Virginia Beach Family Lawyer
No matter what family legal issues you may be dealing with, having an experienced family law attorney by your side to represent you in court and defend your rights is crucial.
While divorce and custody disputes are common family-related legal issues, family law attorneys also help clients with a number of other issues, including adoption, paternity, alimony, reproductive rights, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, relocation requests, modification of separation agreements, LGBTQ issues, and even parental abduction.
At Hardt Law, P.L.L.C., our Virginia Beach family law attorneys have the knowledge and skills to help you with any legal issues you may be dealing with, no matter how big or small. Our compassionate lawyer is committed to helping our clients understand their rights, resolve intrafamilial disputes, and guide you through the legal process.
Contact Hardt Law, P.L.L.C. today at (757) 962-5588 for a free consultation.
Child Custody, Visitation, and Parenting Time
Determining child custody and visitation/parenting time is one of the most important aspects of the divorce process for couples that have children. Disputes often arise during discussions about custody, so we highly recommend hiring an attorney to protect your right to spend time with your kids.
In Virginia, the courts steer most couples toward joint custody, as it is often in the best interests of the child to spend time with both of the child’s parents. When parents have joint physical and legal custody, the child resides with both parents (though they may not necessarily split their time 50-50 between both parents’ homes), and both parents have decision-making authority over the child.
In some cases, the courts award one parent sole custody of a child. Rarely, the custodial parent will have both physical and legal custody over the child. However, most of the time in sole custody cases, both parents still retain legal custody over the child. Even if the child does not reside with the non-custodial parent, the non-custodial parent is still entitled to have a say in major decisions regarding their child.
If only one parent has primary custody of the child, then they must set up a visitation schedule so that the child can spend time with the non-custodial parent. Every visitation schedule is unique and based on what works best for the family.
Child and Spousal Support
In Virginia, both parents are financially obligated to provide for their children, whether they are married or divorced. If the court awards one parent primary custody, then the custodial parent may request child support from the non-custodial parent. Only the non-custodial parent can be required to make child support payments. The court will consider variables such as educational costs, healthcare costs, childcare expenses, parental income, and more.
After discerning whether the person who is requesting spousal support, or alimony, qualifies to receive it, a Virginia court will weigh a number of factors to determine how much alimony the payee should receive and for how long payments must be made. Some of the factors include employment, future earning potential, and parenting arrangements.
Calculating child and spousal support can be challenging on your own. Given the complicated and contentious nature of these issues, you should contact the attorney at Hardt Law, P.L.L.C. to help you understand your child and spousal support obligations and resolve any potential conflicts.
Relocation Requests and Abductions
After a couple gets divorced, one of the two former spouses could decide to relocate. Because the distance between the two parents’ homes is a major issue of concern when the parents share a child, relocation requests can be contentious. While Virginia courts cannot stop a parent from relocating, they can stop a parent from relocating with a child.
If a parent requests to relocate with a child, they’ll need to be able to demonstrate that doing so will not negatively impact the child’s relationship with the other parent. If the court grants the relocation request to the custodial parent, they may change the visitation schedule to allow the non-custodial parent more time with the child during their visits since visits are likely to be less frequent after the custodial parent relocates. The court could also mandate that the custodial parent pay for travel expenses so that the child can visit the non-custodial parent in Virginia.
If a parent kidnaps their biological child after a custody order has been issued by the court, they can be charged with a crime. The consequences of parental abduction are very serious. If the parent takes the child to a location within Virginia, they are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail. If the parent takes the child out of state, they can be charged with a Class 6 felony, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and one to five years in prison. That parent can also be charged with contempt of court if they violate a court order.
The family law attorney at Hardt Law, P.L.L.C. will work hard to help you resolve any conflicts that arise if you or your ex-spouse decide to relocate to a different region. We can also help parents who have had their children taken from them by an ex-spouse in violation of a court order.
Modification of Prior Custody, Child Support, and Spousal Support Orders
Life is not static, and personal circumstances can change over time after a divorce. If you experience a major life change, you might need to modify existing court orders for child custody, child support, and alimony. For example, if you have to relocate to a new state for work or were laid off from your job, you could file a motion to modify your current arrangement.
If you are facing a significant life change or change in financial circumstances, our attorney at Hardt Law, P.L.L.C. can explain how this change could impact your court orders and help you navigate the modification process.
In order to obtain child support from a child’s biological father not married to the mother, the mother of the child must verify the father’s paternity. Conversely, people who have fathered children and wish to exercise visitation rights and be involved in their kids’ lives may need the help of an attorney to prove paternity.
Establishing paternity can have benefits for both parents and their children. However, establishing legal fatherhood often involves going to court, so it’s always a good idea to secure legal representation beforehand.
Contact a Virginia Beach Family Law Attorney
If you are facing a family legal matter, contact Hardt Law, P.L.L.C. to discuss your situation and evaluate your legal options. Our attorney will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and give you an honest opinion on the likely outcome of your case. Call us now at (757) 962-5588.