Dissolving a marriage is notorious for being an emotionally draining, time-consuming, and expensive process. While it is true that some divorces meet these criteria, the reality is that many aspects of divorce are misunderstood. In an effort to help ensure that you are not misled regarding the divorce process in Virginia, we’ve included a few details about some of the most common divorce-related myths. If you have further questions about any of these common misconceptions, or concerns about your own divorce, please contact one of our experienced Virginia divorce attorneys for assistance.
Spouses Who Cannot Agree on Everything Must Leave All Determinations Up to a Judge
Although some divorce cases do end up in litigation and must be tried before a judge, the majority of cases are actually resolved beforehand by the parties in question, as well as a team of professionals. For instance, many couples attend mediation before filing for divorce in court and so have the benefit of a skilled mediator who can facilitate communication and help the parties reach a resolution. However, even after these efforts have been made, it is not uncommon for two spouses to disagree about one or more issues. In these situations, the parties can take the remaining matters to the court, who will then review the settlement arrangement regarding the agreed-upon issues and then issue decisions on those matters that have not yet been resolved.
Spouses Who Move Out of the Family Home Lose Their Right to the House
Fortunately, just because a spouse moves out of a shared residence, does not mean that he or she automatically forfeits rights to the ownership of, or equity in that house. That is not to say that moving out of the residence will not have any legal implications. For instance, the party who moves out of the house will often be ordered to temporarily help pay a portion of household expenses despite not living in the residence, at least until the divorce is finalized.
Both Parties to a Divorce Can be Represented by the Same Attorney
Many people go into the divorce process thinking that both they and their partner can use the same attorney during the course of their divorce proceedings. However, this is actually unlawful in Virginia, which only allows a lawyer to represent one party during a divorce. This rule was put in place to ensure that the rights of both spouses are protected during divorce and that lawyers are not ethically compromised by helping one party to the determinant of another.
Divorce Agreements that are Unworkable Can be Renegotiated or Cancelled
Once a couple signs a divorce agreement and a court reviews and approves it, the parties are required by law to abide by the terms of that agreement. The only way to change the terms of that contract at a later date is to request modification in court, which requires the presentation of evidence demonstrating a substantial change in circumstances, as to custody, spousal support or child support. Most other elements of the agreement may be completely non-modifiable.
Contact an Experienced Virginia Divorce Attorney
To speak with a dedicated divorce lawyer about your own divorce, please call Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. at 703-591-7475 today.