Relationships frequently change over time, and the interests of the people involved in a relationship may no longer align. Spouses who no longer wish to continue their relationship typically need to legally sever ties via a divorce. A divorce not only ends a relationship but also affects people financially, and if a married couple has children, it may affect their parental rights as well. If your spouse or you intend to seek a divorce, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your rights. The knowledgeable Fairfax divorce lawyers at Robinson Law can advise you on your options and assist you in developing a plan to seek a favorable outcome. We represent people in divorce cases in cities throughout Northern Virginia.Obtaining a Divorce in Virginia
Virginia law explicitly defines who can seek a divorce. Specifically, the law states that a party seeking a divorce must demonstrate that either the party or the party’s spouse lived in Virginia for at least six months prior to when the divorce was filed.
Parties can seek a divorce on a no-fault or fault basis. A no-fault divorce generally means that the marriage has suffered an irreversible breakdown due to differences between the spouses that cannot be reconciled. To obtain a no-fault divorce, the parties must prove that they have lived apart and separate, which means that they did not live together in the same household, for a minimum of one year without interruption. If the estranged spouses entered into a separation agreement, however, they can obtain a no-fault divorce if they have lived apart and separate for six months, as long as they do not have any minor children.
Our divorce attorneys also can help Fairfax residents seek a fault-based divorce. Virginia law sets forth the grounds for fault-based divorces. Specifically, a party can seek a fault-based divorce due to adultery, confinement in prison or jail for more than one year due to a felony conviction, willful desertion, cruelty, and creating a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. A no-fault divorce will not impair a person’s right to seek spousal support, but if a party is deemed at fault for the breakdown of the marriage following a fault-based divorce, that party may be denied spousal support.Dividing Marital Property
In many divorce cases, one of the most complex issues is how the couple’s property should be divided. During a divorce, the property owned by the spouses is classified as separate or marital. Separate property refers to property that either spouse owned prior to the marriage, property specifically deemed separate via a pre-marital or post-marital agreement, property obtained via a devise or gift, and income received from separate property. Conversely, marital property includes any property that either spouse acquired during the marriage that is not specifically defined as separate property. Our Fairfax divorce attorneys can help you argue for the appropriate classification of certain assets.
Virginia is an equitable distribution state, which means that all marital property is subject to equitable division. Equitable distribution does not always mean that the property will be divided equally, however. Instead, it refers to a division of property that the court deems fair under the circumstances. The court will weigh many factors in determining how to distribute marital property, including each spouse’s contribution to the well-being of the family, the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s debts and liabilities, how and when the marital property was acquired, and whether either spouse contributed to the downfall of the marriage.Meet with an Experienced Northern Virginia Attorney
The decision to end a marriage is often emotionally complicated, and, in many cases, it is legally complicated as well. If you intend to seek a divorce or have been served with divorce papers, it is prudent to consult an attorney. At Robinson Law, we will vigorously advocate on your behalf to help you protect your interests. Our divorce lawyers serve people in Fairfax and in other areas of Northern Virginia. You can contact us by calling us at (888) 259-9787 or using our form online.