When a family law issue such as divorce or child custody threatens to upend your world, you must retain the services of an experienced attorney. At Ann M. Callaway, P.C. in Warrenton, I have more than 28 years of experience advocating for the rights of clients throughout Virginia’s Fauquier, Prince William, Culpeper, Rappahannock, and Loudoun counties. I realize that divorce is a life-changing event, and I work diligently to provide you with effective representation from start to finish. Whether you are looking to resolve a child custody dispute, draft a divorce agreement, or start a family through adoption, I provide you with dedicated counsel until your case is resolved.
In Virginia, you may file a fault-based or no-fault divorce. Virginia law offers two types of divorce: divorce from bed and board, which is a “partial divorce,” requiring grounds, and divorce from the bond of matrimony, which is complete and absolute. In divorce from bed and board, spouses must live separately for at least one year but are not permitted to remarry. Grounds may include “willful desertion or abandonment” or “cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm.” Parties to this type of divorce may ask the court to “merge” the decree into a divorce from the bond of matrimony after one year has passed since their separation.
To file for a no-fault divorce from the bond of matrimony, spouses must show they have lived separately for at least one year without any cohabitation. When there are no minor children and the parties have entered into a property settlement or separation agreement, that time period is reduced to six months. While this type of divorce doesn’t require the parties to allege grounds, fault may still be an issue in spousal support or the division of marital property.
Whichever type of divorce you seek, I advocate for your rights and protect your children and assets. I take the time to carefully review your situation and develop a strategic plan to successfully resolve your case.
Virginia courts follow a standard that puts the best interests of the child first when it comes to child custody and visitation. In the majority of divorce cases, the judge usually feels that a co-parenting plan that involves both parents in the child’s life as much as possible is the best option. However, if the judge feels that the noncustodial parent is a danger to the child or detrimental to the child’s growth, visitation may be limited or denied.
Child support is paid by the noncustodial parent monthly for the welfare of the child. Whether you are the parent receiving support or the one paying it, I will fight for your parental rights as well as the rights of your child by ensuring the court has a full financial accounting of your situation. If changed circumstances require a modification, I will ask the court for an adjustment.
Choosing to adopt is one of the most exciting decisions you can make for your family. However, without proper legal guidance, you may become frustrated with what is often a complex process and may make mistakes that could jeopardize your adoption case. Whether you would like to adopt through an agency or non-agency, I can guide you through each stage of the process from your initial contact to your home study and ultimately your adoption finalization.
Ann M. Callaway, P.C. provides experienced and comprehensive family law counsel to clients in Fauquier, Prince William, Culpeper, Rappahannock, and Loudoun counties. Please call 540-349-4100 or contact my firm online to schedule a consultation with me at my Warrenton office. My office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, but I also offer weekend and evening appointments when needed.