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Falls Church Virginia Family Law Blog

How parental substance abuse can affect child custody

Although child custody disputes that play out in court are meant to find an arrangement that supports the best interests of the children involved, oftentimes they devolve into presentations meant to cast the other parent in as unfavorable of a light as possible.

The two issues are not completely separate, though. Parents may have to point out the other parent's faults, if only to highlight how a proposed custody and visitation plan is not in the child's best interests.

Virtual visitation as an option for Virginia families

People are incredibly busy. Individuals who balance jobs, families, and other important commitments are often juggling many different responsibilities at once and working hard to keep the needs of themselves and others met.

When a person goes through the difficult process of divorce, their lives may become even more complicated if they must work around the child custody and visitation schedules of their kids. Although there are no greater responsibilities than those that a parent has to their child, staying connected to one's child during and after a divorce can be a challenge.

A new family law trend: Strategic divorce

Divorce is a serious legal topic that has significant ramifications on the legal, financial, and emotional lives of Virginia residents. Before deciding to pursue divorce, readers are encouraged to seek their own legal advice so that they fully understand the requirements and possible outcomes of their own proceedings. This post and all others contained on this blog should not be used as a substitute for independent legal counsel.

When marriages end there are usually reasons that the partners can point to that offer rationales for the relationships' demises. While fault grounds like adultery, incarceration, and abandonment may push individuals to end their marriages, insurmountable differences and changes in partners may also instigate divorce proceedings. However, a new trend in divorce is emerging that is not necessarily based in these common themes.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

The process of planning a wedding can be both exciting and stressful for a Virginia couple. There are many decisions that they must make about when their event will take place, where it will occur, who will be invited to attend, and what level of formality they would like to have. Many may also consider whether they want to sign a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial or premarital agreement is a contract between two individuals who plan to get married but who have not yet done so. Through a premarital agreement, the individuals may establish important financial and property-based ground rules that will control if they eventually choose to divorce. Though prenuptial agreements are not particularly romantic, they can take a lot of stress and confusion out of divorces if they are created prior to couples' wedding days.

Does a person need an attorney for a collaborative divorce?

Divorce is a complicated legal process that terminates the legal bond between two married people. When a divorce is complete the partners to a legal marriage are no longer linked under the law and are free to marry other individuals. In Virginia, residents have options for how they can pursue divorce to end their marriages.

Some people choose to use the courts and the litigation process to get divorced. This is the traditional path to divorce and involves the parties, their attorneys, and a judge. Litigated divorces tend to put the decision-making power in the hands of judges who have the final say on how divorce orders are drafted. While individuals can offer their own opinions to the courts and advocate for what they think is best, final decision-making power generally resides in the judges.

Child support in Virginia

Child support is an important obligation that both of a child's parents must maintain after they go through a divorce, separation, or end to a non-marital relationship. The Commonwealth uses a set of complex guidelines to decide how much money each parent should pay in order to provide for their child, and based upon the incomes of the parents and other factors different families may end up with different child support orders. As such, readers should seek their own legal advice on their unique child support questions as this post offers general information only.

Child support can be used for a number of child-rearing costs. Basic needs' costs like food, shelter, and clothing may be covered with child support money, as can educational costs, healthcare costs, and childcare costs. Child support may be used in some cases for travel expenses, extracurricular activities, and other child-related needs.

When can a person stop paying alimony?

Whenever a Virginia resident has a question about their post-divorce obligations, they should consult both their final divorce decree and their family law attorney. Their final divorce decree will include all provisions that are relevant to their expectations once their marriage is over, and their family law attorney can provide any answers that they need to their case-specific questions. This post provides general information only and should not be read as legal advice.

Alimony obligations can end for a number of reasons. Not all alimony awards are permanent, and therefore conditions for termination may be written into any language that individuals' divorce decrees contain. For example, if alimony is only supposed to last until an individual is able to complete their education and get back into the workforce, then it may terminate upon the completion of these events.

Don't overlook the special issues in a military divorce

Every marriage has its unique joys and challenges. If you serve in the military or are married to a servicemember, you face additional trials other couples may not understand. The stress of long deployments, frequent moves to new assignments and the pressure of military duties can be difficult to handle.

Whether these issues or your personal differences have led you to the decision to divorce, you should know that you will be dealing with some special complications related to your status as a servicemember or spouse. You may find it helpful to have legal assistance from someone who has experience with military divorce.

Same-sex divorce has unique complications

The federal government's recognition of same-sex marriage was a welcome move to many in the LGBT community. However, like many, you may have been in a monogamous relationship long before the Supreme Court ruling. Not only do you now have all the rights opposite-sex couples have, including the rights to marry and adopt children, but you can also legally divorce your spouse.

Unfortunately, for many same-sex couples, divorcing is far more complicated than it is for opposite-sex couples. You have only had access to legal marriage in Virginia since 2014, but you and your partner may have had a deeply committed relationship for many years. Your divorce will only deal with legal matters from the date of your wedding. How do you handle issues that relate to the years, perhaps decades, before?

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8111 Gatehouse Road
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Falls Church, VA 22042
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