Experienced Family Law Attorneys Helping People in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Harrisonburg VA
Expertise.com Rated Best Family Lawyer in Richmond
We have represented over 25,000 Virginians across 4 decades in business and know that every legal case is always…personal. Especially when it comes to divorce, separation, same-sex marriage, adoptions, and other family law disputes.
Our Richmond family law attorneys can also work through specific problems regarding child custody child custody, property division, spousal support, or alimony. In Richmond, Petersburg, and surrounding cities, our child support lawyers will discuss your options in light of your goals and circumstances so that you leave our office with a workable plan.
In Virginia, the law requires that child support and custody disputes be handled in the best interest of the child (or children) involved. This means our lawyers put an emphasis on what will benefit the child the most. When doing so, we consider multiple factors to win you the title of the primary custodial parent.
Experienced Divorce Lawyers Richmond
At Cravens & Noll, our Richmond family law attorneys can fully explain and walk you through specific issues regarding child custody, child support, property division, spousal support, or alimony. During your initial consultation we will clearly discuss and educate you on all of your options in light of your goals and circumstances so that you leave our office with a workable plan.
In Virginia, the law requires that child support and custody disputes be handled in the best interest of the child (or children) involved. This means our lawyers always put an emphasis on what will benefit the child the most. When doing so, we consider multiple factors to win you the title of the primary custodial parent.
With regard to property division, our Richmond divorce lawyers can help you decide whether you should proceed with a simpler Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) or the harder way with court litigation. If you anticipate difficult issues with respect to the division of property, contested child custody issues, alimony problems, or any other matter that will need to be resolved eventually, we will give you a solid understanding of your rights and responsibilities and assist you in making the right decisions. Virginia law allows you to take whichever approach suits you best and our trusted and local lawyers will help you through every step of the way.
We specialize in the following Family Law cases:
- Division of Marital Property
- Custody & Visitation rights
- Paternity cases
- Child support cases
- Adoption cases
Adoption Attorneys in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Harrisonburg, VA
Adopting a child is a special and very joyous time for families. Our well-versed lawyers represent all aspects of family law including adoption cases. While these cases can be complex, our Virginia adoption lawyers are here to help the process go as smoothly as possible. No matter the type of adoption, we will work on your behalf through juvenile and domestic relations courts to give you legal guardianship and custody of your adoptive child.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to get a divorce?
That depends on why you are getting divorced. If your divorce is granted because you and your spouse have been separated for the requisite period of time, commonly called a “No-Fault Divorce” then legal costs start at $900.00. If you are seeking a “Fault Divorce” you will need to speak to an attorney about your circumstances before we can give you an estimate of the cost for your divorce.
How is child support determined?
Judges calculate child support using specific guidelines that factor each parent’s incomes, along with healthcare and daycare expenses for the children, to determine each parents support obligations. Although these guidelines establish a presumptive obligation, unique circumstances allow the court to deviate from the guidelines.
What happens with my spouse's retirement accounts?
All contributions made to your spouse’s retirement accounts during the marriage is considered a marital asset and assume to be owned jointly. You may be entitled to receive a portion of your spouse’s retirement accounts through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order which transfers those funds to you without incurring penalties and tax liabilities associated with early withdrawals. Make sure to make your attorney aware of any retirement accounts during your consultation.
What are “No-Fault” grounds for divorce in Virginia?
Virginia is a “no-fault divorce” state, which means that there doesn’t need to be any showing of wrongdoing on the part of one spouse for the other to file for divorce. Generally filing for a no-fault divorce requires irreconcilable differences between the parties and a period of separation. Six months of separation if you don’t have children with your spouse, 12 months if you do. At the end of that separation period you can file for a no-fault divorce with the court.
Do I have to go to court for a No-Fault or uncontested divorce?
Divorce does not require that you enter a physical courtroom unless you and your former spouse cannot agree to all of the terms. If the two of you can agree, everything is done by mail and a judge signs the order without ever seeing either of you.
What should I bring to my consultation?
To get the most out of your consultation, bring copies of tax returns, income documentation, retirement and/or pension plan statements, any evidence that bolsters your allegations, financial documents regarding your home like mortgages and appraisals, recent bank statements for both spouses, and if there is an existing order in your case, the court-ordered documents.
Why is my case in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court? The parties are all adults.
While the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court handles all cases involving juveniles – including juvenile crime, child abuse and/or neglect, in Virginia, disputes that are between household and family members are also heard in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. This court was established to hear these hearings specifically because disputes between household and family members are unique and each family unit is unique in its own right.
For a Same Sex Marriage, what do I need to do to be married in Virginia if I’m already married in another state?
There is nothing that you need to do. Virginia recognized valid same sex marriages from all other states.
Will my Civil Union be recognized as a Same-Sex Marriage?
No. A civil union is not a marriage and it does not provide the same protections or benefits. If your goal is to be married, you need to obtain a marriage license from the Circuit Court where you reside.
What qualifies as Domestic Violence or Abuse?
The Code of Virginia defines family abuse as any act involving violence, force or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault or bodily injury. There are different types of domestic violence or abuse and each is varied and unique to every individual. Generally speaking, domestic violence or abuse can be defined as physical or emotional harm committed against yourself and/or your family. Physical domestic violence or domestic assault is a crime in Virginia.
How can I seek protection from Domestic Violence or Abuse?
- Emergency Protective Order – issued by a magistrate or law enforcement and it expires after 72 hours
- Preliminary Protective Order – issued by a judge and generally expires after 15 days
- Permanent Protective Order – issued by a judge and generally expires after 2 years
Should I seek legal advice about Domestic Violence?
Most definitely. An experienced attorney can help resolve legal issues that arise as well as provide guidance and recommend available resources to aid in dealing with domestic violence issues. Domestic violence or abusive relationships can be complex. The law has various resources and tools available for use. It is important to consult with someone who can help you to navigate and use the resources available to you.
Who is considered a Family or Household Member in Virginia?
Virginia Code § 16.1-228 defines a family or household member as:
The person’s spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person,
(ii) the person’s former spouse, whether or he or she resides in the same home with the person,
(iii) the person’s parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, regardless of whether such persons reside in the same home with the person,
(iv) the person’s mother-in-law, father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who reside in the same home with the person,
(v) any individual who has a child in common with the person, whether or not the person and that individual have been married or have resided together at any time, or
(vi) any individual who cohabits or who, within the previous 12 months, cohabited with the person, and any children of either of them then residing in the same home with the person he or she resides in the same home with the person.
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