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Falls Church Virginia Family Law Blog

Collaborative law may help those in a low-conflict divorce

Sometimes couples in Virginia have so much bitterness and rancor towards one another that they have no other choice but to litigate their divorce. However, couples going through a relatively amicable split may have options other than litigation to settle their divorce legal issues. One of these options is collaborative law.

Like litigation, in a collaborative divorce, both parties are represented by attorneys. However, the parties and their attorneys make an agreement that they will all work together to resolve their divorce legal issues. Other experts, such as accountants and therapists, can be consulted in the collaborative divorce process.

Are Virginia's statutory child support guidelines rebuttable?

Virginia law has statutory guidelines regarding how much child support to award. However, there can be a deviation from these guidelines if adherence to the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate. The finding that rebuts the statutory child support guidelines needs to state how much child support would have been awarded per the statutory guidelines, why a deviation is justified and evidence of the following factors.

One factor the court will consider is what monetary support the parents and child receive from other current or former family members. If the child has independent financial resources, this may also be considered. Child custody arrangements, along with expenses associated with travel for visitation periods are another factor the court will consider.

Several tips for effective co-parenting after divorce

Parenting after divorce can be a challenge. you previously had a partner under the same roof who assisted with the parenting duties. But now it is all up to you. Additionally, you now share parenting duties with someone who may not only live far away but may not always be that easy to be in touch with.

However, both parents are usually aware of the importance of co-parenting and keeping the well-being of the children as their focus. Below are six tips to make your co-parenting duties more effective and beneficial for your child.

Celebrities exemplify co-parenting following a divorce

Do all child custody issues need to become a heated, emotional affair? Not necessarily. Parents in Falls Church who are pursuing a divorce can learn from one recent celebrity divorce where the parents are putting the child's needs first.

Actors Anna Faris and Chris Pratt can serve as an example of how one can co-parent following a divorce. The couple, who were married eight years and have a 6-year-old son, recently finalized their divorce. Faris and Pratt will share physical and legal custody of their son. Per their divorce documents, however, they must continue to reside within five miles of one another. This arrangement is to continue until their son finishes sixth grade.

How should child custody time-sharing schedules be handled?

Most parents in Virginia understand that their divorce can be difficult on their child. Their child may wonder if the divorce was his or her fault, or he or she may be concerned about having to live with each parent separately at different times. Parents can do a lot to ease the transition for their child. This includes developing a fair and workable time-sharing schedule that meets the best interests of the child.

For example, when it comes to developing a time-sharing schedule, each parent should have the child for overnights in his or her home, absent abuse or other unusual circumstances. Parents must stay in communication with one another, despite the divorce, as they work together to raise their child. This means adhering to the time-sharing schedule, notifying the other parent if an existing time-sharing schedule isn't working and seeking a modification in court if necessary.

Collaborative law can benefit divorcing couples in Virginia

Not all divorces have to be acrimonious, lengthy fights before a judge, with each side trying to be the "winner." Sometimes couples in Virginia can work together to negotiate their divorce legal issues out-of-court. One way to do this is through the collaborative law process.

In a collaborative divorce, the spouses and their attorneys will meet together out-of-court with the common goal of reaching an agreement on their divorce legal issues. Unlike litigation, there is no ultimate decision-maker; it is the parties that will cooperate with one another to reach a resolution. Other experts, such as financial experts and therapists may help the couples better understand their situation, so they can make appropriate decisions. Once an agreement is reached, it will be submitted to the court for approval.

Holding onto your job while losing your marriage

Divorce can trigger anxious, upset feelings that may completely consume your mind. Losing assets and time with your children along with your marriage can suddenly make the day-to-day responsibilities of your job seem impossible.

Here are a few tips for three common questions asked by divorcees struggling to keep up at work.

Should one fight for the family home in a Virginia divorce?

One issue that most divorcing couples in Virginia will have to face is property division. This is true whether a couple has a great deal of highly valuable assets or whether a couple is of more modest means. In the end, marital property in a Virginia divorce will be divided via equitable distribution. This means that the court will aim for a fair division of property, even if that division is not perfectly equal. Thus, it is important to have an idea of one's options for dividing common assets, such as the family home, so a fair result can be reached.

Many married couples own a home together. However, sometimes in a divorce both parties are eager to leave a place of bad memories behind. When this happens, they can sell the house and split the proceeds. Of course, things aren't always this easy. For example, if the house is underwater, even if it is sold, it will need to be decided which party will take on the remaining mortgage.

Gray divorces of 2019 will face greater retirement challenges

Recent research has indicated a rise in the divorce rate of older American couples belonging to the Baby Boomer generation. Commonly referred to as "gray divorce," these separations are often complicated to orchestrate.

Come January, matters will become more complex with the enactment of a new federal law that changes the way alimony is taxed. For those who suspect they will require spousal support after a grey divorce, readying for retirement will become a greater challenge if you wait to finalize your divorce in 2019.

Seeking a spousal support modification when life changes

When a couple in Virginia divorces, it is not unusual for one spouse to pay spousal support to the other spouse. However, sometimes a spousal support order that works for both parties when they divorce, does not work so well years down the road. When this happens, either party can move the court to modify the spousal support award. If there is a material change in circumstances, a spousal support award can go up, down or end after the court considers a number of statutory factors.

Each spouse's obligations, needs and financial resources may be considered. The standard of living the couple enjoyed while married may be considered. Other considerations include how long the spouses were married and each spouse's age and health.

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Maddox & Gerock, P.C.
8111 Gatehouse Road
Suite 410
Falls Church, VA 22042
Phone: 703-883-8035
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