• The Smith Firm PLLC

Questions About Divorce In Virginia Answered

When new clients come to the Smith Firm PLLC for an initial consultation regarding divorce or separation here in Fairfax County, VA, they are armed with a barrage of information that they have gathered via internet, friends or family. A lot of times the information is not only intimidating, to say the least, but also, it is incorrect.

The Smith Firm has put together some of the top questions regarding divorce and separation in VA, to give some insight and clarity to an already tough situation.

Q: If my spouse already has a lawyer will I need one too?

A: Yes! In the state of Virginia, a divorce lawyer can only ethically represent one person in a divorce proceeding - not both.  On both sides of a divorce action there should separate attorneys to ensure their rights are protected.

Q: In the event that we can not agree on everything will we then automatically need to go to court?

A: No! It is true that there are a certain divorce cases that will end up in a final hearing before a judge, however, the vast majority of cases are resolved beforehand...even those cases that begin contentious. A fair and rational decision needs to be made on issues such as children, support, and property.  Truthfully the best people to make those decisions are both divorce parties themselves. A great divorce attorney, like those at The Smith Firm PLLC, will help guide you there.

Most couples may want to work out the issues they face, but need help doing so.  Thankfully there are a lot of tools to assist in that process, such as mediation, where a trained mediator can facilitate communication between the two parties. Another tool would be collaborative law. In collaborative law, both parties retain separate, specially trained attorneys who work together, rather than against one another, in an effort to help the parties resolve their differences.

Q: When is the best time to start planning for divorce proceedings?

A: Immediately. Even if you are still living in the same house, or even sleeping in the same bed, if you or your spouse are considering divorce you should seek counsel immediately to ensure your rights are protected.  What you do in the short term may have a significant impact on your case in the long term.

Q: Can I just renegotiate or cancel a signed agreement if I feel like it's not working out?

A: No. Once you and your spouse sign an agreement dealing with any aspect of your marriage or divorce, you will not be able to change it, whether or not you had a lawyer advising you before you signed it. 

Before you sign any type of agreement, even an informal one, you should discuss the legal and practical effects of the agreement with your attorney.

The choices you make in your separation and divorce may have lasting effects for the remainder of your life, and the lives of your children.  Consulting with an attorney who focuses on family law and divorce will help you to understand your options, and make the best choices for you and your family.

You can contact The Smith Firm PLLC at 703-600-9246 to set up a free initial consultation with one of our experienced family law and divorce attorneys here in Northeastern Virginia, we are happy to help guide you in protecting yourself and your family.

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