It is advantageous to have a separation agreement prepared by legal counsel. Negotiating terms of the 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.
A separation occurs when married people no longer live 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 a marriage in the eyes of the court. These are legal contracts that formally divide everything from a marriage.
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. We can help complete your name change as part of the final steps in your divorce.
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.
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.
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.
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Contact us today at 757-226-0141 to set up an appointment for a confidential legal consultation.
If you are a military servicemember, or the spouse of one, there are facets of Virginia divorce that are specific to the military. For example, there are limits to the amount of financial support for children or spouses that can be deducted from pay.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides military members a wide range of legal protections not available to the general public. For example, if you are a service member, you can not be taken to court for any civil proceedings, including divorce, child support or custody hearings. Therefore, if service personnel are deployed and a spouse decides to file for divorce before they return, the SCRA law requires a stay of proceedings.
If you are a separated or divorced parent in the military, a change of station and relocation can have a crucial impact on your custody agreement. When faced with this difficult situation you will want to have the council of a knowledgeable lawyer on your side. Custody arrangements are subject to individual state laws. In some states, you would lose custody if you move, therefore it is in your best interests to have a military relocation provision stipulated in your custody agreement.
Virginia Beach Military divorce lawyer, Jennifer Oram-Smith has 30 years experience representing military service members and spouses.