Family and Divorce Law
What is Family Law?
When people think of family law, they tend to focus on divorce, but there are many other aspects of family life for which an attorney is needed and where I can help.
Wills. Families and single parents, especially those with younger children, need Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Advance Medical Directives to avoid legal difficulties in the future.
Adoption and Step-parent adoption.
Change of name.
Land contracts and disputes.
Contact me for representation or referrals on any Family Law issues.
When do I need to see a divorce lawyer?
If you are considering separation, or think that your spouse is contemplating divorce, it is important to take steps as soon as possible to protect yourself and understand the legal and financial considerations involved. Clients find it helpful to make an initial appointment to discuss all aspects of their situation and find out what their rights and options are. With this information they are more prepared to face future challenges.
When a marriage is troubled, divorce should rarely be the only solution considered. Perhaps there are other ways that the difficulties can be worked out. Talking to a lawyer does not mean that divorce is inevitable; it is smart to be prepared for the worst just in case.
With a divorce there are many decisions to be made. How those decisions are made can often be just as important to your future as the decisions themselves. During the initial consultation we will discuss both your rights and obligations in a divorce, and the different ways of getting there.
My spouse and I agree on the terms of our divorce. How can you help?
If you and your spouse are in complete agreement on the terms of your separation and divorce, I would discuss your ideas with you, make sure that they are fair and realistic, and then prepare an Agreement for you and your spouse to sign.
If we cannot come to an agreement how can you help?
If it is too difficult for the two of you to talk about these things between yourselves, then you will need help in sorting through the issues. Since most disputes that start down the adversarial path ultimately settle out of court, I encourage clients to first consider a cooperative approach that conserves both emotional and economic resources.
However, if a client’s interests cannot be protected using one of those methods, or the other spouse is not willing to participate in a cooperative solution, I can provide litigation support. Even if you start down the adversarial path and are not able to work cooperatively with your spouse on coming to an agreement, attorneys can sometimes bridge that gap. My training in Mediation and Collaborative law, and many years of experience as a traditional negotiator, is helpful in crafting an Agreement with opposing counsel that will protect your rights.
If a fair agreement cannot be reached, your divorce case, or at least part of it, will likely be tried in Court and a Judge will decide the terms of the divorce. Going to court is expensive, hard on the children, time consuming and stressful, so I see this as a last resort where no other options are available to protect your rights. To this I bring my experience of over 35 years in Virginia courtrooms.
What if we never married?
If you were never married then the Divorce laws do not apply, but there are still issues that come up and need to be resolved.
Custody and Visitation agreements can be reached through any of the methods used for Divorce. These cooperative ways of coming up with a parenting plan focus on what is best for the children involved, and avoid the stress of court proceedings.
If a fair agreement cannot be reached then the Judge will decide who has custody and what visitation the other parent will get. I represent both fathers and mothers in Court and have 35 years experience in crafting court-approved joint custody arrangements and visitation schedules.
Whether you would be paying or receiving child support, I can calculate an appropriate amount and discuss with you whether any adjustments would be warranted in your particular situation.
For more information
To make an appointment to discuss your case, give me a call at (540) 775-9710 or send me an email.
CONTACT OUR OFFICE
9362 Kings Highway
P.O. Box 469
King George, VA 22485
Phone (540) 775-9710
Fax (540) 775-4907
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to many of the common questions about Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce
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