Leesburg Divorce Attorney
Caring and Dedicated Loudoun & Fairfax County Divorce Law Firm
Getting a divorce in Virginia is not a simple process. Just as important as the divorce itself, the parties must take care to address important issues such as custody, support and the division of property. Once the divorce is final, the court’s rulings on these matters will have profound effects on the parties and their children well into the future. The Leesburg divorce attorneys at Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, provide able and effective representation to guide you through the complex Virginia divorce process.
How does divorce work in Virginia?
Either spouse may initiate a divorce by filing a petition in the county where either spouse resides, provided at least one spouse has been a resident and domiciliary of Virginia for at least six months. Virginia recognizes several fault-based grounds, including:
- Conviction of a felony and incarceration for more than one year
- Willful desertion or abandonment
The party seeking the divorce must prove the applicable ground, which can also impact how the court decides issues such as custody or support.
Virginia also allows for no-fault divorce, which is available once the parties have lived separate and apart for more than a year, or six months if they don’t have any minor children and have resolved all the issues in their divorce via a marital property settlement or separation agreement. The parties can initially obtain a divorce from bed and board while living apart, and they can later merge that divorce with a divorce from the bond of matrimony.
The parties must also figure out all the outstanding issues in their divorce. We work with clients through negotiations or mediation to create a property settlement agreement and other agreements that work out all these issues. If any issues remain contested, we provide experienced and effective representation in the courtroom.
What are the main issues to resolve in a divorce?
The main issues to resolve in a divorce include:
Child Custody – If the parents can’t agree on custody, it’s up to the courts to decide whether one parent or both will be responsible for raising the children and making important decisions regarding their upbringing. We help parents stay on track when working out the details of a custody schedule or parenting plan, and we provide strong, assertive advocacy in court during contested child custody disputes.
Child Support – Both parents are obligated to support their children financially. In a divorce, this obligation translates to a payment from one parent to the other for the benefit of the kids. Both parents want to see their children taken care of adequately, and they also want to be treated fairly personally. We help clients work through the Virginia child support guideline to make sure the child support amount is accurate, and we’ll argue for or against deviations from the guideline as appropriate.
Spousal Support – Either spouse in a divorce can request support to help a financially dependent spouse become financially independent, or to maintain a standard of living when entering the workforce isn’t feasible. We guide the courts toward making the right decision whether to grant spousal support and, if so, which kind of support, how much and for how long.
Equitable Distribution – Courts divide all the marital property, including both assets and debts, in a way the judge comes to believe is fair. We assist parties in working out a property settlement agreement the court can approve. When needed, we litigate these issues in our clients’ best interests, making sure all marital property is located, properly characterized and accurately valued.
In all of these areas, the courts are guided by statutory factors that dictate how they will rule. Yet, the information that supports these factors is supplied by the parties through their attorneys, and some of it may be highly subjective and open to interpretation. We build strong, evidence-based cases supported by the facts and applicable laws, and we present these cases to the court in a compelling way that persuasively and convincingly guides the judges toward a correct ruling.
Help with Divorce in Leesburg and Northern Virginia
For help with divorce in Loudoun or Fairfax County and throughout Northern Virginia, call Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, in Leesburg at 703-667-0954. Our Leesburg divorce attorneys offer a free initial consultation over the phone to let you know how we can help you, and so you can see whether our firm is a good fit to represent you in your divorce.