Virginia Family Lawyer
Family law is a large practice area, involving marriage, divorce, adoption, child custody paternity, and other things related to a family. Family laws also address disputed issues such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Below are the matters that Virginia family laws apply in.
The Virginia divorce process is started when one spouse files a complaint with a Virginia Circuit Court in the place where either of the two spouses lives. The complaint includes basic information regarding the marriage, the grounds for divorce and details regarding children resulting from the marriage. The complaint and a legal notice are delivered to the other spouse by a third party, usually by the County Sheriff’s office. A Virginia family lawyer can aid the spouse to file this complaint and once the divorce process is ongoing, provides additional legal guidance and assistance during the steps that will come next.
In deciding custody, in accordance with the laws of Virginia, the court shall give consideration to the best interests of the child. The court shall assure minor children of frequent contact with both parents, when appropriate, and encourage parents to share in the responsibilities of raising their children.
In determining the best interests of a child for purposes of deciding custody or visitation arrangements, the judge shall consider the following factors:
- The age, physical and mental state of the child;
- The age, physical and mental state of each parent;
- The relationship that exists between each parent and each child, and considering the positive involvement with the child’s life;
- The necessities of the child, considering other important relationships of the child, including siblings and friends;
- The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the raising and care of the child;
- The reasonable choice of the child;
- Any history of abuse or sexual abuse in the family.
- Parental rights. Parents must be proven to be unfit before the children will be given to someone else.
- Continuity of placement. If children are doing fine where they are, do not cause problems by moving them.
- Children’s choice. A judge will take into consideration who the children want to live with.
In the state of Virginia adoption is the process of placing children who are permanently separated from their biological parents with a new family. As stated by Virginia adoption law, there are only two forms of adoptive placements that are permitted, agency and non-agency placements.
Divorce Cost in Virginia
- Without children: the average divorce without children involved in Virginia costs $14,500, $11,500 of that are the attorneys’ fees.
- With Children: The most costly sector of divorce in Virginia is one involving children. The expenses of a divorce that involves child custody and/or child support problems can be about fifty percent more expensive than the average. Divorce costs an average of $21,800 in Virginia when minor children are involved, $18,400 of that are attorneys’ fees. Nonetheless, costs for divorce with children are significantly lower for couples who are able to agree on a settlement before the trial starts.