Family Law matters can be overwhelming and may involve a variety of issues, including handling divorce matters, division of property, child custody, and more. At the Akers & Cleator Law Group, our attorneys have a broad range of knowledge of complex family law issues and are equipped to help you navigate whatever situation you may face in the following areas:
- Divorce – Divorces can be an emotionally taxing and complicated process, which is why it is important for your Family Law attorney to possess the requisite knowledge and provide the necessary support for you during this time. Our attorneys are sensitive to the needs of every client and are extremely skilled in handling both contested and uncontested divorce matters.
- Property Settlement Agreements – After parties separate, it is fairly common for the parties to create a separation agreement, or Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) that divides their marital assets, sets custody and visitation guidelines and essentially settles all issues that would normally be handled by a court. Once a PSA is signed by the parties, it becomes a legally binding contract and may be incorporated into the final decree of divorce. Creating a PSA allows the parties to come to a meeting of the minds, which may ultimately make the divorce process more efficient for all involved. Our attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating and drafting settlement agreements and will ensure that your needs and concerns are an imperative part of this process.
- Custody & Visitation – If you have children, determining custody and visitation can be one of the most emotionally taxing processes, especially in the midst of a divorce proceeding. If parties are unable to agree on these matters, the court will ultimately step in and decide who to grant custody. The court will order one of many things:
- Legal Custody: when given legal custody a parent will be responsible for the care and control of the children and will have the power to make decisions on behalf of the children. The court may order joint legal custody, which gives both parents this authority, or sole legal custody, which gives one parent this authority.
- Physical Custody: when given physical custody a parent will have the physical custody and care of the children. The court may order shared physical custody, which allows both parents to have custody of the children for more than 110 days of each year, or sole physical custody, which gives only one parent custody of the children.
- At Akers & Cleator, our attorneys are dedicated to working with you in determining the best way to assure the well-being of your children. We understand that each situation is unique.
- Child Support – In the Commonwealth of Virginia, parents are under a legal obligation to support their children. This support must continue until the child reaches the age of 18. However, if the child is still in school, the support must continue until he reaches the age of 19, or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. Virginia courts follow specific guidelines when calculating child support obligations, including using the earning capacity of both parents to determine each parent’s ability to support the children. These matters are often included in divorce and custody/visitation proceedings. Our attorneys are well equipped to walk you through this process and advocate to ensure fairness and provide you with the best possible outcome.
- Spousal Support – In divorce cases, spousal support is unlike child support, in that there are no set guidelines that the court is required to follow in determining an award amount. The court will consider a wide variety of factors when determining how much support to award to a party including the length of the marriage, contributions to the marriage, the age and physical and mental conditions of the parties, and much more. This is why it is important to have counsel who is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the process. Our attorneys are very familiar with this process and will advocate on your behalf to ensure fairness in determining the true income of the parties and the award amount that should be allotted.