Stafford County Family Law Services

Stafford County Family Law Attorney

Dealing with sensitive and private family matters can be a difficult time for your family. Whether it be a divorce, a custody dispute, or another family law matter, you don't need to go at it alone.

At Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC, our experienced family law attorneys understand the emotional and financial challenges that accompany family law issues. We are here to provide you with the knowledgeable and compassionate legal guidance you need to help you make the best decisions for your family.


Our experienced Stafford County family law attorneys will help you navigate the complexities of the divorce process. We will work with you to understand your goals and objectives and will provide you with the legal guidance you need to make informed decisions. We will help you understand the applicable laws and your rights and responsibilities, and we will work with you to develop a strategy to help you achieve your goals.

Child Custody

Child custody disputes can be emotionally and financially draining. Our experienced family law attorneys understand the nuances of Virginia’s child custody laws. We will provide you with the legal guidance you need for your child custody matter.

Child Support

At Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC, our experienced family law attorneys understand the complexities of child support laws and can help ensure that your child support arrangement is fair.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious issue that requires immediate attention. Our experienced family law attorneys know Virginia’s domestic violence laws and will provide you with the legal guidance you need to protect yourself and your family.

If you are facing a family law issue, the experienced family law attorneys at Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC are here to provide you with the legal guidance you need to make informed decisions about your case.

Contact us online or call (540) 306-5780 today to schedule a consultation.

They made going through a divorce as pleasant as can be... they kept me laughing when I felt like crying.

- L.F.
  • Can child support in Virginia be ordered to continue past the age of 18?

    Yes. Section 20-124.2(C) of the Virginia Code provides that support will continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever first occurs.

    The court may also order the continuation of support for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, (ii) unable to live independently and support himself, and (iii) resides in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support. In addition, the court may confirm a stipulation or agreement of the parties which extends a support obligation beyond when it would otherwise terminate as provided by law.

  • Can a Virginia Court award a spouse military survivor coverage in a divorce?

    Yes, Section 20-107.3(G)(2) authorizes the Circuit Court in a Virginia divorce to “order a party to designate a spouse or former spouse as irrevocable beneficiary during the lifetime of the beneficiary of all or a portion of any survivor benefit or annuity plan of whatsoever nature, but not to include a life insurance policy except to the extent permitted by Section 20-107.1:1.”

    This includes the Survivor Benefit Plan, commonly referred to as SBP, which is available to spouse and former spouses of military service members.

  • Can a Virginia court order that a parent pay college expenses for a child?
    Yes and no. Virginia law does not allow the court, on its own, to order that child support include the payment of college expenses. However, if the parents enter into a written agreement providing that one or both of the parents have to pay for college, the court can enforce the parents’ agreement.
  • When can a Virginia Court issue a Protective Order, and what can a Protective Order Do?

    Protective Orders 101

    In Virginia protective orders can be issued between family or household members under Virginia Code Section 16.1-253.1 or if the parties do not meet the definition of family or household member, under Virginia Code Section 19.2-152.9.  Family or household members is defined by the Virginia Code as, “the person’s spouse, the person’s former spouse, the person’s parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, in-laws, individuals with a child in common and individuals that cohabitate within the previous 12 months.”

    Under Virginia Code Section 16.1-253.1, a preliminary protective order in cases of family abuse may be granted in an ex parte proceeding.  Ex partemeans that only the petitioner goes before a judge seeking a protective order. The Court may grant the preliminary protective order upon an affidavit or sworn testimony by the Petitioner.  In order to grant the preliminary protective order, the court must find the following:  The Petitioner was the subject of an act involving violence, force, or threat that resulted in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury.  The events alleged by the Petitioner under Virginia Code Section 16.1-253.1 must have taken place within a, “reasonable period of time.”

    When granting a preliminary protective order, the Court may impose the following conditions: prohibit acts of family abuse, prohibit contact between family members, grant possession of residence to petitioner, grant possession of vehicles, grant possession of companion animals as defined and prohibit either party from cutting off utilities to homes.

    Within 15 days of the issuance of a preliminary protective order, the court under Virginia Code Section 16.1-279.1 must hold a full hearing on the matter.  This means that the Respondent has the ability to hear the evidence against them, confront their accuser, cross-examine the accuser and put on any evidence they wish for the court to hear.  At the conclusion of the full hearing, if the court finds that by a preponderance of the evidence that the Petitioner has proven they are the victim of family abuse, a final protective order, for up to two years may be issued against the Respondent.  At the conclusion of a full hearing for a protective order in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, either party may appeal the outcome to the Circuit Court within 10 days of the ruling.

    Individuals that do not meet the definition of family or household members may seek a protective order under Virginia Code Section 19.2-152.9, in the General District Court if they have been subjected to violence, force or threat.

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