Charlottesville Family Law Attorneys
Experienced attorneys fight on your behalf through all stages of separation
Divorce can be a long and difficult process — one fraught with fear about the effect it will have on your children, your finances and your future. But by protecting your rights and those of your children, an experienced family law attorney can ease that fear and offer hope for the change that divorce brings.
At Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C., we represent Virginians in divorce proceedings and related legal matters including child custody, child support and prenuptial agreements. Our guidance clarifies the process and helps you understand your options.
Grounds for divorce in Virginia
Divorce laws vary widely from state to state. In addition to seeking a separation agreement, Virginia residents have several possible grounds under which they can file for divorce. Virginia recognizes:
- Divorce from bed and board — Divorce from bed and board encompasses two reasons for separation: abandonment and cruelty or reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. Abandonment, also known as desertion, applies to situations where one or both spouses cease to live together and intend to remain apart. Cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm are provisions that allow one spouse to divorce if that spouse fears for his or her safety.
- Divorce from the bond of matrimony — Virginia allows you to divorce without showing misconduct of any kind if you have lived apart for more than one year, commonly referred to as a “no-fault” divorce. Virginia also permits divorce on the grounds of adultery or if one spouse has been sentenced to prison for a year or more.
In addition to no-fault and contested divorce, collaborative divorce is also an option in Virginia. Collaborative divorce is a process by which you and your spouse negotiate a divorce agreement out of court. It can be less acrimonious and less costly than using the court system.
Prenuptial agreements can save you time and money
Prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as prenups, are sometimes viewed with disdain. Prenups direct how income and other marital assets will be divided in the event you divorce. Some consider them to be cynical or unromantic. However, a properly drafted prenup can ease the divorce process for you considerably — and a shortened divorce saves you time and court costs. If you want to know more about prenups, our lawyers can help.
Attorneys guiding you through child support and child custody battles
Virginia courts base decisions on child custody by determining the best interests of the child. Courts consider a number of factors when deciding what those best interests are:
- The age of the child and his or her developmental needs
- The existing relationship between each parent and the child
- The preference of the child, if old enough
- The physical and mental condition of each parent
- Any history of abuse between family members
There are a number of other factors a court may consider, including any the court considers “necessary and proper.”
Someone who loses child custody may also be ordered to pay child support. A court will determine the share you must pay based on a schedule that takes into account your income and other factors. Income does not include public assistance, supplemental federal benefits, other child support or secondary employment income. Our attorneys can assist you with legal actions related to adoption and prenuptial agreements, child custody and child support and other family law matters. Speak to us to find out more about your case.
Contact us for help with your family law case in Virginia
Our lawyers at Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C. are capable of helping you in a wide range of family law matters, including divorce, child support and child custody. If you would like to learn more about our services, contact us at 434-973-7474 or online to schedule an appointment at our office in Charlottesville or Lake Monticello.