Family Law

If you are facing a divorce or are in the middle of a heated custody battle, you know all too well the complexities which plague family courts and arbitration attempts. It is difficult to come to terms with another party when it involves children or the division of assets. An experienced family law attorney can help negotiate for your best interests and ensure that your property or family time is well protected.

Divorce Proceedings

Divorce proceedings are often emotionally charged and can be difficult to resolve. Divorce within Virginia must also meet several important factors before a court will consider granting the divorce. These grounds for divorce include the following:

  • No fault divorce: the spouses have lived separate and apart for one year with minor children
  • No fault divorce: the spouses have lived separate and apart for 6 months if no minor children are involved in the divorce proceedings
  • Fault based divorce: Adultery occurred within the past 5 years without the other spouse’s knowledge and consent, and the spouse ceased living with the adulterous spouse after learning of the adultery
  • Fault based divorce: Conviction of a felony
  • Fault based divorce: One spouse leaves home without intent to return
  • Fault based divorce: One spouse has physically or emotionally abused the other spouse

Child Custody Issues

The only aspect that can make divorce more emotionally charged is the inclusion of child custody matters and child support. No parent wants to give up custody of their child and it can be difficult to come to terms with which parent will have primary custody over the children. While courts encourage joint custody, this typically does not mean half of a child’s time is spent with each parent. Instead, one parent usually has “physical” custody and is the permanent residence of the child. A court will consider all the evidence presented to it and will make its decision based on the best interests of the child. If you are resolving a child custody dispute through mediation or arbitration, both parents will need to come to an amicable agreement. It can be extremely difficult to negotiate the terms of a child custody arrangement and an experienced family law attorney can help assist you during this process.

Child support is a whole other issue relating to child custody and is typically based on Virginia child support guidelines. Child support is typically based on the salary of the parent as well as the cost of living for the children, including health insurance and education costs.