When choosing a family law attorney, it is important that you consider their experience in that area of law, how much of that experience is in your jurisdiction, and how comfortable you are with the attorney. The nature of a divorce requires sharing a lot of information about matters that you may consider very personal. This is required for the purpose of framing a legal case about the breakdown of your marriage.

There are many financial adjustments and emotional pitfalls to address when going through a divorce, which make it necessary to have a legal advocate that you can trust to have your best interests in the forefront of the legal proceeding. Contact experienced an Leesburg divorce lawyer to have your case evaluated.

Types of Divorce

In Virginia, a person can file for divorce citing fault or no-fault. The reasons can be further categorized under fault as a felony conviction, abandonment, cruelty, or adultery, as grounds for divorce in the filing. Proof of adultery, abandonment, and cruelty are required when citing either as the basis for the divorce. A Leesburg divorce attorney can help you decide which option is best for your circumstance.

Fault-Based Divorce

Virginia is one of the few states that still permits filing for a fault-based divorce. When citing fault, one party is alleging that the breakdown of the marriage was the result of the other party’s actions or behavior. A finding of fault in a divorce could impact the court’s subsequent awards.

A judge may find that an unfaithful party is not entitled to spousal support if their infidelity was the catalyst to the divorce filing. While that is permissible, a judge is not obligated to use that approach when approving settlements. Many judges take the approach that the breakdown of a marriage is not a unilateral incident and do not allow the fault to substantially impact decisions regarding other financial issues.

Filing for Divorce

To dissolve a marriage in the Commonwealth, either party has to have been a resident for a minimum of six months before the filing date. The required period of separation depends on whether the union resulted in children or not.

Once the criteria has been met, there are three options for filing for divorce. The divorce petition can be filed by a Leesburg divorce lawyer in the county where the parties lived before separation, in the county where the non-filing party lives, if they also reside in Virginia, or in the county where the filing party lives, if the other party is not a Virginia resident.

Process Length

If the grounds for divorce are cruelty or desertion, the individuals must be separated for one year before the filing. If the union did not result in children and it is a no-fault filing, a couple is only required to be separated for six months prior to filing.

When the reason for the divorce filing is adultery, the filing party is required to prove the adultery and there is no waiting period before the divorce can be finalized.

Contacting an Attorney

Going through a divorce is an extremely stressful experience for anyone, but you do not have to go through it alone. A divorce lawyer in Leesburg can help guide you through this difficult time and be by your side every step of the way.