Richmond Family Law and Divorce Attorneys
Experienced Virginia Lawyers Managing Emotional and Legal Issues
Divorce and other family law issues are some of the most emotionally charged in all of law. In addition to working through these emotions, there are several financial and legal aspects of divorce that must be considered. Our Richmond family law and divorce lawyers have the knowledge and skill to guide you through the entire process.
At CowanGates we have served families since 1977. We view family law broadly, and we are ready to sit down with you, identify your needs and goals, and provide the comprehensive, thoughtful legal advice you deserve. Our clients include civilians, and active duty and retired military personnel.
Understanding the Divorce Process
One of the most important things you can do if you are facing divorce is to gather a strong support system. This can include friends, a counselor, social worker or minister. We like to think of ourselves as part of our clients’ support system as well.
Our attorneys will help you determine whether you should file for fault-based or no-fault divorce. In Virginia, a divorce can be granted for reasons such as adultery, cruelty, desertion, or a felony conviction. A no-fault divorce can be granted based upon the parties’ separation. A couple with children under the age of 18 must live separately for one year before obtaining a no-fault divorce. A childless couple may file for a no-fault divorce after a six-month separation, if they have a signed property settlement agreement. Without such an agreement, couples who do not have children must wait one year to file for a no-fault divorce.
We will protect your rights at every step of the process, including on issues of:
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support and spousal support (alimony)
- Property division, such as real estate, automobiles, bank accounts, retirement accounts and more
- Post judgment modification of divorce-related orders
Avoiding a Lengthy, Costly Court Battle
For couples who are willing to enter into a less adversarial process, mediation is a cost-effective means for arriving at a divorce settlement amenable to everyone involved. Mediation allows couples to negotiate how certain assets will be divided, how child custody arrangements will be structured, and what to do about marital debt. Consequently, mediation puts couples in charge of their own outcome rather than risk having a judge impose terms neither party finds satisfactory.