Steven R. Morris Law, PLLC
We are a divorce and family law firm serving Charlottesville, Central Virginia, and the Valley.
"Family law" is a broad classification of legal issues, some or all of which may be implicated in a single family law case. Common family law issues are divorce, property distribution, spousal support, child custody and visitation, and child support. Family law issues may also include the issuance of protective orders and enforcement of existing court orders.
Family law issues can be some of the most stressful in a person's life. At Steven R. Morris Law, PLLC, our mission is to zealously represent you in your family law matters with integrity and professionalism.
Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage by court order on specific statutory grounds. When a party files for divorce, he or she can include a number of sub-issues in the divorce case, such as the division and allocation of the parties' assets and debts, spousal support (alimony), child custody, and child support.
The distribution of marital property and debts between the spouses in a divorce is called Equitable Distribution. The term "equitable" does not mean the the division must be equal. Rather, it means the division must be fair. Accordingly, when a divorce court divides the marital property, it is required to consider a number of statutory factors relating to, among other things, the spouses, the marriage, and circumstances leading to the breakdown of the marriage.
In Virginia, child custody and visitation matters are governed not by the parties' wishes and hopes, or even by what may or may not seem fair to the parties. Instead, these cases are governed by what court deems to be in the child's best interests. A court determines what is in a child's best interests by reference to specific statutory factors.
Spousal support is the court-ordered payment of money from one spouse to the other. The purpose of spousal support is to provide the spouse receiving the support with the funds necessary to meet his or her expenses and to maintain him or her in the lifestyle to which he or she became accustomed during the marriage. To achieve these goals, the court has the broad authority to order spousal support on a temporary or permanent basis. In deciding whether to order spousal support, the court must consider certain statutory factors.
In Virginia, child support determined by specific statutory guidelines. The child support guidelines are premised on the parties' respective gross incomes, the number of "overnights" each parent has the child, the healthcare insurance costs incurred by a parent, the work-related childcare costs, and a handful of other variables depending on the specific facts of each case. The statutory guidelines are presumed to yield the correct amount of child support. Under some circumstances, the court or the parties can deviate up or down from the statutory guidelines.
Contact us to discuss how best to address your family law needs.