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By Your Side Throughout Your Divorce

Few adults see divorce as a quick and painless solution for marital troubles. Rather than decreasing tension, the divorce process often increases it. From negotiating terms of property settlements to agreeing to custody arrangements, estranged spouses have a variety of difficult tasks that they must complete in a short time period.

Whether a divorce is imminent or still something that you are just considering, there seem to be more questions about it than answers. At Kelly Byrnes Danker & Luu, PLLC, our team of skilled divorce attorneys will work with you to help you address your needs and resolve your family law matter efficiently and compassionately.

Although our lawyers have assisted thousands of families throughout northern Virginia, they recognize that each client’s case is unique and sensitive in nature. They will be the attentive legal allies you need by your side during this trying time.

Advocating For Your Interests At Every Stage Of The Divorce Process

Our attorneys take pride in their commitment to educate and counsel our clients. They recognize the impact that their counsel will have on your life after your divorce resolution has been finalized. For this reason, our lawyers will provide clear explanations during each step in the divorce process and detail how your decisions will affect your case.

We concentrate exclusively on family law. Our team handles all matters relating to divorce, including:

Our attorneys have decades of collective experience litigating, mediating and negotiating family disputes. They offer a variety of legal approaches and strategies because they understand that each client’s needs are unique. You can benefit from this expansive range of services.

Commonly Asked Divorce Questions

Below are some common and recurring divorce and family law related questions that often arise. The information is intended to be helpful, but if you find yourself in need of legal advice regarding a divorce or other family law related matter, please reach out to our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

How do you file for divorce in Virginia?

Complaints for divorce in Virginia will either be based on a no-fault ground or on one of the available fault-based grounds for divorce. Whether pursuing a no-fault ground or a fault-based ground for divorce, the case may be straightforward or complex depending on the circumstances of your individual situation.

An uncontested divorce is the easiest way to obtain a divorce in Virginia. One spouse will need to file a Complaint for Divorce form that contains a marital settlement agreement outlining property division, support resolution and child custody arrangements if you have minor children. The process has become very streamlined over the years, and usually there is no need for an actual court hearing. However, if a party prefers to have a hearing before a judge, that option is also currently available.

For a contested divorce, you can either file for a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. In a no-fault divorce, you must live separately from your spouse without cohabitating for more than a year or, when you have no minor children and have a separation agreement, for at least six months without interruption. In either situation, reconciliation must not be possible. In a fault-based divorce, you can obtain a divorce if you can show one of the following:

  • Your spouse committed adultery, sodomy or buggery.
  • Your spouse was convicted of a felony and was jailed for more than a year.
  • You are in a situation involving cruelty or fear of bodily harm.
  • Your spouse has deserted or abandoned you.

If any of these things happened to you, then you can pursue a fault-based divorce from your spouse.

When do you need a lawyer when getting divorced in Virginia?

Even if you feel that you and your spouse can come to a peaceful agreement, you should reach out to an attorney to make sure it is done properly and without any unintended prejudicial consequences. There can be complex property division or child custody arrangements that will require the help of a lawyer to navigate. An attorney can help you negotiate and resolve these issues so that you can move on with confidence.

Certainly, if you have been served with papers, you need to consult with a lawyer. Contested divorces can be complex and require substantial evidence, in many cases, to prove what led to the deterioration of the marriage.

How is property divided in a Virginia divorce?

Virginia is an equitable distribution state when it comes to marital property. That means that the court is not required to separate your marital assets exactly in half for you and your spouse. Instead, the court will look at what is the most fair and equitable distribution of property between you and your spouse based on many factors, such as what you both contributed financially and non-financially to the marriage. It is important to have your property professionally valued if you have complex or high-value assets, as that will likely be a source of significant contention between you and your spouse.

Property that you owned before or apart from the marriage, what is referred to as separate property, is generally not subject to being distributed by the court. This remains the property of the one who owned it prior to the marriage or acquired it during the marriage from a source outside of the marriage. However, depending on how separate property is handled during the marriage, it is possible that some or all of it may be transmuted to marital property.

How do child custody and parenting time work in Virginia?

In the vast majority of cases of divorce, child custody and parenting time will be shared jointly between both parents. Virginia’s policy is to focus on the best interests of the children. There is no preference or presumption favoring one parent over the other in determining custody. Joint legal custody has both parents involved in the decision-making process, whereas sole legal custody vests the decision-making process with just one parent. The same approach holds true for creating a custodial schedule – there exists no presumptive schedule under the law; rather, the focus is on the best interests of the child.

Concerned About Taking The First Step? Speak With An Experienced Attorney Today.

Contact us at our Fairfax or Leesburg offices to learn about how our team can help. Schedule your confidential consultation online or over the phone at 703-224-0888. We invite you to click on these links to learn more about our attorneys’ achievements.