Family Law Attorneys
No one wants to bring a family issue to court. However, sometimes resolving a dispute or receiving guidance on navigating complex legal proceedings is necessary. We recognize how important the wellbeing of you child or children is to you. We carefully craft solutions that are unique to your family, cost effective and result oriented.
At Pincus Goodman, P.C., we understand how overwhelming it can be to negotiate child support, file for divorce, or pursue a protective order. When the stakes are high, you need an experienced legal team in your corner.
Our Virginia Beach family law attorneys will protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. Call (757) 301-9634 or contact us online for a confidential consultation to learn more.
Family Cases We Take
Pincus Goodman, P.C., handles various family law matters for our Virginia Beach clients, including:
- Visitation/Parenting Time
- Child Support
- Separation Agreements
- Failure to Pay Support
- Domestic Assault
- Protective Orders
- Child Custody
- Child Protective Service Cases
How to File for Divorce in Virginia
Divorce is never easy. The process can be emotional and stressful even though you know ending the marriage is the right decision. In Virginia, you must meet specific requirements to file for a divorce.
Virginia Code § 20-91(9) states that you and your spouse must live apart and separate for at least one year before filing. If you sign a separation agreement and don’t have kids, living separately and apart for six months is required.
Sometimes, waiting for the separation period to pass or dealing with the lengthy divorce process isn’t an option. If you want to resolve issues related to a divorce, you could file for a divorce from bed and board.
You must have a legitimate reason to file for a divorce from bed and board, such as:
- Willful desertion or abandonment
- Reasonable apprehension of bodily harm
The court might grant your request and decide on property division, child custody, and other matters. However, you must file for an absolute divorce at some point to legally dissolve the marriage.
Dividing Property in Virginia
The courts in Virginia follow equitable distribution when deciding how to split property among divorcing couples. Marital property is the only property divided. It includes assets, such as homes, motor vehicles, and bank accounts that either spouse earns or acquires while married.
Separate property is property solely owned by one spouse. It includes any asset brought into the marriage or received during the marriage by inheritance, devise, gift, survivorship, descent, or bequest.
The judge will categorize each asset as marital or separate, determine the value, and consider various factors while dividing property, such as:
- Duration of the marriage
- Tax consequences of the property
- Each spouse’s physical and mental condition and age
- Nonliquid or liquid character of the marital property
- Each spouse’s monetary or nonmonetary contributions to the care, maintenance, and acquisition of the marital property and the family’s well-being
- Each spouse’s liabilities and debts
- When and how the spouses acquire their marital property
Pursuing Spousal Support in a Divorce
Either spouse can seek spousal support. Spousal support is one spouse’s financial obligation to provide the other with a predetermined amount of money to pay necessary expenses such as housing, utilities, food, and clothing.
In Virginia, you can file for temporary support during the pending divorce or post-divorce temporary or permanent support. The judge will consider multiple factors to decide whether to award support and the type, amount, and duration. These factors might include:
- The marital standard of living
- Each spouse’s needs, financial resources, and obligations
- Each spouse’s earning capacity
- The length of the marriage
- Whether either spouse contributed to the other’s training, career profession, or education
- Each spouse’s property interests, including personal and real property
- The extent that physical or mental condition, age, or a child’s special circumstances would make it challenging for the dependent spouse to work outside the home
- The dependent spouse’s ability and opportunity and the necessary time and costs to obtain the skills or education needed to seek employment
- Tax consequences of support for the spouses
- Each spouse’s nonmonetary and monetary contributions to the family’s well-being
Judges can also consider either spouse’s marital misconduct while deciding on spousal support. For example, if a judge determines the spouse seeking support is guilty of adultery, they can deny the request.
Negotiating Child Custody and Support
Child custody is one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. Couples often cannot agree on which person should have custody of the children and whether child support is necessary. The court might have to step in and resolve the dispute.
However, when the courts get involved in child custody matters, the divorcing couple has minimal control over the outcome. Instead of deciding on a custody and visitation agreement that benefits both parties, the judge will issue an order based on the child’s best interest.
In Virginia, you can petition for multiple types of custody, each with different legal responsibilities and rights. The types of child custody arrangements include:
- Joint legal custody – Joint legal custody allows each parent to participate in the decision-making for their child regardless of which parent the child lives with them primarily.
- Joint physical custody – Joint physical custody allows the parents to share custody and care of their child.
- Sole custody – In this arrangement, only one parent has the right to decide about their child’s education, medical care, and other aspects of their life.
If the judge orders primary physical custody to one parent, the other parent is allowed visitation. That means they can arrange for the times when their child stays with them. Schedules depend on individual circumstances and needs but typically involve weekend visits, summer vacations, and holidays.
Each parent is legally obligated to provide for their child regardless of the child custody and visitation order. Payments depend on the parents’ combined incomes. Both parties must pay a specific percentage of child support based on a guideline considering each parent’s income and the number of children requiring support.
Contact a Trusted Family Law Attorney in Virginia Beach
You can depend on Pincus Goodman, P.C., to fight for your interests no matter what type of family dispute you face. We believe in providing our clients with exceptional legal representation and services until their cases are finished.
Call us at (757) 301-9634 for an initial consultation to discuss your divorce, domestic assault case, child support order, or another family law matter.