can have the court order the restoration of her maiden name in the final decree, even if she is not the complainant.
Some of our clients wish to go back to their maiden name when there are no children, or go back to a former married name when there are children of that former marriage. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service.