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Experienced Divorce Attorneys Serve Charlottesville, VA

Personalized assistance and capable guidance throughout the process

When you and your spouse decide to end your marriage, the process can be daunting. Facing an uncertain future, you must make decisions regarding your children and your property. An experienced divorce attorney at Joseph & Mische, P.C. can provide necessary guidance and aggressive advocacy to help you dissolve your marriage on favorable terms. We draw on more than 70 years of family law experience to provide fair and reasonable resolutions tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Brief overview of divorce in Virginia

Virginia has fault-based divorce and no-fault divorce. A court can grant a divorce for fault on the following grounds: adultery, cruelty, and desertion. In some cases, a court will also grant divorce if your spouse has been convicted of a felony and incarcerated for more than one year. A petitioner who files for divorce based on grounds must be prepared to present specific, reliable evidence of the marital misconduct.

No-fault divorce is easier on the parties, because it does not require proof of marital misconduct. However, no-fault divorce does require a period of separation before you can file. The length of the separation varies based on your circumstances. For parties with children or parties with no written agreement, the separation period is one year. For parties with no children and a written agreement that resolves all issues between them, the separation period is six months.

Our Charlottesville divorce attorneys have experience in all aspects of divorce cases and have handled many no-fault and fault-based divorce cases. They are prepared to help you make the best decisions for your particular situation.

The divorce process in Charlottesville, VA

Our attorneys make sure you understand your rights and options as well as the entire legal process. Here are, briefly, the essential steps for seeking divorce in the Commonwealth of Virginia:

  • Meet the residency requirement — At least one of the parties to the divorce must have been a resident of the commonwealth for the last six months.
  • Consult with an attorney — To avoid costly missteps and protect your rights, you should speak to an experienced attorney before you take any legal action. Our knowledgeable divorce lawyers can suggest strategies for reducing the time, expense, and stress of your divorce.
  • File the Petition — Also known as the complaint, this document asks the court to dissolve your marriage and to settle your ancillary issues (alimony, child custody, child support, and property division) on terms you specify. You must file in the court of the county where you or your spouse resides. The court requires some additional documents, and fees apply.
  • Serve your spouse — You must arrange for a third party to serve the Summons and Complaint.
  • Your spouse answers — After service, your spouse has a brief window of time before he or she must file an Answer with the court. The Answer can contain a Cross-Bill, where your spouse asks for the divorce on different terms.
  • Pendente lite hearing — If a dependent spouse needs an order for temporary support, the court entertains motions and may issue an order for temporary alimony and/or child support.
  • Discovery — In more complex divorces, parties may make demands of each other for information, including financial documents.
  • Negotiating your marital settlement — Throughout the process you can attempt to negotiate a marital settlement with your spouse to obtain an uncontested divorce. You might even enter mediation to reach a settlement.
  • The hearing — If you have reached a settlement by your court date, you can present the agreement to the court for approval. If you have not reached a complete agreement, any unsettled issues are placed on the court calendar for trial.

Depending upon your circumstances and the willingness of each party to reach agreement, your divorce can take a few months or much longer. Our experienced and attentive family law attorneys assist you through every step of the process.

Contact our Charlottesville law firm for your Virginia divorce

For knowledgeable and reliable divorce representation, trust a law firm with more than 70 years of combined family law experience. Call the Charlottesville office of Joseph & Mische, P.C. at 434.260.8749 or contact the firm online to schedule a confidential appointment.

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Office Locations
  • Charlottesville Office
    198 Spotnap Road
    Suite A-1
    Charlottesville, Virginia 22911
    Phone: 434.984.1118
    Fax: 434.984.1917
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