Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys Virginia

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STEERING THROUGH A DIVORCE IN FREDERICKSBURG

Divorce is a rough patch in the life of any couple. It affects the couple, children, and other family members. The equation between the two families changes forever when a marriage ends. Many couples in Fredericksburg VA are confused when it comes to the dissolution of marriage and do not know what to do or where to start. If you are in this unfortunate situation, the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. is here to guide you. Our VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys have complete knowledge and are well versed with the laws in Virginia. Therefore, let’s get started. Here are answers to the questions you’ve been pondering over ever since you decided to live apart.

Our Practice Areas

Alimony

Alimony

Annulment

Annulment

Child Custody & Visitation

Child Custody & Visitation

Child Support

Child Support

Divorce

Divorce

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Legal Separation

Legal Separation

Military Divorce

Military Divorce

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements

Protective Orders

Protective Orders

Separation

Separation

The dissolution of a marriage does not stop with getting a decree. Several related issues follow a dissolution that needs to be settled with the help of reputed VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys and these include:

Virginia Divorce Lawyer
  • Spousal support
  • Child support
  • Child visitation
  • Marital property distribution
  • Protective orders
  • Premarital agreements
  • Adoption
  • Name change, etc.

GROUNDS FOR FAULT AND NO-FAULT DIVORCE IN FREDERICKSBURG

  • Adultery: If you or your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys have convincing evidence of your spouse having sexual intercourse outside of marriage, it is a strong ground for dissolution. Buggery or sodomy are the other grounds. In this case, there is no waiting period for filing dissolution by the attorneys.
  • Cruelty: Proof of physical injury or reasonable apprehension is required in this case. The behavior of your spouse endangering your life or health is treated as cruelty. Even abusive words and repeated neglect is a strong ground. If you are a victim of cruelty, our VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys can guide you through the rough patch.
  • Abandonment: If you or your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys can provide proof of abandonment where the spouse refuses sexual intercourse and not fulfilling marital duties, dissolution can be granted after one year from the date of desertion.
  • In Fredericksburg, legal separation is not granted by the court. The couple, with the assistance of the experienced VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys, can prepare a separation agreement explaining they have been living apart and their properties and debts are divided. Any issues relating to child support, spousal support, and visitation are resolved with the help of this agreement. The couple with no minor children can file for dissolution with the help of the services of attorneys after they have lived apart for 6 months and those with minor children after living apart for 1 year.

There are instances when a person qualifies for both fault and no-fault dissolution of marriage. While deciding on the grounds, the VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys consider the pros and cons. Fault-based cases include adultery, felony conviction, imprisonment for a year, and desertion.

ADVANTAGES OF FAULT-BASED DIVORCE IN FREDERICKSBURG

In the case of no-fault dissolution, there is no mandatory waiting period. When a spouse needs quick or temporary child support while the case is pending, the pendente lite is the ideal procedure and the assistance of a reliable VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys is vital for it. The fault-based filing is the best move when one partner is wrong. The plaintiff and their attorneys have to provide evidence that the defendant is at fault. Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys have immense experience in handling fault cases placing you in an advantageous position.

Just like every merit has demerit, so does the fault-based dissolution of marriage. It may not be easy for the attorneys to acquire proof of fault and it is a huge burden on the other partner. However, the Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys with long-standing experience in the field can solve this issue, if you are sure of the wrongdoing. The fault-based case requires strict evidence and it is complex and expensive to acquire proof. Our VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys have immense experience and understand the trick for quick proof.

Couples feel fault does not have a waiting period and this can expedite their dissolution case. Sometimes, it can turn out to be cause for delay, if the affected spouse is unable to procure the evidence. Talk to your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys before deciding on filing fault divorce.

The law in Fredericksburg offers a defense of condonation if the erring party wanted to continue their marriage despite the spouse being aware of the misconduct. Moreover, the law also calls for the defense of recrimination if both are engaged in misconduct. In such cases, it would be difficult to file adultery-based dissolution. If you are in such a situation, contact the right VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys at once.

