307 Rio Rd W, Charlottesville, VA 22901

Charlottesville Separation Agreements Lawyers | Virginia Contested & No-Fault Divorce Attorneys

Laura Blair Butler, An Aggressive Virginia Attorney Experienced with Separation Agreements with offices in Charlottesville and Lake Monticello                                   

What we do for our clients

You probably never imagined yourself needing a separation agreement. At the Charlottesville law firm Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C., Laura Butler provides aggressive legal representation concentrating in divorce and separation agreements.

She works hard for her clients, and understands the emotional and financial issues surrounding a divorce can be tough, even on the strongest individual. She offers a variety of legal options to help reduce the stress as well as legal fees. 

For years, Tucker Griffin Barnes has supported and recommended mediation to help families solve disputes without hiring an attorney. But when mediation is not an option, and legal prowess and experience are required, Ms. Butler is here to help. When you hire Tucker Griffin Barnes, you have an extremely formidable advocate on your side at the negotiating table and in court.

What some of our clients have said about Ms. Butler

  • “Wonderful law firm…Laura Butler is the best! Very realistic, yet understanding.”
  • “In every professional dealing I have had with Laura Butler, I have found her to be exceptionally knowledgeable and well-prepared. Her knowledge of the law has been thorough in each of our dealings. In addition, she has consistently been able to see my situation and her counsel has been to the point and helpful for me specifically. She has earned my trust in her judgment. I find her to be pragmatic and an effective communicator – able to grasp the situation and to communicate clearly the counsel, advice, and solutions that are best in each situation.”
  • “When you first interview Laura Butler, it is apparent you are in the presence of a true professional in all aspects of family law. From her childhood, Laura was exposed to this often contentious environment presented by the divorce of her parents. From this experience, she can offer valuable counsel to children involved. Her communication skills with her clients are exceptional. Laura is always prepared. I never saw her surprised either in or out of court. She treats all adversaries with respect, and then proceeds to dismantle them. When I saw how well she knew, and could quickly recall, the details of my case, in court, I was amazed. The other attorney had to refer to his notes to get the names and ages of the children, while Laura was able to give names, ages and the schools they attended without referring to anything. I could tell the respect the judge had for her.”

Frequently asked questions about Virginia divorce

What is a Separation Agreement?

Unlike many other states, Virginia does not have legal separations granted by the courts. However, a husband and wife in Virginia may enter into a separation agreement. By use of such a document, a couple may agree to live separate and apart, and to divide their property and debts in a mutually acceptable way. Where the parties have minor children, they may also provide for child support and child custody and visitation in their separation agreement.

Separation agreements usually provide that any divorce of the parties will be on the no-fault ground of separation of the parties. With such an agreement in place, once the parties have separated and lived apart for the appropriate time (six months with no minor children, twelve months with minor children), either party may then file for an uncontested divorce on the no-fault ground of separation. As usual, every situation is unique. It is highly recommend that each party have an experienced attorney review their separation agreement before either party signs.

Am I entitled to, or obligated to pay, alimony?

A court may grant to either party spousal support (alimony) that is temporary, permanent, or a lump sum based on several factors:

  • The obligations, needs and financial resources of the parties, including but not limited to income from all pension, profit sharing or retirement plans, of whatever nature;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age and physical or mental condition of the parties and any special circumstances of the family;
  • The extent to which the age, physical or mental condition or special circumstances of any child of the parties would make it appropriate that a party not seek employment outside of the home;
  • The contributions, monetary and non-monetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;
  • The property interests of  the parties, both real and personal, tangible and intangible;
  • The provisions made with regard to the marital property under section 20-107.3;
  • The earning capacity, including the skills, education and training of the parties and the present employment opportunities for persons possessing such earning capacity;
  • The opportunity for, ability of, and the time and costs involved for a party to acquire the appropriate education, training and employment to obtain the skills needed to enhance his or her earning ability;
  • The decisions regarding employment, career, economics, education and parenting arrangements made by the parties during the marriage and their effect on present and future earning potential, including the length of time one or both of the parties have been absent from the job market;
  • The extent to which either party has contributed to the attainment of education, training, career position or professional of the other party; and
  • Such other factors, including the tax consequences to each party, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.

Do I need an attorney for a family law proceeding?

Although it is possible to represent yourself in family court, it is not advisable in the vast majority of cases. Should you choose to represent yourself, the court cannot assist you with your case. You are held to the same requirements as the other party’s attorney. If you mishandle your case due to lack of knowledge or skill, an attorney may have difficulty reversing your mistakes.

What is your fee structure?

We handle cases on a flat fee or hourly basis depending on the complexity of your case. We offer initial consultations at our hourly rate. At the end of the consultation, we can determine the appropriate fee structure for your case, and you can evaluate our services and decide if you want to hire us. We accept all major credit cards to assist with payment.

Tucker Griffin Barnes PC – Where deep insight equals powerful advantage.


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