When couples find themselves entangled in the painful and emotionally charged process of divorce, it's essential to have a skilled legal team to guide them through the intricate legal procedures. At Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC, we specialize in handling contested divorces in Fredericksburg, Virginia, providing clients with the expertise and support they need during these challenging times.
Call Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC today at (540) 306-5780 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our contested divorce attorney in Fredericksburg!
What is a Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot agree on one or more significant issues related to their divorce. These issues often include child custody and visitation, spousal support, child support, division of property and assets, and more. Unlike uncontested divorces, where both parties agree on all terms, contested divorces can be more complex and require extensive negotiation and legal representation.
In a contested divorce, emotions can run high, and disputes may arise. It's crucial to have a knowledgeable contested divorce lawyer who can provide sound legal advice, strategize effectively, and advocate for your rights in court if necessary. At Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC, we understand the delicate nature of contested divorces and work tirelessly to protect our client's interests while minimizing the emotional strain.
Common Issues in a Contested Divorce
Contested divorces can involve contentious issues requiring careful legal consideration and negotiation. Some of the most common issues our clients face include:
- Child Custody and Visitation: Determining custody arrangements and visitation schedules can be emotionally charged. Our experienced attorneys work closely with clients to develop custody plans that prioritize the well-being of the children involved.
- Division of Property and Assets: Dividing marital property and assets can be complex, particularly when involving high-value assets. We work diligently to ensure our clients receive a fair and equitable share of marital assets.
- Spousal Support: In cases where one spouse is financially dependent on the other, spousal support may be sought. We assist clients in calculating appropriate spousal support amounts and advocating for a fair arrangement.
- Child Support: Ensuring children's financial needs are met is paramount. Our attorneys help clients navigate Virginia's child support guidelines and strive to secure an arrangement that aligns with their children's needs.
- Debt Allocation: Divorcing couples must also address the allocation of debts acquired during the marriage. Our legal team helps clients navigate the complexities of debt division and protects their financial interests.
The duration of a contested divorce can vary widely based on several factors, including the complexity of the issues, the willingness of both parties to negotiate, and the court's schedule. Virginia has a mandatory separation period of at least one year for couples without minor children and a six-month separation period for couples with minor children before they can file for divorce.
During this separation period, our skilled attorneys diligently negotiate with the opposing party and seek amicable resolutions whenever possible. If negotiations stall and court intervention becomes necessary, the timeline may be extended further due to the court's schedule and the time required for legal proceedings.
Our clients want a timely and fair resolution at Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC. We employ strategic approaches to expedite the process while safeguarding our clients' rights and interests.
Navigating a contested divorce is undoubtedly challenging, but with the right legal team, you can navigate the complexities and uncertainties. At Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC, our experienced Fredericksburg contested divorce lawyers are dedicated to providing compassionate yet assertive representation. We work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcomes for our clients while minimizing the emotional toll of the process.
Contact Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC, today to schedule a consultation with our divorce lawyer in Fredericksburg!
They made going through a divorce as pleasant as can be... they kept me laughing when I felt like crying.- L.F.
My spouse and I are separated. Is it ok to date another person?Legally, it is never advisable to date another person while you are involved in a domestic situation that may result in a divorce or custody suit. First, adultery is still adultery, even if the spouses are separated, and it is still a misdemeanor crime in Virginia. In addition, if adultery is proven in a divorce, the “guilty” party may lose the right to receive spousal support. Even if adultery is not committed, however, you still may be accused of it if your behavior indicates a romantic involvement with another person while you are still legally married. In child custody cases, the issue of exposure of the children to an adulterous relationship may become a serious issue. In short, while it may be very tempting, from a personal standpoint, to “date” others after the breakdown of an unhappy marriage, the legal consequences can be serious.
My spouse and I are living in separate rooms and not sleeping together. Does that mean we are "legally separated"?Not necessarily. Separation means that the husband and wife have ceased “cohabitation.” Cohabitation, in turn, is not one single behavior–such as sleeping together–but a collection of behaviors in which husbands and wives typically engage. These include, but are not limited to, eating together, performing household chores for one another, maintaining joint finances, and holding themselves out to the community as a couple. When all vestiges of cohabitation have ceased, the parties can be said to have “separated”, but this means more than not sleeping with or having sex with your spouse.
My spouse and I just separated. Do I need to file for "legal separation"?Virginia law does not have a statutory designation or category for people who are living in a state of separation from their spouses. The state of “legal separation” is commonly used to describe spouses who are no longer living together, where at least one of them has formed the intention to be permanently separated. But living in a state of separation does not itself confer any particular legal status beyond possibly giving one or both of the parties a ground to seek relief from the court–such as possible a divorce, spousal support, child custody, and child support, among others.
Do I have to be separated from my spouse for a year to get a final divorce?Not in all cases. If the ground of divorce is adultery, sodomy, buggery, or conviction of a felony resulting in a prison sentence of more than one year, there is no statutorily prescribed separation period**. For a divorce based on cruelty, desertion, or reasonable apprehension of bodily harm, you need to be separated for at least one year to be awarded a final divorce. A divorce can also be granted based upon intentional separation for a period of one year without proof of any fault on behalf of either party. Also, where the parties to a divorce have no children under the age of eighteen AND a separation agreement, the required period of separation is six months. In any case where a period of separation is required, the separation must be continuous for the entire period and must be accompanied by an intention to make it permanent at the commencement of the separation period. **Note, however, that a number of other statutory conditions DO apply to the granting of a divorce on these grounds.