Breakup marriage couple with divorce certification

How to File for Divorce in Virginia

  • Afsana Chowdhury

Filing for divorce in Virginia is a big step, one that will change the course of your life in many ways. When it’s the best decision for you and your family, we are here for you. Filing is a legal process, one that allows the court to address the division of assets as well as the parties’ rights and obligations going forward. The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury is committed to supporting you throughout this process.

Contact the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury as your first step. Our fair, flat fee services ensure your divorce is handled efficiently and your rights remain protected throughout the process. Set up a consultation with us now.

What to Do Before Filing for Divorce

Before filing for divorce in Virginia, meet with your attorney to discuss your situation. It is critical they understand your assets, finances, children, and long-term goals before filing. No matter your age or what you bring to the marriage, you need legal support as you determine what your future will look like. This includes where children will live, what income you have, what financial obligations you have, and how other assets will be divided. By working with your attorney first, before you file, you will have a clear understanding of the comprehensive process and what to expect as well.

Not all divorces are contested and sometimes the parties agree on the division of property as well. Those are good things, but even in this situation, it is critical that you know what you are stepping into, and that your future is protected.

Our goal is to help you through this process by:

  • Working toward fair property division decisions.
  • Supporting mediation as you make decisions about child custody and child support.
  • Being aware of your family’s needs and desires for the future.
  • Helping you to avoid focusing on fault and instead focus on creating a new future.
  • Encouraging you to take steps to protect your financial future and emotional well-being.

Does Filing for Divorce First Matter?

When it comes to who is filing for divorce in Virginia, many people believe that filing first is critical. However, it is important to understand WHY. Filing first may mean that you have more control over the situation than your spouse. It could provide you with some support and strategy options later on. One key benefit that may come from filing for divorce in Virginia first is that you are beginning the process. That means you can complete the due diligence process without having to worry about a time constraint like your spouse may face. By filing first, you may have greater control over the timeline and process in general. However, it does not give you any additional rights during the proceedings and does not change the laws impacting the division of marital property. We do encourage you to take action to file for divorce soon if that is your intention, but you also need to be prepared for what’s to come next.

How Do I File for Divorce in Virginia?

Now that you’re ready to make the decisions needed to start filing for divorce in Virginia, there is a legal process you must work through. Our legal team will help you every step of the way. Here are some aspects to keep in mind throughout this process.

Determining Assets

One of the first steps is determining what assets exist and their estimated value.  Then we determine which assets are marital property that should be divided equitably between the two spouses. Equitably does not always mean equally.

Assets may include:

  • Real estate
  • Domestic and foreign bank accounts
  • Art and jewelry collections
  • Life insurance
  • Social Security and disability benefits
  • Retirement accounts and more

Custody and Support

If you have minor children or adult dependents, it will be critical to make core decisions about child custody and support. We often recommend working through this together with your spouse to ensure the court is not making decisions for your family. Yet, when parents cannot agree, it will be necessary to come up with a plan that works for all involved. Click here to read about beginning the divorce process as a stay-at-home parent.

Filing Documents

Once a plan is ready, it is then possible to begin the filing process with the state. This is done through the Fairfax County Circuit Court. What happens next is often dependent on where the two of you stand. If you have created an agreement that is equitable and fair, made decisions about your children, and have a plan for managing all aspects of your divorce, you will find the actual process easier to manage.  However, that is not always the case. In some situations, there are multiple hearings and court dates to manage. This occurs when the court needs to intervene in the decision-making process. We aim to help you through this entire process, one step at a time.

Virginia Divorce Laws

Why is an Attorney Needed in the Filing Process?

Filing for divorce is life-changing. There are so many small things (and much bigger things) that are going to change as a result. Often, that’s a good thing. Yet, without experience in what’s to come, it’s hard for most people to navigate this legal process on their own. That’s why we highly encourage you to work closely with our legal team.

Having an attorney by your side provides a range of benefits:

  • Less risk of missing the court’s deadlines
  • Assurance of accurate asset valuations
  • Support when negotiations are needed
  • An aggressive attorney to protect your children and rights
  • More insight into your legal rights and obligations
  • Strategy building that can help you get the outcome you desire

Contact the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury for Support Throughout This Process

At the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, we know the challenges divorce brings. We also have the experience you can rely on to help you through this process. Contact us today at 703-382-5504 to set up a consultation so we can help you with filing for divorce in Virginia.

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