What if your spouse wants a divorce and you do not?
The situation often arises when one spouse wants to get a divorce and the other does not. This can be a very egregious situation that leads to much grief and anxiety. This is especially true if you have children. If your spouse is determined to get a divorce, whether you agree or not, first and foremost you must protect your interests, your children and your right to access and child support.
There are options available such as a separation agreement, or a stipulation agreement, or a property settlement agreement. These are legal contracts that formally divide everything from your marriage. These agreements are important so that all matters such as child custody and visitation, child and spousal financial support, and property and asset division is put in writing, even if divorce is not your ultimate goal.
Because these agreements are a legally binding contract, for your protection no agreement should be completed and signed without the aid of professional counsel.
Below is some information that may help you understand the legal process related to marriage dissolution. Divorces have basically two types, contested or uncontested, and are based on fault or no fault. Fault or no fault means the basis or grounds on which a divorce has been filed.
Are You Contemplating Getting a Divorce?
Sometimes irreconcilable differences occur in marriages and the decision to get a divorce is usually not an easy one, especially if children are involved. Dissolving a marriage can often be a very complex matter that requires an experienced and skillful divorce attorney. The Virginia Beach Family Law office of Jennifer Oram-Smith has over 25 years’ experience representing clients in all matters related to family law.
As one of the best divorce lawyers in Virginia Beach, and a veteran Family Law attorney, Ms. Oram-Smith is well qualified to represent you and your interests. She has a combined total of over 30 years as a lawyer and has represented hundreds of clients with skill, competency and compassion.
We will thoroughly analyze your situation and consult with you on developing strategic legal solutions perfectly suited to your specific needs and goals. Together we can decide whether mediation, collaborative process, negotiation of settlement, arbitration, court litigation or some combination of these is advisable based upon your circumstances.
An uncontested divorce is possible when both husband and wife have reached an agreement on all issues involved in the divorce without going to trial. To obtain an uncontested divorce both parties must be in agreement on all issues of division of property including pensions, division of debts, child custody and visitation, child and/or spousal support.
We can help you determine whether an uncontested divorce may be possible for you and what details should be included in any such agreement by analyzing your situation thoroughly.
A divorce is considered "contested" when the parties (husband /wife) have not reached agreement on some or all of the issues. We can negotiate with your spouse’s attorney to reach equitable agreements concerning marital property division, custody issues involving the children and all other issues related to the dissolution of your marriage.
Property and Debt Division
In the state of Virginia all property that is acquired during the marriage must be divided in an equitable manner. This may not necessarily mean equally. Many issues are taken into consideration and the settlement can be achieved in formal court proceedings or in negotiation between counsels.
Spousal and Child Support
Financial support designation is usually the most contentious aspect of divorce. We will walk you through the separate guidelines for spousal support and child support establishment. This is important because you want to have a competent divorce attorney to help you work through the complex process and toward a reasonable outcome.
Child Custody and Visitation
Determining the status of the children is the most painful and emotional part of marriage dissolution or legal separation. There are many issues to consider when determining child custody and visitation and we will walk you through the process and help you determine the most advantageous custodial arrangement for your situation.
Representation of Children in Divorce
In some cases the state of Virginia provides for the appointment of a lawyer to serve as “guardian ad litem” for the child in a divorce proceeding. The court shall appoint a competent attorney-at-law as guardian ad litem to any child who is alleged to be abused or neglected. In all other cases, the court may appoint an attorney-at-law as guardian ad litem for the child if the court finds that the interests of the child are not otherwise adequately represented. Ms. Oram-Smith is certified by the Virginia Supreme Court to serve as Guardian ad Litem for children in custody and adoption cases.
Post divorce issues can arise when the provisions of a divorce decree no longer suit your circumstances. Modifications addressing child custody, support and visitation, spousal support and other considerations may be modified if the financial or living conditions of one of the parties changes significantly.
The most common reason for seeking post-divorce modifications are related to increases or reductions of income of either of the parties. This would be pertinent to requests for revisions to spousal or child support.
Parental relocation, altered living conditions of one of the parents, including co-habitation or remarriage would be pertinent to changes in child custody or visitation schedules.
When modifying divorce decrees concerning custody or visitation of children, the overriding concern of the courts is the best interests of the child. We work closely with our clients seeking or defending post-divorce requests for modification to help them understand both the law and the likelihood of obtaining or opposing a modification.
We are committed to a high level of representation and will proficiently handle your case to move it through the legal process as smoothly as possible. During the process we are your advocate, looking out for your best interests and assets. We will work hard to secure a fair resolution in all matters pertaining to your case.
Initial consultation fees are reimbursed on your first billing statement after retaining our firm.
We accept credit cards for the convenience of our clients. (MasterCard, Visa and Discover.)
If you don't have time for an in person meeting, we do phone consultations for your convenience.
Call (757) 226-0141 today to schedule a confidential legal consultation at our office located near Town Center in Virginia Beach, VA.