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Family Law FAQs

E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law May 6, 2024

Family law isn't just a matter of legislation; it's a critical guide through some of life's most delicate and challenging times. Whether finding your bearings in storms of divorce, seeking the best arrangements for your children, or safeguarding your assets, experienced legal counsel is essential for facing family law matters. 

Gordon’s family law services cover an array of family law aspects, from divorce resolution and child custody to spousal support and marital agreements. With a sharp legal mind and deep empathy for his clients, Gordon is the counsel you want by your side during every step of your family's legal journey. He leaves no stone unturned when pursuing your family's best interests in Lynchburg, Blackstone, and the surrounding areas. 

Answering Your Virginia Family Law Questions 

In familial disarray, clarity is a precious gift. Here are the top ten questions Virginians often have when approaching family law, along with detailed answers. Be sure to reach out to a family law attorney for legal advice tailored to your specific situation. 

1. What legal factors influence child custody decisions in Virginia? 

Child custody decisions in Virginia are guided by the best interest of the child standard. The court considers various factors such as the child's age, physical and mental health, existing relationships with parents and other family members, and much more. Your attorney can guide you on how to align your case with these crucial factors. 

2. When is a prenuptial agreement in Virginia enforceable? 

A prenuptial agreement is legally binding in Virginia if it's in writing and signed by both parties before the marriage. Full and fair financial disclosure is also a requirement for enforceability, as well as court oversight in case of divorce.  

3. How is spousal support determined in Virginia? 

Spousal support, or alimony, is determined on a case-by-case basis. The court considers factors like the length of the marriage, the financial needs and ability of the parties, the standard of living during the marriage, and the reasons for the divorce. It can be temporary or permanent, depending on the case. 

4. What's the process for filing a no-fault divorce in Virginia? 

For a no-fault divorce in Virginia, the spouses must have lived "separate and apart" without cohabitation for a set period, usually one year. If that criterion is met, the process involves filing a complaint with the court and awaiting the final decree. Both parties may need legal representation to negotiate a separation agreement and other terms of the divorce. 

5. How is child support calculated in Virginia? 

Child support in Virginia follows statutory guidelines that factor in the combined income of both parents. The number of children and local guidelines may adjust these calculations, as well as costs related to childcare, health insurance, and extraordinary medical costs. 

6. Can grandparents seek visitation rights in Virginia? 

Virginia law allows grandparents to seek visitation in certain circumstances if it's in the best interest of the child. Eligibility and the process vary, so legal counsel is usually recommended. 

7. What's the difference between a legal separation and divorce in Virginia? 

While a legal separation involves a court order that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each party, divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. Couples who are legally separated remain married but live separate lives. 

8. How does Virginia handle property division in a divorce? 

Virginia is an equitable distribution state, meaning that marital property should be divided in a manner that is fair, but not necessarily equal. The court will consider various factors, such as the contributions each spouse made to the marital property and the marriage itself, to determine what is equitable. 

9. What should I consider if I'm relocating with a child after a divorce in Virginia? 

Relocating with a child after divorce can be fraught with legal complications. Virginia law requires a parent who plans to relocate to give notice to the other parent. The court will examine the reasons for and any adverse effects of the proposed move on the child. 

10. Do I need a lawyer for family law matters in Virginia? 

While not mandatory in all cases, seeking legal counsel for family law matters in Virginia is highly recommended, especially in complicated cases. A skilled attorney can provide invaluable guidance, protect your rights, and help you achieve a favorable outcome. 

Seek the Guidance of a Family Law Attorney 

Virginia family law isn't just about legal proceedings; it's about the lives it impacts. When you're at the crossroads of family and law, E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law, is the advocate you need. With profound insight and unwavering dedication to his clients, Gordon is here to ensure that your family experiences the transition it deserves—smooth, just, and poised for a thriving future. Connect with Gordon today and take the first step toward securing your family's well-being.