Getting A Divorce in Fauquier County
Legal matters are stressful, but it is even more upsetting when your legal issues involve your family. Divorce, parenting, and other family-related concerns can impact your future in many ways. Family law cases can have significant financial effects, as well.
It is important that you have experienced legal representation for your family law case. You want the right attorney to protect your relationship with your children, finances, and lifestyle.
Curran Moher Weis is a full-service family law firm. Our legal team can help with any type of divorce-related matter, and we regularly represent clients in complicated situations. Reach out today for a consultation to learn more about our family law services.
Types of divorce
People decide to end their marriages in Virginia often, and they must follow specific legal procedures to do so. Each couple needs to address certain issues before the court grants a divorce. When you already have the stress of an unsuccessful marriage on your shoulders, the last thing you want to do is navigate the divorce process alone.
At Curran Moher Weis, our attorneys handle many different divorce cases, including the following:
- Separation When you are living apart from your spouse, which can be a temporary or permanent arrangement. In some cases, separation may be necessary before filing for divorce.
- Collaborative divorce. Designed to be cooperative and non-adversarial. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses work with their attorneys to agree on all the issues involved, such as child custody, child support, property division, and alimony.
- Fault-based divorce. A divorce in which one spouse must prove the other spouse committed some sort of marital fault, such as adultery, abandonment, or physical or emotional abuse
- No-fault divorce. A divorce in which one spouse does not have to prove the other spouse committed any marital fault. In most states, no-fault divorce is the only option to a divorce.
- High-net-worth divorce. Involves spouses with significant assets, such as businesses, real estate, and investments. High net-worth divorces can be complex and time-consuming, requiring the expertise of experienced attorneys.
- Divorce mediation. A process in which the spouses work with a neutral mediator to agree on all the issues involved in the divorce. Mediation can be a less expensive and friendlier way to resolve the issues than going to court.
- Child-related matters in a divorce. Includes child custody, child support, and visitation. The court will decide these matters based on the child’s best interests.
- Property division. The process of dividing up the marital assets, such as property, money, and investments. The court will not divide marital property equally but will instead divide it in a way that is fair to both spouses.
- Alimony. A court-ordered payment from one spouse to the other after a divorce. Alimony is typically awarded to the spouse with less earning potential and who needs financial support.
- Military divorce. A divorce involving one or both spouses who are military members. Military divorces can be complex because they involve federal law and military regulations.
- Pensions and retirement assets. This complex issue can significantly impact the financial outcome of a divorce. The court must determine how to divide the pension/retirement benefits, if any, earned during the marriage.
Every type of divorce requires you to meet residency requirements and state grounds for the divorce petition. These grounds can be fault-based or based on a specific period of separation. We are here to help you determine whether you are ready to begin divorce proceedings and will handle all of the necessary preparation and paperwork.
You have options for resolving major issues like property division, alimony, and child custody and support. You and your spouse might initially agree and have an uncontested divorce. If you cannot immediately agree on everything, we will represent you during negotiations, mediation, or even the collaborative divorce process. We are also skilled, experienced litigators who will persuasively present your position in court.
Steps for Legal Separation
If you are not ready for a divorce yet, we can help you with a legal separation. This is a different process in Virginia than a divorce. We will listen to your goals and ensure you move forward post-separation in the best position possible.
Our compassionate, experienced attorneys can assist with the legal separation, including
- Petition for separation. The first step is to file a petition for separation with the court. The petition will include your name, your spouse’s name, and the date of your marriage. It states the grounds for separation, such as irreconcilable differences or abandonment.
- Serve your spouse with the petition. Once you have filed your petition, you must serve a copy to your spouse. It can be personally served by mailing it to your spouse or having it served by a process server.
- Attend a hearing. After your spouse has been served with the petition, the court will schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will review your petition and decide whether to grant your request for separation.
- Enter into a separation agreement. If the court grants your request for separation, you and your spouse need to enter into a separation agreement. This agreement will set the terms of your separation, such as child custody, child support, alimony, and property division.
- File the separation agreement with the court. Once you have entered a separation agreement, you will file it with the court. The court will then issue a separation decree, making your separation official.
It is important to note that the legal process of setting terms for separation in Virginia can be complex and time-consuming. If you are considering separation, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options.
Divorce is far from the only case heard in family court, and our firm handles many other types of family-related matters. For example, issues involving children often arise as part of a divorce or as an independent case involving parents who were never married. Those cases include
- Child custody. The legal right to make decisions about a child’s life, including where the child lives, what school he/she attends, and what medical care the child receives. Child custody can be either sole or joint. Sole custody means that one parent has the exclusive right to decide about the child. Joint custody means both parents must work together to make decisions in the child’s best interests.
- Visitation. Visitation cases deal with the right of a parent who does not have custody to spend time with the child. The court usually orders visitation, which can be supervised or unsupervised. Supervised visitation means the parent who does not have custody must have the child’s visits supervised by a third party, such as a social worker or a family friend. Unsupervised visitation means the parent who does not have custody can have the child’s visits by themselves.
- Child support. One parent makes these payments to the other to help support the child. Child support is usually ordered by the court and is based on both parents’ income and the child’s needs.
- Domestic violence. Any behavior used to control or intimidate a partner or family member is considered Domestic Violence, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse. If you are experiencing domestic violence, know you are not alone. Many resources are available to help you, including The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 and protect yourself as much as possible.
- International family law. Cases dealing with family law issues that cross international borders fall under international family law. These issues can include child custody, child support, divorce, and adoption.
- Powers of attorney. These legal documents give someone else the authority to decide on your behalf if you cannot make them yourself. There are two types of powers of attorney: general and durable. A general power of attorney gives the person you appoint the authority to make all of your financial and medical decisions. A durable power of attorney gives the person you appoint the authority to make all of your decisions, but only if you become incapacitated.
- Prenuptial agreements. Made before a couple gets married, these are legal agreements typically dealing with issues such as property division, child custody, and alimony in the event of a divorce.
Whether you need assistance drafting agreements, negotiating parenting plans, or going into family court, we can help. At Curran Moher Weis, we always seek the most efficient solutions possible, including mediation when it can benefit a certain case. We will fight for your parental rights in court or represent you in other matters if litigation is necessary.
We are your Fauquier County Divorce Lawyers
Many factors can complicate divorce proceedings, including spouses who cannot agree on one or more issues. We take on even the most challenging divorce cases at Curran Moher Weis. You want a kind, experienced legal professional advising you and protecting your interests and future from the start to the finish of your divorce; our lawyers are here to help.
Divorce or other family law cases can change your life. We know you want to do everything possible to ensure you receive the best outcome possible for your situation. Everyone has different goals when it comes to family law matters, and Curran Moher Weis can help you achieve yours in an efficient manner. We work closely with you to meet your needs and address all relevant issues in a divorce or custody matter.
Our Northern Virginia-based family law and divorce lawyers combine more than 75 years of family law and trial experience and have received honors from Super Lawyers, the AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, and notoriety in publications including The Washingtonian magazine, Ten Leaders, Northern Virginia Magazine, and more.
We represent clients in Fauquier County, as well as throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. We are familiar with the family courts and how to make the laws work in our client’s favor.
Contact us for a consultation today. We are ready to use all of our resources and experience to assist you.