Virginia Beach uncontested divorce attorney Patricia Hardt understands the decay of a marriage can be emotionally trying. Making the decision to dissolve a marriage is not easy. A person in that situation must reconcile all of the hopes and dreams they once had for the future with the reality that the relationship they had with their spouse turned out to have something less than fairytale ending.Sometimes people decide that they will adhere to the commitment they made to their spouse irrespective of whether their immediate happiness is unattainable while others will decide the best thing for them is to divorce. Either way, the decision is not an easy one to make.
Once you clear the emotional hurdle of deciding to divorce, then there are many things to think about when deciding on a course of action.
Considerations like children, health, and financial stability are concerns that every divorcing couples must weigh. Those considerations will be colored by the current state of the relationship. For some, divorce can be bitter, spiteful, hateful, and an opportunity to exact revenge on their spouse. For others, the best course of action is to reach an agreement and end the marriage with an uncontested divorce.
There are substantial benefits to agreeing to an uncontested divorce. Virginia court procedure mandates that couples reduce their agreement to writing. This gives the parties a chance to work out how they want to divide up the marital assets and, more importantly, agree on child custody and parenting time. Resolving issues like property division, child support, and alimony without judicial intervention gives the parties a sense of cooperation and reduces hostility. An uncontested divorce is also more efficient and takes less time to resolve. Court dockets are crowded, and resources are limited. Reaching an agreement before going to court will help end the case faster.
In an uncontested divorce, one party will initiate the divorce by filing a complaint in the Virginia Beach Circuit Court requesting a divorce. Virginia law requires spouses to satisfy certain requirements before they can file for divorce. The most common method of divorce is on “no-fault” grounds.
In Virginia, the spouses must reside apart for six months, or one year if there are children born of or adopted into the marriage to qualify for a no-fault divorce, assuming residential requirements are met. The party filing the case must formally serve the other spouse.
In an uncontested suit for divorce, the responding spouse can waive service if he or she wishes. The parties must reduce their agreement to writing. A judge will approve the agreement if issues like child custody and visitation as well as child support and spousal support are agreed and are not in violation of Virginia law. A judge can approve an uncontested divorce without the parties even appearing in court.
One of the most difficult issues to resolve is child custody. A judge can order a custody arrangement as well as order child support payments to be made to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent for the care of his or her children. Custody may be joint or sole. Joint custody is either joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or a combination of the two. Joint legal custody leaves the custody arrangement and the decision making authority to both parents equally. Sole custody leaves the custodial responsibility to one parent.
Custody issues are not reserved for the completion of the divorce. The judge can decide custody issues, even on a temporary basis, as soon as one party files a decree for divorce. A judge can issue orders relating to the custody arrangement and the child support order. The court determines custody issues by considering the best interests of each child. A judge is obliged under Virginia law to ensure that both parents work to raise their children and that the children can see their parents regularly. Support and visitation orders can last until the child is 19 or longer depending on the educational pursuits of the children or their health problems.
Child custody and support does not end with the divorce decree, even if the parties reached an agreement. Child custody and support orders may be modified from time to time as needs require.
Taking On These Complicated Issues Yourself Is Fraught With Danger – You Are Not Alone!
Not understanding the law and its implications when getting a divorce can cause you to forfeit valuable rights in your children and your property, forever. Do not take that chance. Call Virginia Beach uncontested divorce and child custody attorney Patricia Hardt at 757-962-5588 to schedule an appointment and start protecting your rights today.