Nothing is more important in life than your family and this is why legal matters involving family issues are often the most difficult to face – the emotions and stress can be overwhelming. Our firm knows the toll family law cases take on our clients and we help guide them through the complex legal issues they face with compassion and experience.
Types of Cases We Handle:
- Legal Custody– The ability to make decisions about how the child is raised.
- Physical Custody– The day-to-day care for your child, where your child sleeps at night and spends their days.
These can be further specified and catered to the circumstances of each case. Depending on the situation, the court or the parties can agree to sole or shared legal custody. There are various types of physical custody arrangements which can go by many names.
The courts use the terms “sole” (often called primary, where one parent has the child for more than 275 days per year), “shared” (each parent has the child or children for more than 90 days per year), and “split” (children are split between households, i.e. Mom has one child and Dad has the other) to classify a custodial arrangement for the purposes of calculating child support.
Visitation or parenting time is part and parcel with custody. Visitation is the schedule of when each parent has parenting time with the child or children. As with custody arrangements, the court prioritizes the best interest of the child. Factors that influence the judge’s ruling may include the age of the parent and child, relationships the child may have with other family members, the mental and physical state of the parent and child.
Virginia recognizes both fault and no-fault divorces, and cases can be either contested or uncontested. Our Virginia Beach divorce attorneys are well experienced in effectively navigating the various obstacles and legal complexities that divorces often entail. We know how difficult divorces can be, and our main goal is to stay focused on your needs and desires and to help guide you through this very vulnerable time.
While each divorce is unique and requires a specific approach that reflects the circumstances, there are general similarities that provide a helpful starting point if you're considering filing for separation.
Many of our family law cases involve military families, and while some aspects of these cases are similar to the needs of a civilian, there are unique dimensions to military law that require a broad understanding of Virginia law and those laws specific to servicemembers and their families.
Frequent deployments and changing duty stations can create unique issues when it comes to court appearances and custody and visitation settlements. Additionally, military members have unique financial issues, such as retirement benefits and tax implications that differ from civilians, which must be accounted for when going through a military divorce.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Blended Retirement System, and Family Care Plans are just a few important factors that will impact the divorce process, and it’s imperative that clients have an attorney that is familiar with the laws, services, and plans, and has deep experience helping to see our servicemembers through this very difficult process.
Prenuptial agreements are agreements that allocate the division of assets or other obligations arising from the marriage that are entered into before the marriage. Some may view these types of arrangements negatively in that they suggest or imply that there's a chance of a separation before it even happens. However, in many situations, these agreements can be used to protect assets and can determine the rights of each party without the tensions and frustrations that accompany a divorce.
Virginia identifies three types of property – separate, marital, and hybrid. Generally speaking, these classifications reflect which party acquired it, how the property was acquired, and when it was acquired. However, each type of property is categorized by a number of specific details that have been established through large numbers of previous cases. It’s also important to know that military pension can be a factor when negotiating a property settlement.
Virginia Beach child support is determined primarily from four main factors:
- the gross income of each party
- the custodial schedule
- the costs of work-related to childcare
- the costs of medical insurance for the children
These figures are plugged into a guideline formula. The guideline amount for child support is presumptively correct, and courts are required to start their analysis at the guideline amount. The Courts can deviate from the guideline figure based on other circumstances and factors but must make written findings for any deviation. Child support is modifiable based on a material change in circumstances. This means that, until the children are eighteen or graduate from high school, either parent can petition the court to change the child support amount based on a change in circumstances.
Spousal support refers to the financial support one spouse is required to supply to the other after a divorce is final. Spousal support obligations are negotiated and established by addressing the specific circumstances of each case, and there is no general formula applied to help make the decision. Judges are not bound by a guideline calculation as they are for child support. Courts can determine the amount, form and duration of spousal support, and often consider factors such as the choices made during the marriage, the time a spouse has been out of the workforce, and the distribution of property, and the support is modifiable if the client can show a material change in circumstance, such as the loss of employment.
Grandparents have the legal right to file for visitation rights, as do other close friends or relatives in the child’s life. These types of people are called persons with a legitimate interest, which is a special status under the law. However, in as much as the court’s main interest in these cases is the well-being and best interests of the child(ren), the parents are given priority.
Contact Our Experienced Virginia Beach Family Law Attorneys Today
Confidence and comfort with your Virginia Beach family law attorney are paramount when having to go through any legal family matter. Our dedicated family law attorneys prioritize your legal interests and ensuring that this difficult process goes as smoothly as possible. Call us today at (767) 453-7744 or fill out this short form to get started