Understanding the pros and cons of fault-based dissolution of marriage is crucial before proceeding. The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. has hands-on experience in the subject and can provide you the best advice on how to proceed. Our VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys discuss the implications of fault-based dissolution.

DEFENSE TO DIVORCE

The dissolution process begins when the plaintiff’s divorce attorney files for dissolution against the defendant in a circuit court in Fredericksburg, VA. The defendant’s VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys has 21 days to answer once summon is served. The defendant can either admit or deny the allegations and submit the facts. The defendant’s Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys in Virginia will then file a counterclaim and may even seek relief from the plaintiff.

UNDERSTANDING PROCEDURAL DEFENSE

In Fredericksburg, the procedural defenses are many and are listed herein:

DOMICILIARY PREREQUISITES

According to the Virginia Code Section 20-97, either of the party should be a resident of the state and continue to be so six months before filing the lawsuit. The plaintiff should have a permanent residence in Fredericksburg, VA six months before and at the time of filing a lawsuit. The court does not grant a divorce if the domiciliary prerequisites are not fulfilled. A local VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys has a better understanding of the local laws and can help in your case. For this, it is best to get in touch with the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C.

UNLAWFUL MARRIAGE

According to the Virginia Code Section 20-38.1, the following is not a valid marriage when:

  1. A marriage entered before the previous marriage ended for either of the parties
  2. Marriage between descendant and ancestor or brother and sister, irrespective of whether it is half or whole or adopted
  3. Marriage between uncle and niece or aunt and nephew, irrespective of whether half or whole.

If you are in an unlawful marriage and want to end it, our VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. can give you the best advice to settle the case.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The plaintiff should file dissolution with the help of attorneys within five years from the date of adultery; else the statute of limitations can be used as a defense by the erring spouse. In case you are nearing the timelines, call a senior Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys in Virginia to file a lawsuit. Our lawyers at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. can guide you thoroughly.

RES JUDICATA

The doctrine of res judicata can be invoked by the defendant if the cause of action already litigated is being brought in again. In such a case, the defendant’s Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys can request the court not to discuss the matter again.

Depending upon the conduct of the parties, several defenses can be raised in Fredericksburg, VA.

DEFENSE OF RECRIMINATION

When both the spouses are guilty of adultery and one raises the issue against the other, the defendant can seek a defense of recrimination. It can result in refusal of divorce for either party. It is a defense used for fault-based dissolution and cannot be used in no-fault grounds. Experienced VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys understand the nuances of the Code and help their client when caught in such circumstances.

CONDONATION DEFENSE

It can be referred to as an act of forgiveness for adultery or other misconduct of the erring spouse. If the other spouse takes back the erring spouse after the discovery of adultery and resumes marital life and sexual relationship with the spouse, he/she cannot file for a divorce on the same grounds later. At this point, the erring spouse can raise condonation defense with the help of a VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys. The defense is only for the innocent spouse and is raised as a defense by VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys in fault-based cases.

CONNIVANCE DEFENSE

If one of the spouses is aware of the extramarital affair of the other and has encouraged it, then that spouse cannot file for dissolution of marriage on the same grounds. In such cases, the defendant or the erring spouse can raise connivance defense with the assistance of a learned VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorney. The court will refuse dissolution if a connivance defense is raised. In such cases, the VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys suggests the plaintiff seek a no-fault dissolution. Connivance can be explained as consent from the plaintiff to the defendant to indulge in misconduct and using it as a ground for dissolution. In simple terms, connivance and condonation can be differentiated as the former occurs before misconduct and the latter after the misconduct. In either case, the assistance of attorneys is needed.

JUSTIFICATION DEFENSE

A defendant can justify desertion as unable to live with the spouse due to extreme cruelty and outrageously bad behavior forcing him/her to leave their marital home. If you are facing abuse, talk to your attorneys now!

There are several defenses available, but you need to pick the right one. Your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys can assist you in the process through their experience and subject knowledge. The Law Office of SRIS, P.C., with their team of learned VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys, review the facts and strengthen your case.

HOW DISCOVERY PLAYS A PIVOTAL ROLE IN FREDERICKSBURG VA DIVORCE?

