Family Law

We offer a full range of legal services for our clients in family law. Please visit our FAQ to gain additional knowledge surrounding your legal matter.

Our attorneys have years of experience with contested divorce cases under each of the fault-based grounds in Virginia, including adultery, cruelty (mental or physical), desertion (actual or “constructive”), and felony conviction and confinement in excess of one year. We also handle uncontested divorces, under the no-fault grounds of (1) separation for at least twelve months or (2) separation for at least six months, with a separation agreement and no minor children. Unlike many other states, Virginia does not have legal separations granted by courts. However, a husband and wife may enter into a separation agreement, stipulating that they will live separate and apart and divide their property and debts in a mutually acceptable way. These agreements typically include provisions resolving any other outstanding issues of the parties, such as child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support. With such an agreement in place, once the parties have separated and lived apart for the appropriate time (six months with no minor children, twelve months with minor children), either party may then file for an uncontested divorce on the ground of separation. Our attorneys have years of experience in the drafting and negotiation of separation agreements. Please visit our FAQ to gain additional knowledge surrounding your legal matter.
Our attorneys can assist you in several aspects of child custody & visitation. When parents’ divorce, it is important to learn about the child custody and visitation options that are available and the legal standards that apply. In many cases, divorcing couples can ultimately agree on custody and visitation issues without the need for a court order. When an agreement cannot be reached, knowledgeable advice and representation can often make the difference. The resolution of child custody and visitation disputes requires parents to act rationally and in their child’s best interests at a time when they are facing the overwhelming stress of divorce. Advice from a family law attorney will help you to understand your options and make a plan that will serve the best interests of you and your children. Please visit our FAQ to gain additional knowledge surrounding your legal matter.
Child support is governed by state statute (“guidelines”). In Virginia, the court will take the gross income of father and mother, the number of children, the cost of childcare and health insurance, and other factors and calculate the recommended amount of child support based on a formula. As your attorney, we will ensure that the court has accurate numbers to be entered into the formula to ensure you collect what you are owed, or so that you are not liable for unmanageable obligations. Please visit our FAQ to gain additional knowledge surrounding your legal matter.

Going through a divorce can be extremely hard on anyone. But for military personnel it can be especially trying. Because of the nature of a military career, military personnel often face unique challenges during divorce proceedings. That is why having an attorney who not only understands the law of divorce but also what a military life entails is important.

  • Where should a military member file for divorce?

    • Many military personnel face frequent transfers and rarely remain stationed in the same place for an extended period. This can create confusion as to what court should have jurisdiction over a military divorce, especially when spouses do not live together. These jurisdictional issues determine not only where the parties must file for divorce but also which law governs the proceedings. Virginia courts have subject matter jurisdiction over divorce actions where at least one party is a resident of the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, residents include the following:

      • Any person who has maintained residence in the Commonwealth for at least six months prior to filing for divorce

      • Any member of the armed forces stationed within the Commonwealth

      • Any member of the armed forces stationed abroad who resided in the Commonwealth for at least six months prior to being stationed abroad

Subject matter jurisdiction may exist in more than one state and obtaining personal jurisdiction may be difficult in some contentious cases. As such, it is important to consult a military divorce lawyer in Virginia Beach in order to determine the best jurisdiction in which to file.

  • What rights does a service member have regarding minor children?

    • One of the many contentious issues in divorce proceedings is the custody and visitation of minor children. As in most states, Virginia courts examine the relative positions of the parties to determine what division of custody and visitation is in the best interests of the children involved. This can be difficult for service members who may lack the stability of a non-military spouse.

    • Fortunately, the Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act (MPEPA) provides service member parents with some protection against losing visitation and custody rights due to their deployment status. The MPEPA allows military parents to modify custody and visitation orders more easily upon returning from deployment and to delegate their custody and visitation rights to a family member or stepparent during periods of deployment.

Virginia is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the court has the authority in any divorce to classify the property of the parties as separate, marital or hybrid, to distribute any jointly owned marital property between the parties, and to grant a monetary award to either party to ensure an “equitable distribution” of marital property and debts. Our divorce lawyers are experienced with every type of equitable distribution case, including complex and high value cases. Please visit our FAQ to gain additional knowledge surrounding your legal matter.
Spousal support issues arise in divorces where the parties have been married for a substantial length of time and there is a significant gap in their incomes. In these cases, determination of a proper amount and duration of spousal support (called “alimony” in other states) can become very difficult. Our family lawyers are intimately familiar with the factors considered by courts in establishing spousal support, and with the important tax consequences often intertwined with alimony. Please visit our FAQ to gain additional knowledge surrounding your legal matter.
Our attorneys can assist you in several aspects of marital agreements. A premarital agreement or “prenup” protects the premarital assets of one or both parties and allows a couple to contemplate the division of assets prior to the marriage. Despite the widely held belief that prenups are only for the rich and famous, a premarital agreement is something that every marrying couple should consider. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting, reviewing and negotiating prenups under Virginia law. Please visit our FAQ to gain additional knowledge surrounding your legal matter.
Virginia’s family courts recognize that as lives, circumstances and needs change, so too may the terms of their divorce settlements and divorce related court orders. We help our clients obtain post-divorce modifications to the terms or their custody, visitation and support agreements. Our experience with post-divorce and separation actions includes: modification of child custody arrangements, visitation schedules, child support obligations, spousal support payments and terminations. We also assist clients with qualified domestic relations orders. Please visit our FAQ to gain additional knowledge surrounding your legal matter.
Adoption is the process whereby children who have been permanently and legally separated from their birth parents are placed with new parents. The adoptive parents are given the same rights and obligations as biological parents, while the rights and obligations of the biological parents are terminated. Virginia law permits only two types of placements for adoption: those made by duly authorized agencies and those made by birth parents or legal guardians. Cases involving adoption and termination of parental rights can be emotional and stressful for all parties involved. Your case is too important not to have an experienced team on your side. Please visit our FAQ to gain additional knowledge surrounding your legal matter.

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