Answering Common Family Law Questions
Family is one of the most important things in the world, and facing a dispute between your family can be very stressful. At Northern Valley Law, we have been practicing family law for years and often see clients come in confused and worried. Below, we have outlined some of the most common questions we receive from potential clients and their answers.
What does the “best interests of the child” mean when the court talks about it?.
You will likely hear this phrase a lot throughout family court proceedings. It has become one of the court’s most important determining factors. There’s no one answer, but it shows that the court takes into account things like the child’s age, their mental condition, their relationship with the parents, the role that each parent has played in their life so far and so on. The best interest standard in Virginia is judged by Virginia Code Section 20-124.3 and can be found at: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title20/chapter6.1/section20-124.3/.
What happens to property in a divorce?.
In a divorce, property is divided. If you do not have a prenup, it is generally divided equitably, which means fairly, not equally, although it often ends up being relatively equal. Again, in the division of property, courts take into account factors like the lifestyle of the family prior to divorce, each parent’s job and finances and more.
Why should I hire an attorney?.
Though you can always technically represent yourself in court proceedings, it is not advisable. The family court system is complicated, and an attorney who understands it will be a great help to you. Also, a divorce or other family law issue is often emotionally fraught. It will be hard for you to be certain you are advocating for yourself the best way possible.
When should I talk to an attorney if I want to file for divorce?.
You should always speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you know how to approach the situation in order to minimize conflict.