Our Divorce Lawyers Protect Your Rights
When you have decided to dissolve your marriage, there are many issues you must address, and all of them contribute to emotional strain that can be overwhelming. Knowing your legal rights and discussing your goals with an experienced divorce attorney can give you much-needed peace of mind. With Morrison, Ross and Whelan, you get the legal and emotional support you need to feel confident about the process and hopeful that you can resolve these matters and move forward with your life.
Attorney Paul Morrison has more than 30 years of experience resolving complex divorce disputes in Virginia. His skillful assistance can make a world of difference to your future and, more importantly, to that of your children.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Virginia?
Virginia law gives a petitioner for divorce the option of filing no-fault or citing grounds for the divorce. When filing no-fault, the petitioner simply alleges that the marital relationship is irretrievably broken and that the couple has:
- Lived separate and apart without cohabitation for one year
- Lived separate and apart without cohabitation for six months and there are no minor children and the parties have an agreement
Alternatively, the petitioner could allege marital misconduct as grounds for granting a divorce. These grounds include:
- Conviction of a misdemeanor or felony crime in any state for which the spouse must serve at least 12 months of a minimum three-year sentence
- Desertion and abandonment for at least one year
There are several considerations in deciding whether to allege grounds, such as:
- Whether you want to divorce immediately, rather than going through the waiting period required for a no-fault divorce
- Whether you hope an allegation of adultery will affect the court’s decision on child custody and/or alimony
- Whether you are prepared to go through the additional stress and expense of proving marital misconduct in court
It is important to discuss these issues with an experienced divorce attorney who can assess your case and advise you on potential outcomes.
How Long Does A Virginia Divorce Take?
There is no set standard of time for a divorce in Virginia. The amount of time a divorce takes depends on many factors, including:
- Whether the parties are transparent about finances and other issues
- Whether the parties are willing to work cooperatively to reach a settlement
- Whether there are children and whether parents can agree to a parenting plan
- How complex the couple’s finances are
As a rule, uncontested divorces take less time than contested divorces; the former can be concluded in a few months while the latter could take two to three years.
What Is The Difference Between Contested Divorce And Uncontested Divorce?
Before a court can issue a divorce decree, the ancillary issues must be resolved. These include:
A contested divorce is any marital dissolution that requires a court hearing on any of these issues. When parties are able to reach a settlement and present a signed agreement to the court for approval, they avoid litigation and their divorce is uncontested. Many couples use divorce mediation to reach an agreement in a timely and cost-effective manner. We provide the reliable advice you need to pursue the strategy that best fits your circumstances.
Do I Really Need To Hire An Attorney?
Under Virginia family law, you are allowed to represent yourself in divorce proceedings, but this is rarely a good idea. An attorney looks out for your parental and financial rights and advises you of potential pitfalls that could negatively affect them. For example, mothers seeking child support are at a tremendous disadvantage if they don’t have an experienced attorney who knows how to compel the father to disclose financial information.
If you are dividing your property according to Virginia’s laws of equitable distribution, you need to know what assets and debts belong to the marital estate and which belong separately to you or your spouse. Otherwise, you risk suffering avoidable financial losses. If you think you will save money by handling your divorce yourself, you are probably in for a disappointment. Delays and mistakes can extend the process, causing you additional stress and expense, now and in the future.
The better alternative is to retain Morrison, Ross and Whelan for your divorce representation. You get a dedicated and respected legal team, focused on your concerns and goals. We put our clients’ interest first, so we charge reasonable hourly rates and avoid tactics that needlessly run up expenses. With our guidance, you can achieve your goals for divorce within a reasonable time at a reasonable cost.
Contact Us For Capable Divorce Representation
If you are going to dissolve your marriage, trust Morrison, Ross and Whelan to provide highly professional divorce representation. Email us or call us at 540-347-1000 to get started. Our firm is found just off 211 and business 29, in the heart of Fauquier County at 31 Garrett Street in Warrenton.