Divorce Attorneys in Virginia
Divorce is not a one-size-fits-all process. You deserve a lawyer who will develop the best approach for your circumstances and have an adaptable strategy to help you during this challenging time. This is precisely what the northern Virginia divorce lawyers at the Manassas Law Group have done for many satisfied clients in Fairfax, VA, and other areas surrounding Manassas.
As trial attorneys, they do not shy away from a fight in court when the other side persists in being aggressive. Our Virginia family law attorneys know when to fight and when to compromise. When important legal rights are at stake, our divorce lawyers know the importance of having a flexible but persistent legal strategy. When you need a team of experienced divorce attorneys in Virginia, or if you need help with legal issues of any sort, remember to reach out to dedicated lawyers at the Manassas Law Group. Call us today for a free consultation at (703) 361-8246.
How To File for Divorce in Virginia
Filing for divorce is an intense decision. It can be due to poor decisions that made the marriage fail or simply falling out of love. When one spouse wants to begin filing for divorce, they have to first decide what kind of divorce they want to pursue.
Divorce proceedings in Virginia can be a complicated process. Virginia divorce laws allow for fault-based divorces, no-fault divorces, and annulments. You must be a Virginia resident for at least 6 months before beginning divorce proceedings. Even in uncontested divorces, having a lawyer by your side can give you the peace of mind that everything is done correctly. If you’re filing a fault-based or contested divorce, you need legal representation. With comprehensive knowledge of the Virginia legal system, the divorce attorneys at Manassas Law Group can help you with any family law issues you have.
What is a No-Fault Divorce?
A no-fault divorce in Virginia may also be called an uncontested divorce. Couples filing for a no-fault divorce must live separately for a specified period of time. This period is usually a year, but it can be shortened to 6 months if there are no minor children. The couple must also have a separation agreement that outlines the division of property, alimony or spousal support, visitation, child custody, and child support of minor children.
What is a Fault-Based Divorce?
To file for a fault-based or contested divorce in Virginia, one party must prove that the spouse engaged in behavior that caused the marriage to fall apart. Grounds for divorce include:
- Adultery: Sexual relationships outside the marriage can be grounds for divorce, but they can be difficult to prove.
- Felony Conviction: If your spouse was convicted of a felony, sentenced to more than one year in prison, AND you did not live together after they got out of prison, this can be a valid reason for an at-fault divorce.
- Willful Desertion: This reason is valid if your spouse has abandoned you for at least a year.
- Cruelty: Causing reasonable fear of bodily harm or inflicting domestic violence in Virginia can be grounds for this type of divorce, as well.
What is Annulment?
When a marriage is annulled, the law treats it as if it never existed. Marital property, assets, and debts cannot be divided in the event of an annulment. Marriages can be annulled under certain circumstances.
Bigamous/polygamous marriages and incestuous marriages are void marriages. This means they are void from the beginning because they were not legal in the first place. A void marriage does not need an annulment proceeding.
Voidable marriages are marriages that can be annulled for specific reasons. Under Virginia Statute 20-89.1, these reasons include:
- Mental incompetence
- Fraud or duress
- The husband fathers a child to another woman within 10 months of the marriage without the wife’s knowledge
- The wife was pregnant by another man without the knowledge of the husband
- Either party was convicted of a felony or was a prostitute without the other party’s knowledge
- The marriage was not solemnized by an officiant licensed in Virginia
Any of these reasons are ground for an annulment proceeding. Annulments must be sought before the couple has been married for two years.
How Does the Virginia Divorce Process Work?
A Virginia divorce can be relatively easy and wrap up in a timely manner or it can be a headache that drags on for years, depending on the circumstances. Virginia is not a state that recognizes legal separation, so the biggest choices after marriage dissolution are contested versus uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse can’t agree on things like child support, child custody, or asset division, a judge will help you decide. After filing the proper paperwork with the court, you must send the divorce papers to your spouse. This paperwork will include all details regarding child custody, child support matters, assets, and debt division. Your spouse must submit a written response with their agreement or disagreement to the divorce.
Your spouse can contest the divorce by asking that the divorce be granted on different grounds or challenging the divisions listed. In this case, both parties will have to make court appearances to settle the issue. Experienced divorce lawyers can guide you through settlement negotiations to keep the matter out of the courtroom. Once all issues are settled, the judge can issue a divorce decree.
Do I Need an Attorney for my Divorce?
Divorce proceedings in Virginia can be a lengthy process that require extensive preparation. Having qualified legal representation can protect your rights in a divorce proceeding. To file a contested divorce where courts determine the division of property and assets, you need the service of a qualified family law attorney. Uncontested divorces don’t necessarily require legal representation, but having a skilled attorney by your side can always be helpful. Besides confirming that everything is correct and legal, a Manassas family law attorney can help take some of the stress away from this distressing situation.
With any legal issue involving divorce, it is important that you choose a law firm with plenty of experience in family law matters. Contact the Manassas Law Group today at (703) 361-8246 to schedule a free consultation. We can go over the specific facts of your situation to determine the best legal actions for your case.
How a Manassas Divorce Lawyer Can Help
If you and your spouse have relatively few assets, you can usually finalize the divorce in a timely manner. Extensive legal counsel is often needed to resolve more complex issues. Our law office has the resources to help in any divorce case. Furthermore, we represent our clients in all legal matters related to divorce, including:
- Property division
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Enforcement of orders
- Modifications to orders
Complex divorce cases often require thorough examinations of marital property and other assets. That’s why our Virginia divorce lawyers maintain relationships with forensic accountants and other financial experts to prepare the strongest possible divorce case. The skilled lawyers at Manassas Law Group can support you from the initial consultation to the official divorce decree and beyond. At the Manassas Law Group, our attorneys have your best interest in mind at all times.
Family Law FAQ
Below, the divorce lawyers from our Manassas law firm will answer some of your frequently asked questions regarding family law matters.
How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Virginia?
The fees associated with divorce vary from case to case. The type of divorce, time spent in court or negotiating, and the number of assets the couple have can all be factors in the cost. Virginia also has an $89 filing fee for all divorces, so keep that in mind.
Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer in Virginia?
Uncontested divorces can be filed without the help of Virginia divorce lawyers, but the process can be overwhelming and complicated for many. Hiring a divorce lawyer doesn’t mean that you have to go to court for the divorce. A family law attorney can protect your rights during the negotiation process and provide legal advice throughout the duration of the proceedings. When you represent yourself in court, the judge and any member of the court are legally forbidden from giving you legal advice. Having a skilled attorney on your team can help the process go much more smoothly.
How Do I Start the Divorce Process in Virginia?
The divorce process begins as soon as the court receives the Complaint for Divorce. This outlines the grounds for divorce and all the details about custody, spousal support, and division of property. If the couple is choosing the no-fault route, you have to live separately for at least 6 months (12 months where minor children are involved) before filing the Complaint. Start the process today by calling the Manassas Law Group at (703) 361-8246.
Dedicated Family Law Attorneys in Virginia
A family law matter can be ripe with high tempers and combative attitudes. As a result, it can be easy to lose your cool in such an emotionally charged situation. You may not know where to begin with a divorce proceeding, or you may just need an experienced divorce attorney to make sure everything is correctly filed.
We encourage you to speak with a qualified Manassas divorce attorney as soon as possible to identify your legal needs. From personal injury to criminal law and everything in between, our skilled attorneys have you covered. We can begin developing a legal strategy to help you with your case as soon as you call. Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation by calling 703-361-8246 or send an email to begin your attorney-client relationship today.