Divorce is a legal process, but it has emotional, financial, and social impacts. Because the effects of divorce extend into almost every aspect of your life, it can feel overwhelming; this is true even if you are the spouse who initially decided to seek the divorce. In addition, most people who are facing a divorce have never been through the legal process before; the unfamiliarity of the divorce process only adds to the stress of the situation. Our Virginia divorce attorneys understand how difficult it can be to know the right steps to take.
At Strickler, Platnick & Hatfield, we have guided hundreds of people through the often complex and challenging process of divorce. We represent our clients with the sensitivity they deserve during this difficult time, and with the powerful advocacy they need. Our Virginia divorce attorneys will provide you with the guidance and tools you need to navigate the divorce process and move forward with your life.
There are two divorce processes in Virginia: “divorce from the bonds of matrimony” and “divorce from bed and board.” Divorce from bed and board is the equivalent of a legal separation; it does not end the marriage and the spouses cannot marry anyone else at that time. When we speak of divorce in Virginia, we are generally referring to divorce from the bonds of matrimony, which officially ends the marriage. Some spouses first seek a divorce from bed and board before ultimately pursuing a divorce from the bonds of matrimony.
In Virginia, as in many states, you must have grounds for divorce: a reason that the law deems good enough to end the marriage. There are no-fault grounds as well as grounds based on the fault of one party, such as adultery, cruelty, or desertion. A no-fault divorce requires that you and your spouse have lived separate and apart without interruption for a year if you have children, or six months if you don’t have children (or your children are adults) and you have a signed Settlement Agreement. The decision of whether to file for divorce on fault or no-fault grounds can be a strategic one, and the guidance of an experienced Virginia divorce attorney is essential to help you make that determination.
While Virginia divorce can begin with the filing of a lawsuit, most divorces settle without the need for any litigation, or settle at some point in the lawsuit before the final trial. There are a variety of means to reach settlement, including attorney-assisted negotiation or mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution which will help you end the marriage without the need for litigation. The attorneys of Strickler, Platnick & Hatfield are skilled negotiators as well as seasoned litigators. Our thorough preparation and creative strategy are calculated specifically to achieve our clients’ goals. We work diligently to help our clients reach a favorable settlement, but we are well-equipped to go to trial if necessary to protect the interests of our clients.
Divorce is full of important decisions, but the only one you need to make alone is the first: which law firm you will work with. Strickler, Platnick & Hatfield offers you the opportunity to work with Virginia divorce attorneys who have practiced family law for their entire careers, and who concentrate their entire practice in family law. Our extensive experience in divorce, child custody, and spousal support allows us to advocate effectively for what you need.
We take a team-oriented approach, so that each client can benefit from the perspectives and skill sets of multiple attorneys even as they work closely with their primary attorney. This collaboration allows us to develop strategies tailored to your unique case. We are tactical in our approach to every divorce case, always staying (at least) one step ahead of our opponents.
Last, but certainly not least, we are compassionate. We never lose sight of the fact that the work we do in every divorce case affects the lives of real people—our clients and their children—for years to come. We offer you support through the divorce process, and empower you for the next chapter of your life.
We invite you to contact Strickler, Platnick & Hatfield to schedule a consultation to discuss your individual situation and learn how our divorce attorneys can help you during every stage of the Virginia divorce process.