Getting divorced is never easy. It can be less stressful if you understand the basic laws that apply in divorces and how the process works in Virginia.
However, there are a number of myths about getting divorced in our state that some people believe.
Myth #1: You Can’t Get Any Relief Until Your Divorce Is Finalized
Some people believe that the judge cannot make any decisions in a divorce until the end of the case. This is not true. A judge has the power to issue temporary orders and often do. They are authorized to order the following:
- Require one spouse to pay spousal support and maintain their partner’s health insurance
- Award temporary custody of children of the marriage and require one or both parents to pay for medical insurance and medical care for them
- Require the non-custodial parent to pay child support
- Order one party to pay the living expenses and other debts incurred during the marriage
- Prevent either party from restraining the personal liberty of the other spouse
- Give one partner exclusive possession of the marital home
Myth #2: A Spouse Who Commits Adulty Cannot Receive Alimony
In most divorces, a spouse who commits adultery is not entitled to spousal support in Virginia. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The judge would need to consider the degree of fault for both parties in causing the divorce and the financial situation of each spouse in deciding whether to award alimony.
Myth #3: Child Support Obligations Always End When a Child Turns 18
While it is true that most child support payments would stop when a child reaches 18 years old, this is not always the case. Child support can continue after a child is 18 years old if they are a full-time high school student, are not self-sufficient, and live in the home of one of the parents.
Myth #4: An Attorney Can Represent Both Spouses
Both parties to a divorce should be represented by their own experienced family law attorney. Even if the divorce is uncontested and the parties have resolved all the issues in their case, they have potentially conflicting interests. One lawyer cannot effectively represent them both.
Are you thinking of filing for divorce in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Fill out our convenient online form on this page to schedule your free consultation today to learn how we can assist you.