A divorce can be an overwhelming experience. The end of a relationship is difficult enough but the added stress of having to handle the logistical elements of a divorce. While Fairfax divorce dynamics can be stressful to handle alone, an attorney can be an invaluable asset during this time. If you are considering getting a divorce, speak with an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through the process.
Unique Aspects of Fairfax Divorces
Fairfax County, and maybe a couple of other jurisdictions that are geographically close by do not appear to place much value in terms of the case on fault-based divorces. For example, if a person files an adultery-based divorce in one particular jurisdiction, it might have a greater impact when the judge weighs the factors in making the decision in the case. The law itself is not any different, but based on my experience the different judges in different areas can approach certain facts very differently in a divorce case.
The number of cases that go to trial is rather small. Cases that go to trial on all issues are probably 15% to 20%, so maybe even less for all divorce cases. There are a good number of cases where parties can settle some issues, but not others. It is a small percentage of cases that get litigated and submitted to a judge for decision. A much greater portion of cases are settled prior to trial.
Divorce Process for Couples With Families
One aspect of Fairfax divorce dynamics is that Fairfax, for many years now, has utilized its own unique process of bifurcating divorce cases. That means if there is a divorce case pending on the court system where there are issues of custody or visitation the court will hold a hearing related to the determination of custody and visitation separately from the rest of the divorce issues.
In a case where a couple is going through a divorce and has kids, what will happen in Fairfax is that a trial date will be set for custody and visitation and within another 30 or 45 days after the custody hearing date, there will be a hearing on the final divorce. That hearing will include determinations of the grounds to divorce and all financial issues.
The reason behind bifurcating divorces in Fairfax was the concern that the divorce litigants were leveraging custody against money and they felt that that was not in the best interest of the children or families. The idea of breaking down the divorce trial into two parts was designed to try to avoid parties negotiating custody against some financial issue.
Common Mistakes Made In Fairfax Divorces
One of the common mistakes that are made by people going through a divorce is that they are not careful in terms of how they handle their money. For example, the parties might commingle marital assets with separate assets, which could make it difficult or impossible to trace out separate assets for purposes of the divorce case. Parties also sometimes remove or hide money or other assets in an attempt to keep these assets from being divided in the court. That almost never works and ends up backfiring on the person doing it.
The court is required to figure out which assets owned by the parties are separate assets and which are marital assets. Once that has occurred, the court can look at the marital assets, place a value on those assets, and decide how to divide those assets between the parties. However, when it comes to a party’s separate assets, those assets cannot be divided by a court in a divorce case.
The other mistakes people often make, and many do not intend to, is involving the children, even if it is in a tangential way and the disputes of the parents. That happens with some regularity and in those circumstances, parents should be provided guidance to minimize the negative impact on the children.
How a Fairfax Divorce Lawyer Can Help
A Fairfax divorce lawyer would be able to advise a party about the entire process of divorce and all of the relevant Fairfax divorce dynamics, including what to think about before even approaching the person’s spouse about a divorce and things to do to protect themselves in the event that the other party gets upset at the idea of a divorce. An attorney will be able to tell a person what their rights may be in terms of assets, support, and custody. An attorney can also help assist navigate the legal process.