An increasing number of marriages are ending in divorce. For this reason, it is pertinent for couples involved in divorce or separation to seek legal counsel to assist them with the sorts of issues that commonly arise during such situations such as financial matters, property rights, and the custody of children.
Couples may be able to settle financial and property disputes, but when the issue of who will have custody of the children arises, simple separation or divorce proceedings transform into a complicated issue, especially when both parties are unable to agree on anything. Hence, it is important for couples to understand laws in place regarding separation, divorce, and the custody of children.
In Virginia, separation refers to couples who are living apart. The law regards couples as separated even if they have not signed a Separation Agreement. The state also does not grant Legal Separations. Instead, the Circuit Court grants bed and board divorces and provides orders stating which party receives the right to live in the couple’s home.
Couples can opt for the no-fault grounds of divorce in Virginia. The no-fault ground of divorce refers to permanent and intentional separation, which is to be continued uninterrupted for twelve months or six months if the couple has signed a Separation Agreement and no minor children are involved.
Another term used interchangeably with Separation Agreements is Property Settlement Agreements. In a divorce, the agreement decides key issues in the dissolution of a marriage such as spousal support, property division, debt, and the custody of children. The agreement can also state that the dissolution of a marriage will be on a no-fault ground.
Divorce is one of the most difficult cases to deal with. This can get really frustrating and painful not only for you and your spouse, but your entire family as well. No one wants a broken family but sometimes it’s just the best thing to do. Now if you’ve decided that this is the right thing to do and you already reviewed all your options, then you need to understand the divorce law in Virginia.
To file a divorce in Virginia, you or your spouse must be a state resident for at least 6 months. Once you hire your Virginia Beach divorce attorney, you may now file the Complaint for divorce with the Virginia Beach Circuit Court or other related authority. Your spouse now has the right to respond.
If you and your spouse can agree on all the main matters, like custody and properties, your divorce can be finalized without a trial. If that’s not the case at all, the next step is most likely a court hearing. The judge will issue temporary court order then depending on your case, you may have the chance to go to negotiation or mediation to attempt to solve the disagreements.
How long it takes depends on how much the two of you disagree on the terms. A contested divorce may take up to 18 months to two years. Uncontested divorce can take one to two months, once you and your spouse already went through the waiting period.
Now there are several reasons for divorce to happen in the state. There is the no fault divorce where you or your spouse can claim irreconcilable differences. Just make sure that you’ve been separated for a year, or six months if you don’t have minor children. This means that the couple is living apart continuously and permanently for that period of time. But a divorce cannot be granted until it is proven, so even if the grounds are accepted; a hearing still has to take place at some point in the divorce process.
One of you can also claim a fault-based divorce. Adultery, including homosexuality, conviction of felony after the marriage, cruelty that causes fear of physical harm and wilful desertion for one year are the grounds for a fault-based divorce.
Marital property is divided fairly in your divorce but that doesn’t mean its equal. This means you get to keep any separate property, which can be the property you acquired before getting married, and gifts and inheritances you received while you were married.
As for spousal support, this one isn’t guaranteed. The court will decide temporary or permanent spousal support on a case by case basis.
These are only the basic things that you need to know about Virginia Beach divorce. Getting an attorney to assist you through the divorce process is not required, but is usually a good idea to consult the experts regarding this. Attorneys can explain this process as clear as possible and can suggest options that you may not have considered yet.
Our team is licensed and experienced when it comes to this field. We’ll provide you superb representation and assistance; from the credentials needed until the end of the process. You don’t have to do this alone. Our office is open for you and your family. We’ll review your case and handle it with compassion and expertise. We’ll handle your case with care because we already know how difficult this must be for you.
Remember that we are in this together. So let’s ease your burden and call the Coastal Virginia Law Firm of Brook M. Thibault & Associates P.C.
of Virginia Beach, Virginia today at 757-226-7680.