Leesburg, Virginia Divorce Blog

Where to seek support for complex Virginia child custody issues

When Virginia couples divorce, they must resolve a number of issues before the court can issue a final decree. Such issues typically refer to property division matters, as well as alimony, child support (if spouses have children) and child custody topics. The latter can spark contention between spouses if they disagree about what is best for their children.

Agreeing to terms regarding your children's future lives after divorce is an intensely personal process. It pays to have an experienced family law advocate on your side, especially if you anticipate problems. For instance, if you believe your spouse's presence is a detriment to your children's well-being, an attorney can help you gather evidence and present your case in court.

What kind of financial support will you get in your divorce?

The financial changes brought by a divorce are significant. The end of a marriage will require both parties to adjust to changes in their retirement savings, disposable income and their lifestyle expectations. This is not always easy to manage, especially for a spouse who does not work or earns significantly less than his or her partner.

This is why sometimes a court will grant spousal support. This is a type of financial support paid by the higher-earning spouse to the lesser-earning spouse to offset the economic inequity brought about by a divorce. These payments may be made for a “finite duration." A specific term or number of years or for an “indefinite duration.” If you believe you have a rightful claim to these payments, you will want to take steps to understand exactly how it works.

Reasons many Virginia spouses decide to divorce

It is not uncommon for married couples in Virginia and elsewhere to experience ups and downs in their relationships. Raising children, lack or surplus of money, extended family matters, employment and other life issues can take a serious toll on a marriage. There are some problems that are reportedly the most frequently cited reasons for divorce.

As one might guess, infidelity is at the top of most lists regarding why married couples file for divorce. It is understandable that a spouse who learns his or her partner has cheated would feel betrayed and angry and perhaps decide that the damage done on the marriage is irreparable. Nearly as prevalent as extra marital affairs, arguing about finances is another big problem issue that often leads to break-ups.

Infidelity alleged in Ilhan Omar's divorce

By the end of this year, many married couples in Virginia will be among others across the country who end thier marriages. Which spouse files for divorce often depends on individual circumstances. In many cases, such as a recent court filing by freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, infidelity is alleged.

Omar's professional life often makes headlines. Her career in the U.S. Congress has sparked controversy. In fact, there have reportedly been threats against the congresswoman's life. Now, it is her personal life that is a central focus of media attention, as she recently filed for divorce from her husband, with whom she has three children.

No need to handle child custody problems alone in Virginia

When you decided to divorce, you knew it would have an impact on your children's lives. You also believed that there wasn't any reason the temporary disruption would necessarily ruin their lives, only change them and prompt the need for a period of adjustment as you and they adapt to a new lifestyle. In a perfect world, you and your ex would agree on all child custody issues and a Virginia family court judge would approve your agreement, then everyone could simply leave the past behind and move on in life.

In reality, however, custody issues are common sources of discontent between former spouses who, after divorce, become co-parents who are no longer in a personal relationship together. When you and your ex have a difference of opinion as to what is best for your children regarding where they should live, who should have custody, what the terms of your parenting agreement should be or any issues involving finances, it can lead to thorny legal problems. If you know ahead of time that your spouse is likely to try to throw a wrench into things when custody proceedings begin, it's a good idea to know your rights ahead of time and also where to seek support if a problem arises.

Bringing up divorce is a delicate matter

The idea of ending a marriage could bounce around in a Virginia resident’s mind for a long time before it becomes a reality. When a person does decide that divorce is the best course of action, it can be difficult to bring up the topic with his or her spouse, even if the marriage is not in a good place. Though some people may consider this a rip-off-the-Band-Aid type topic, it may be wise to give some thought to ould broach the topic.

When bringing up the topic of divorce, the timing of the conversation could make a considerable difference in how the other party takes the news. If the other person is already stressed, emotional or in a bad mood, it may not be the best time to announce the desire to end the marriage. Waiting until a time when the atmosphere is more conducive to productive conversation could make a difference.

Want less conflict in divorce? Consider mediation

No Virginia resident starts out his or her marriage with the plan to later get divorced. Of course, not all marriages see long and happy years, and many people do choose to end their marriages in hopes of finding more happiness as single people or in different relationships. Still, that means that the parties will need to separate their current lives, and mediation can often help.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method. Rather than having to go through courtroom litigation, individuals can work with their legal counsel and a mediator to come to terms with less conflict and over less time. This method can save money, keep personal affairs out of the public record, prioritizes compromising and offers a chance of improved communication between the parties involved.

Pursuing a strong financial future after a gray divorce

Going through a divorce is never easy, particularly for two people who are older and nearing retirement age. Gray divorce, a divorce involving parties who are age 50 and up, is financially complex and can significantly impact a person's plans for his or her golden years. It's especially important for a person to think about the implications of his or her choices during this process.

If you are older and considering divorce, you may want to think about ways you can intentionally pursue a strong future. This may mean setting aside how you feel in the moment and focusing on what makes the most sense long term. Gray divorce is on the rise, and you may find it helpful to start learning about ways you can protect yourself during this time.

Divorce can definitely have an impact on a back-to-school season

Like those in other states, kids in Virginia recently returned to their classrooms as summer break came to a close. The back-to-school season is often hectic, especially for students entering new schools. It can also be especially challenging for students whose parents filed for divorce over summer. Building a strong support system ahead of time provides a safety net of resources that a concerned parent can tap into if a problem arises.

Becoming co-parents means learning to work together to keep the children's best interests in mind. Even parents who are willing to cooperate and compromise for the sake of their kids might run into certain legal issues during a new school year that they perhaps did not anticipate. For instance, if a child's mode of transportation or bus route needs to change because of a divorce, it is critical that a parent get in touch with the school district and/or the child's teacher to discuss the matter ahead of time.


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