Family Law FAQs
Is there a required separation period in Virginia before obtaining a divorce?
In Virginia, if you have a signed Property Settlement Agreement with your spouse and do not have minor children, you must be separated for a period over six months before you can file for divorce.
If you do not have a signed Property Settlement Agreement or you do have minor children, you can file for divorce once you have been separated for a period in excess of one year.
If you have fault grounds to file for divorce, the statutory separation period need not be met before filing. Please note that the time to ultimately obtain your divorce can be much longer if it is a contested divorce. With uncontested divorces, one can obtain his/her divorce within a couple of months from filing their Complaint for Divorce. For more information, please contact Safi, Duran & Chim, PLLC, to schedule a consultation.
If I wanted to pursue mediation to avoid having to have a court proceeding when obtaining a divorce, can you help me?
Yes! Couples can attend mediation with or without an attorney. However, even if you do not have an attorney present, we advise our clients to have me review any Property Settlement Agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement before they sign.
While mediation is a great process, efficient and cost-effective, the mediator cannot give you individual legal advice like your attorney can. This is why it is important to speak to an attorney before and during mediation, even if the attorney is not present. For more information, please contact Safi, Duran & Chim, PLLC to schedule a consultation.
Do Virginia Judges favor Mothers in custody proceedings?
Most Courts in Virginia often favor one parent having primary custody of the children, if that parent was the primary care-taker of the children during the marriage. If both parents shared in the upbringing of the children fairly equally during the marriage then the Court will consider this in determining whether to award a shared schedule or award one parent primary custody.
For more information, please contact Safi, Duran & Chim, PLLC, to schedule a consultation.