Most states allow what are called "no-fault divorces." In these states, a couple can end their marriage by agreement and without proving that one or both parties engaged in conduct detrimental to the marital relationship. Virginia's divorce laws make the path to marital termination somewhat more complex.
Most couples who get married and later choose to end the marriage will follow the legal steps for a divorce. Occasionally, however, a marriage is either void from its inception or contains a legal flaw that allows either spouse or a third party to commence an action to annul the marriage. The difference between a divorce and an annulment is straightforward: a marriage that is terminated by an order for annulment never existed in the eyes of the law. A marriage that is ended by divorce is a marriage whose legal existence was ended by judicial decree.
Many Virginia residents who have endured the stress and anxiety of a divorce believe that the process is over when the court signs and enters the final order. Unfortunately, for some, life does not always proceed as they expect, and unanticipated events can often create a need to modify the court's final order for custody or support. Can such modifications be accomplished? If so, how?
Family law disputes are common in Virginia and it is often left up to the court to issue orders and make sure they are followed. If there is a family law order regarding spousal support or child support, or additional support and maintenance are owed and the person ordered to make the payments fails to do so, it is important for both sides to understand what steps will be taken under the law. For people who are dealing with these issues, getting the right legal information is crucial to attempt to settle the matter for the party who is to receive the payments and the party who has been ordered to pay and has been accused of failing to do so.
Anyone in Northern Virginia who is contemplating a divorce may be concerned about the emotional and financial stress of the process. Mediation could be a means of expediting the divorce process and alleviating the inevitable emotional turmoil. An understanding of the basics of mediation can be the path to a relatively smooth divorce process and an outcome that is acceptable to both parties.
Most residents of northern Virginia know that paternity means the legal relationship between a child's biological father and a child. However, this relationship cannot be established as easily as the obvious relationship between a mother and her child. A man can admit to being the father of a newborn child born by an unmarried woman by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. If the parents are not married, signing this form is an easy way for the father to establish the child's last name and to ensure that this is the name entered on the birth certificate. Most birthing hospitals have the form available, but if the form is not available, it can be obtained and signed at the Office of Vital Records in Richmond, at a local health department clinic or at local departments of the social services and child support offices.
Our readers may have heard the news that following a recent wedding in Las Vegas, actor Nicholas Cage is sought an annulment after only having been married for four days. While this might seem to be a story out of a movie or television program, the fact of the matter is that sometime a couple who quickly realize that their marriage will not last will seek an annulment rather than a divorce. This may cause people to wonder, how does an annulment differ from a divorce?
Deciding to end a marriage is a major life decision, and one that most couples do not take lightly. However, those in Virginia who have decided to divorce should know that they are not alone. Many people, young and old, divorce and sometimes remarry.
The number of couples in the U.S. who decide to end their marriage is on the decline for adults born between 1981 and 1996 -- also known as "millennials" -- according to some researchers. However, the fact of the matter is that some millennials in Virginia and across the U.S. will still decide to divorce. Younger adults are more apt to have a greater social media presence than older adults -- from Facebook and Instagram accounts, to Twitter feeds and accounts other social media platforms. These individuals may also be more likely to use online services to facilitate their divorce.
Not every marriage ends in bitterness and rancor. In the age of "conscious uncoupling," some couples in Virginia, while recognizing that their union is no longer tenable, still want to try to end things in a cooperative manner. These couples may find divorce mediation to be an attractive option.