Divorce and Family Law
Matters of divorce and family, including child custody, are a special area of practice at the Pack Law Group. We are attorneys, and we are also husbands and fathers who know firsthand what it is like to go through a divorce or child custody dispute. We are here to help you through every step of the Virginia divorce process so that you come out the other side with your rights protected and the best interests of you and your children preserved.
Virginia Divorce Law Overview
Virginia recognizes both a no-fault divorce as well as divorce on fault-based grounds. In addition, there are different types of divorce in Virginia – the court may grant a limited divorce, known as a “divorce from bed and board,” or a complete divorce, which is known as a “divorce from the bond of matrimony.” The process for obtaining a divorce, and whether it occurs in one or two stages, depends upon factors such as the grounds for divorce, how long the parties have lived apart, and whether the Virginia residency requirements for divorce have been met.
Obtaining a divorce or dissolution of marriage requires more than just complying with the legal requirements of the Virginia code, however. There are important issues which must be decided by the court, if the parties have not worked out these issues beforehand. These issues include:
- Child Custody and Visitation – Will both parents share in the physical custody (where the child lives) and legal custody (who makes decisions about the child’s education and welfare), or will one parent have sole or primary custody? When will the children live with each parent, or how will a visitation schedule be arranged? The judge will decide these questions based on what the court finds is in the child’s best interests.
- Child Support – Each parent has an obligation to support the children financially. Typically the noncustodial parent will pay monthly support to the parent with primary custody. The monthly support amount is determined according to statutory guidelines and formulas, but the judge can deviate from the guidelines when convinced it would be in the children’s best interests to do so.
- Spousal Support – When considering whether to require one spouse to pay support (also known as alimony or maintenance) to the other spouse in a divorce, the judge will look at more than a dozen different factors, including the needs and resources of both parties. It is crucial to be well-represented in this process to make sure you are not taken advantage of. The court can award alimony in a lump sum, for a limited duration, or for an undefined period, known as open-ended or permanent spousal support.
- Property Distribution – Marital property is subject to an equitable distribution between the spouses. In order to ensure an equitable (fair) division of property, it is vital that every asset (and debt) be located, properly identified as marital or separate property, and accurately valued. We can assist in this process and help make sure your spouse is not hiding assets or underreporting income, or otherwise trying to gain an unfair advantage in the property settlement.
Comprehensive Virginia Family Law Support
In addition to divorce and child custody matters, the attorneys at the Pack Law Group provide assistance across a range of Virginia family law matters, including negotiating and drafting prenuptial agreements, establishing or challenging paternity claims, stepparent adoptions, and more. As fathers ourselves who have been through difficult custody battles, we are particularly concerned with issues surrounding dad’s rights in family law. For help with a divorce or other family law matter in Bedford, Lynchburg, Roanoke and central Virginia, call the Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225 for advice and representation from knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated Virginia family law attorneys.