Virginia Law Attorney Serving Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, and Essex
Legal issues affecting families can be some of the most difficult for clients to go through. Whether you are considering a divorce in Virginia, you are working toward a difficult child custody case, or you are grappling with domestic violence, you should know that a Virginia family law attorney can help you with your case. Family law is an area of the law that encompasses many different legal matters that can impact a family, and it is critical to have an experienced Virginia family law attorney on your side. Our firm will represent you at every stage of your case, from planning to a divorce to seeking a child custody modification. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to learn more about how we can assist you.
Family Law Cases We Handle in Virginia
At the Law Office of Steven D. Barnette, P.C., we assist clients with a wide variety of family law cases, including but not limited to the following:
- Filing for divorce;
- Separation agreements;
- Contested and uncontested divorce;
- Property division;
- High asset divorce issues;
- Spousal support or alimony;
- Child custody;
- Child support;
- Domestic violence; and
Family law is a complex area of law in Virginia, and it includes many different issues that affect families. If you have questions or concerns about any legal case affecting your marriage, your parental responsibilities, or other family matters, our firm can speak with you about your case.
Child Custody and Support in Virginia
Child custody and child support are two major legal issues that often are determined in divorce cases in Virginia, but these legal matters can also arise when parents share children and decide to separate. In a child custody case in Virginia (Code of Va. § 124.2), the court must rely on the “best interest of the child” standard to determine how it will award child custody. Courts award legal custody (the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing and well-being) and physical custody (spending time with the child and participating in the child’s day-to-day caretaking). Courts can award joint or sole legal custody and joint or sole physical custody with visitation.
When it comes to child support in Virginia (Code of Va. § 20-108.2), courts use an income shares model to determine child support. What this means is that the court will look at both parents’ incomes to determine the total child support obligation, and will apportion the total obligation based on each parent’s income, physical custody, and other relevant factors.
Under Virginia law (Code of Va. § 20-91), grounds for divorce can include fault-based grounds or a “no fault” option that is available for parties who have lived separate and apart for one year, or separate and apart for six months if they have a separation agreement and no minor children from the marriage.
Our firm handles both uncontested and contested divorces. An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties have reached an agreement about all issues in the divorce, from the division of marital property to child custody and support. A contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot reach an agreement about all issues in the divorce. Even a disagreement about a single issue will result in a contested divorce, which will require the court to make a ruling based on the facts of the case.
Separation Agreements in Virginia
Separation agreements can be made prior to a divorce in a collaborative environment between the parties. For many married couples who are planning on a divorce, a separation agreement is ideal because it can allow you to play a key role in determining how marital property will be divided and child custody will be shared without involving the court. If you have a separation agreement in place, you may be eligible for a quicker divorce, as well.
Virginia Domestic Violence Cases
Domestic violence involves any type of assault, battery, threats, or other acts of violence committed by one family or household member against another family or household member. Domestic violence cases in Virginia can be criminal offenses, and they can result in a parent’s ineligibility for child custody in certain circumstances and the possibility of a protective order.
If you have questions about seeking a protective order, or you need information about how domestic violence will impact your child custody case, our Virginia family lawyers can help.
Contact Our Virginia Family Law Attorneys
If you have any questions about a family law matter, or if you need assistance with a divorce case, a child custody or support matter, or a domestic violence issue, or a modification, our firm can help. Do not wait to seek representation from an experienced Virginia family lawyer. Whether you are planning to file for divorce or you have experienced a change in circumstances and need to modify an existing family law court order, our firm is here to assist you. Contact the Law Office of Steven D. Barnette, P.C. online or call us at (804) 693-2274 today to learn more about how we can help with your family law matter. We serve clients in Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, and Essex.