Whether your divorce has been a long time coming or was something that took you by surprise, it can take a while to get used to the reality of it. At Curran Moher Weis, our compassionate divorce lawyer in Woodbridge VA know this is a challenging chapter in your life. We want you to know that we are here for you every step of the way. Your divorce will go more smoothly when you have a basic understanding of the various concepts of divorce.
You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have built a life together. Depending on the duration of your marriage, your family size, and your lifestyle, it can be pretty difficult to split. But our Woodbridge, VA divorce lawyers will rise to this challenge. All assets, property, and debts need to be accounted for in a divorce, including:
Marital property is the property that the couple owns together that was obtained after the marriage took place, with the exception of an inheritance or gift that one spouse received in their name alone. Unless the couple has a pre- or postnuptial agreement, all marital property will be divided equitably. It’s imperative to note that equitably means what is fair, not necessarily what is equal.
Also called spousal support or spousal maintenance, alimony refers to payments made from one spouse to the other after a divorce. Family courts want each spouse to maintain their standard of living as closely as possible after a divorce. To accomplish this, alimony payments might be necessary.
Typically, you have to be married for at least six years to be eligible to receive alimony. Most courts will set alimony at 30 percent of the higher-earning spouse’s income, less than half of the lower-earning spouse’s income. However, other factors could change this amount or change the way the Court calculates the amount. For example, a change in circumstances, such as the receiving spouse cohabitating with someone or the paying spouse getting a raise, can warrant an alimony modification.
Even when parents are divorcing, Virginia law upholds that each parent is responsible for the lifetime support of the child until they are no longer minors. Typically, child support in Virginia is calculated using the gross income of both parents. In addition, family courts rely on the Virginia Child Support Guidelines, which are written into state law, to help guide their child support decisions.
After calculating the total support obligation, that number is multiplied by the percent of the total income coming from the parent owing support. The result is their child support payment obligation. For instance, suppose a father’s wages are 80 percent of the couple’s total combined income. In that case, he will likely be required to pay 80 percent of the calculated child support amount.
Many expenses can be added to the basic amount, such as:
Your divorce decree must also state arrangements for where the children will live and when they will see the parent they don’t live with. Virginia courts want to maintain the relationships between children and both parents whenever possible. Only in extreme circumstances will they deny a child the opportunity to see and have a relationship with a parent. The Court will always do what is in the child’s best interest. The types of custody are as follows:
A parent who doesn’t have primary physical child custody is legally entitled to visitation. However, the Court will make exceptions to this when visitation isn’t in the child’s best interest.
If parents are unable to agree on a visitation schedule, the Court will order one. It might include:
Under these circumstances, the parents should tell the judge about any occasion or special dates they wish to have visitation. If they fail to do so, they will likely be left out of the custody and visitation orders.
At Curran Moher Weis, our experienced divorce lawyers have helped countless spouses in and around Alexandria receive optimal outcomes in their divorce, even in the most complex divorces. We are dedicated to family law matters and have vast experience helping people from all walks of life in your circumstances. You can reach us by phone at (571) 328-5020 or online. Schedule a private consultation today to find out more about our services.