Portsmouth Divorce LAwyers
Guidance from Experienced Virginia Divorce Attorneys
Divorce is never anyone’s first choice, and the road to divorce can be long and painful. In addition to the dissolution of your relationship, you are also dealing with the division of assets, spousal support, potentially child support and visitation, and any other items addressed in your marital agreement.
The laws surrounding divorce in Virginia can be complicated, and you need an experienced divorce lawyer on your side. The Portsmouth VA divorce attorneys at Kozak, Davis & Renninger will be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with the guidance you need to make legal decisions with confidence.
If you are going through a difficult divorce, call Kozak, Davis & Renninger at (757) 364-0923.
What is the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Virginia?
In an uncontested divorce, both parties will have to provide a written separation agreement. The separation agreement must include important details about the dissolution of the marriage and division of assets, property, child custody and child support. If there are no minor children involved, the couple can file for divorce after a six-month separation. If minor children are involved, the court requires a separation of at least one year.
Contested divorces are more complicated, and occur when ex-spouses are in the midst of custody or property disputes. Contested divorces can be incredibly painful, as well as difficult to resolve, and require experienced, knowledgeable legal counsel from divorce lawyers in Portsmouth, Virginia. The reasons for a contested divorce may include:
- Cruelty or abuse
- Hidden assets
- Custody battles
- Financial disagreements
- Property disputes
In any divorce, whether it is contested or uncontested, will need to work out the issues concerning child custody, child support, visitation schedules, property division, and spousal support. In an uncontested divorce, you only need to provide a written agreement stating that claims you and your spouse are on the same page. In a contested divorce, however, you would need to appear before the judge to settle the issues.
Grounds for Divorce Virginia
Virginia is a "hybrid" divorce state, meaning our laws allow you to file for either a fault-based or no-fault based divorce. To qualify for a no-fault divorce, you must have been living apart from your spouse for at least one year. You can reduce that timeline to only six months if you prepare a separation agreement and if you do not share any minor children. This is beneficial for those who cannot afford or rent two separate places to live.
A fault-based divorce requires some variation of proof, which can include include grounds such as:
- one or both spouses commit adultery, sodomy, or buggery
- a spouse is convicted of a felony
- there has been a willful desertion or abandonment for at least a year
- reasonable fear of bodily harm due to cruelty by one of the spouses
In the majority of cases, photographic evidence isn't going to qualify as proof. Proof must be hard evidence that one of the grounds above has been committed.
If you do not qualify for a no-fault divorce, this would be the next option.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Divorce?
If you are filing for divorce, consulting with an experienced attorney is always recommended. Issues surrounding divorce such as child custody and support can complicate things further. You will need legal expertise to navigate through the variety of paperwork and processes. Having an attorney by your side can also reduce the amount of time you spend waiting for your divorce to finalize.
Our divorce attorneys in Portsmouth, VA have over 100 years of combined experience, and you can trust that we are with you every step of the way. We will help construct a strategy that prioritizes your short and long-term goals by providing clear and accurate communication.
The way your divorce case is handled can impact the rest of your life, and we are committed to providing our clients with the personalized, detail-oriented representation they need and deserve.