Discovery happens before a trial begins and your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys have a large role to play. It is a pre-trial procedure to acquire evidence from concerned parties and third parties to a lawsuit.

DISCOVERY IS CRUCIAL AND IT INCLUDES:

  • Interrogatories are questions answered under oath. Your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys prepares the questions with your assistance.
  • Requests for documents from the concerned party including bank statements, property documents, tax returns, emails, debts, etc. Your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys uses these documents during the equitable distribution of marital property.
  • Request for admissions are allegations given in written either accepting or denying the charges under oath. These can be pursued by skilled VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys.
  • Subpoenas are called for material evidence or testimony of witnesses from outside parties. The subpoenas are generally collected by VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys.
  • Depositions are answers derived by the VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys compelling the witnesses under oath either on a live video or in person.

Depending on the discovery tools, the cases are filed in the court. In a circuit court, the discovery is by default and the concerned party’s VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys can seek permission from the court before the proceedings.

HOW TO SURVIVE A DISCOVERY PROCEDURE IN FREDERICKSBURG?

The procedure could be lengthy, time-consuming, and expensive. Some tips to overcome the process are:

  • In a contentious case, the discovery could prove beneficial. Ask your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys to explore informal discovery to exchange documents and information without court interference. It saves money and time. The responses and requests can only be time-consuming and create suspicion. The concerned VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys can exchange content informally. If the opposite party is unwilling to engage in informal discovery then opt for court-supervised discovery.
  • Formal discovery can be seen as an opportunity to collect evidence and witnesses before a trial. The documents could be crucial for your case. It can allow your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys to prepare for the trial. After the discovery, the concerned parties have 21 days to respond. The VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys will need some time to review, compile, and complete the responses. It is a stressful process for the VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys but documents help build a strong case. In most cases, the VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys begin the discovery process well in advance to save time and stress. Do not give a chance for “motion of compel” by failing to give complete responses.
  • Demand a complete response from your spouse. Ask your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys to get a deficiency letter ready outlining the concerns in your spouse’s responses, where information is incomplete or false. Your VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys can set a supplementation deadline and ensure it is met. It can help prepare your case if any important content is missing.
  • Either party is entitled not to answer a question if burdened, over the subject scope or harassment or intimidation, etc. Your VA Attorneys can decide what is objectionable and fair. In some cases, the VA Fredericksburg Attorneys will move the Fifth Amendment right if it is self-incriminatory. Do not get extreme with objections. The Virginia Supreme Court permits a broad scope of inquiry and your Fredricksburg divorce attorneys can assert or object privileges whenever necessary. The recent amendment allows adverse inference to be drawn when a party seeks protection under the Fifth Amendment.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANNULMENT AND DIVORCE

Annulment in the state of Virginia is limited and can be divided into Void Marriages and Voidable Marriages.

Void marriages are from the beginning and only a few are annulled. It is a nullity as per law. Since it is already null, it does not need any proceedings or judicial declaration. However, the concerned parties may want to obtain a judicial declaration for annulment. Talk to good attorneys to understand annulment.

Voidable marriages are legal until it is annulled by judicial determination. The annulment should be brought before the judge to challenge the validity of the marriage. Prudent and intelligent attorneys can help you out of the mess. The grounds for voidable marriage annulments include duress, impotence, mental ill-health; husband fathered a child of another woman, wife pregnant with another man’s child, a conviction for a felony, and prostitution.

Annulment and divorce are two different aspects. In the case of annulment, the marriage is dissolved permanently without any awards. It is devoid of legal protections that come in a divorce. Family attorneys will be in the best position to assist you in pursuing your case.

The dissolution of marriage can be a tormenting experience for the couple as it has far-reaching implications. It affects not just your family life but your profession too. Before you realize, things change, demanding quick decisions. The best way to do it is to talk to the VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys. The couple needs to address issues like assets, money, and children. In these troubled times, having reputed VA Fredericksburg Divorce Attorneys by your side can keep you confident. The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. are skilled at handling family law cases in Virginia. Our VA Fredericksburg Attorneys can mitigate the risk in your case and give you quick relief.

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