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. As a family law attorney in Virginia Beach, Ms. Oram-Smith advises clients about their legal options in all these scenarios. Since every situation is different, the whole process will depend on the details of your case.
Dissolving marriages can be very complex and requires an experienced and skillful divorce attorney. We analyze your situation and develop creative legal solutions tailored 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.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is possible when both husband and wife have reached an agreement as to all of the issues involved in the divorce without going to trial. To obtain an uncontested divorce both parties must be in agreement as to the following issues:
1. Division of property including pensions, retirement accounts, etc.
2. Division of debts
3. Custody and visitation of the children (if any).
4. Child support
5. 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.
When the parties 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.
It is advantageous to have your separation agreement prepared by legal counsel. Negotiating terms of a separation agreement before filing for a divorce permits your attorneys to negotiate and settle issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support during the mandatory one year separation period. This will help avoid costly court litigation.
The terms of a separation agreement often permit spouses to continue to take advantage of health care and tax benefits. Once the separation period has elapsed, the signed separation agreement may be filed with the divorce papers so that the divorce is uncontested and very inexpensive compared to litigation costs of a contested divorce action without such an agreement. Having a written agreement will allow parties with no minor children to obtain a final divorce after only six months of separation.
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 children in a divorce proceeding. This is to insure the rights of the child are represented.
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.
A separation occurs when married people no longer cohabit together as Husband and Wife. Under limited circumstances, a separation may occur even though the parties continue to reside physically in the same residence.
A separation agreement, or a stipulation agreement, or a property settlement agreement is a contract between married parties intending to separate or having already separated which will not itself dissolve your marriage in the eyes of the court. These are legal contracts that formally divide everything from your marriage.
Under certain circumstances, the provisions of a divorce decree addressing child support, custody and visitation, and spousal support may be modified if the financial or living conditions of one of the parties changes significantly.
The most common reasons 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's, 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.
Veteran Virginia Beach divorce lawyer Jennifer Oram-Smith is well qualified to represent you and your interests. Please contact us to schedule a confidential legal consultation at our office located near Town Center and Pembroke in Virginia Beach, VA.
Our Family Law Practice Also serves Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk, Virginia
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Contact us today at 757-226-0141 to set up an appointment for a confidential legal consultation.
Oram-Smith Family Law can advise you about your particular issues of separation and help you draw up a separation agreement that protects your rights throughout the marriage dissolution process, and throughout your separation even if divorce is not your ultimate objective.
Jennifer D. Oram-Smith PC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia