FAQ About Divorces in Virginia

Veteran Family Law And Divorce Lawyer Claudia J. Zucker On Divorce In VA

Going through a divorce can be a stressful time in anyone's life. In addition to the heartbreak and uncertainty, many individuals who are seeking dissolution of marriage are uncertain about the practical details of the divorce process and the Virginia laws affecting divorce. As a family law attorney with over twenty years of experience serving clients in the Fairfax-Arlington area of northern Virginia, I'm familiar with the trepidatious feelings that accompany divorce. The following information should not be construed as legal advice. If you are seeking a divorce, contact my Arlington family law office.

Do I need to show grounds for a divorce?

While the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes several grounds for divorce including adultery, desertion, constructive desertion and cruelty. You may file a divorce at any time based upon these fault grounds if you can allege facts sufficient in your pleadings to prove one of these grounds of divorce. Frequently before the divorce process is completed, parties frequently amend their pleadings and go forward on a no fault divorce instead of proving fault grounds. You and your attorney can file for a no-fault divorce if you can prove that you have lived separate and apart without interruption for a period of one year. This is reduced to six months if you have no minor children born of your marriage; and you and your spouse have entered into a fully endorsed agreement that covers all issues between the two of you including division of assets, custody, and support issues.

Do I need an attorney to represent me?

The Commonwealth of Virginia does not require you to hire a divorce lawyer. It is, however, recommended, for you to speak to an attorney before deciding whether or not you wish to represent yourself.

What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce in VA?

Either you or your spouse must have resided in the Commonwealth of Virginia for at least six months with the intent to remain indefinitely in Virginia.

How is custody of minor children decided?

There are a number of factors that go into determining which parent will receive custody or whether joint-custody will be awarded. The overarching determinant is, "what is in the best interests of the child". Other factors include: the age of the parents and children; the physical and mental condition of the parents and children; whether or not either parent has with held the child from the other party; whether or not either parent has created road blocks to the other parent or their family members; and the expressed interest of the child depending on their age and maturity level.

What are the benefits to retaining the services of a reputable divorce attorney?

While you are not legally required to hire a lawyer to handle your divorce, a professional divorce lawyer can greatly facilitate the process. A Virginia divorce lawyer can:

  • File your paperwork for you
  • Negotiate your settlement
  • Act as an intermediary between you and your spouse or his or her lawyer
  • Review offers from the other party to make certain that they are fair and legally valid
  • Oversee the division of property
  • Protect your legal rights by knowing Virginia divorce law

Family Law and Divorce Lawyer of Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria

For over twenty years divorce lawyer Claudia J. Zucker has represented husbands, wives, parents, and members of the military in their divorces, child custody disputes, and other family law matters. She represents clients in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties. To schedule an appointment with one of Northern Virginia's top divorce lawyers, call (703) 596-1005.