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Virginia Divorce Law

Divorce Laws in Virginia

Virginia divorce laws have maintained fault and no fault divorces. However, all grounds as well as fault and no fault divorces must be “corroborated” by an independent witness who has knowledge of the situation based on his own findings. The standard of proof, for example, for desertion, cruelty and for no-fault divorces is a preponderance of the evidence.

Spousal Support & Equitable Distribution in Virginia

Virginia is known as an equitable distribution state. According to the divorce laws in Virginia this means that the marital property must be divided fairly or equitably, but not necessarily equally. However, the court will not distribute any property until the end of the divorce case. The best the court can do is to order a “freeze”, which orders both spouses not to sell or dispose of any property until the final hearing.

Alimony, known as spousal support, can be granted to either the husband or wife, under the divorce laws in Virginia. Such factors and the prior standard of living and the duration of the marriage shall be considered when awarding spousal support.

Virginia Child Support, Child Custody and Child Visitation

According to Virginia divorce law, custody is the legal right of a child to the best care possible. Therefore, neither parent has an inherent right to the custody of his or her children. Only what is in the best interest of the child will be considered. However, the parents may decide who receives custody of their children. If they are unable to come to an agreement the court will then resolve the matter. Such issues as the relationship with the parents, the needs of the children and the reasonable preferences of the children will be considered. The non-custodial parent will usually be granted visitation rights. However, the parents may also decide upon visitation rights. If they cannot come to an agreement in advance the court will make a determination also based upon the best interest of the children.

Child support (a percentage of the non-custodial parents income paid to assist with the support of his children) is determined by the statutory guidelines as set forth by divorce law in Virginia. Both parents have a duty to support their children based on the combined gross income of both. Such factors as the costs of medical insurance, day care and any extraordinary medical costs are considered.

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