Northern Virginia Family Law Attorneys
Virginia Family Law Information Center
Family law can be very complicated, with countless laws relating to numerous
practice areas. As a result, it is important for anyone facing a domestic
relations case to be represented by an attorney with extensive experience
and access to resources. As one of the largest family law firms in Virginia,
ShounBach is able to provide family lawyers with a wide range of experience,
as well as solid training. Our Northern Virgina divorce lawyers are experienced
in handling cases in each of the following practice areas:
When a party is having a sexual relationship with someone other than their
spouse, it may be grounds for a fault based divorce. The party filing
a divorce on grounds of adultery will need to include in the divorce complaint
the date(s), location(s) and with whom the other spouse has had sexual
When one party unilaterally decides to move out of the marital home they
may be considered to have deserted the home or marriage. This is a fault
ground which will allow the other party to file for divorce and have the
opportunity to seek temporary and permanent spousal support and a determination
on issues related to custody, visitation and child support.
If parties are unable to reach agreements on custody and visitation, it
is possible to have the court order a custody and visitation evaluation
to be conducted by a trained professional. The evaluator will provide
advice and recommendations on custody and parenting time and may perform
High Net Worth Cases
Representing the wealthy presents unique challenges, and often requires
specialized knowledge of the various trusts utilized by wealthy individuals.
The attorneys at ShounBach are experienced with the valuation and division
of complex business and/or property interests, and estates with large
net worth. Contact one of our many attorneys at ShounBach with experience
in this area.
Whether the parties live in different countries or have assets abroad,
the attorneys at ShounBach can help you resolve your family law matters.
Whether the parties live in different states, or own assets in a state
other than Virginia, the attorneys at ShounBach can provide the representation
you need to resolve your family law matter.
Military, Retirement, Survivor Benefit Plans
A federal statute, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act,
permits a state in divorce proceedings to award a share of a military
service member’s retired pay to the member’s spouse.
Virginia courts may also order a military service member to name his or
her ex-spouse as beneficiary of the military survivor benefit plan (SBP).
Many other federal statutes and regulations govern the rights afforded
to former spouses of military personnel with respect to medical, commissary
and exchange policies.
The nature and extent of a military spouse’s rights will vary depending
on the length of the couple’s marriage while the member was on active duty.
U.S. Government Pension and Retirement Benefits
U.S. Government employees or retirees, and their spouses, have rights and
benefits available to them either under the Civil Service Retirement System
(CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), as well as with
respect to Thrift Savings Plan (similar to private (401(k) plans) and
survivor benefits. U. S. Government pensions are divisible at divorce
in essentially the same manner as private pensions.
For unmarried parents, or married couples separated but not yet seeking
a divorce, ShounBach can help you reach a resolution or obtain a cCourt
order on matters of custody, visitation, child and spousal support through
a Juvenile Court action. Contact the experienced attorneys at ShounBach
to find out how they can help.
If you or your child is fearful for their life and/or safety, contact ShounBach
to find out whether grounds exist to seek a protective order.
Contempt/Rule to Show Cause
If a party is not complying with a court order, contact ShounBach to find
out how to obtain an order compelling a party to abide by that order.
Court orders and/or agreements related to custody, visitation and child
support are subject to modification based upon a material change of circumstances.
Spousal support may also be modifiable depending on the provisions of
a prior agreement or court order. Court orders related to property division
are generally non-modifiable, but it may depend on the specific provisions
of a prior agreement or court order.
In an effort to resolve some or all issues involving matters of property,
custody, visitation, spousal support, child support and attorney’s
fees, parties can sign a written agreement that they intend to be binding
and made enforceable as a court order. Parties need not have grounds for
divorce or be separated to enter into these Agreements.
The court in a divorce or juvenile actions may award attorney’s fees
to one party or the other. The basis for awarding fees varies between
the divorce and juvenile courts. Contact an attorney at ShounBach to learn
more about how you can be awarded attorney’s fees in your family
Fault Based Divorces
If you have not been separated for the requisite period of time to file
for a no-fault divorce, you may be able to qualify for a fault-based divorce.
However, some of these grounds for divorce are difficult to prove, in
which case it is beneficial to have a competent legal representative on
your side to make sure your best interests are protected. In Virginia,
there are four grounds for a fault-based divorce, as listed below:
- Adultery, sodomy and/or buggery
- Conviction of a Felony
Same Sex Divorces
Virginia now recognizes same-sex marriage and consequently same-sex parties
who are legally married can now file for divorce in Virginia.
No Fault Divorces
A no-fault divorce can be filed in one of two possible scenarios. The first
is when the couple have lived separate and apart for one year. In Virginia,
this is the most common ground for divorce. The second instance is when
the couple have no minor children, have lived separate and apart for a
period of six months, and have a signed agreement resolving all issues
arising out of their marriage.
Parental Alienation occurs when one parent manipulates a child into showing
unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards the other parent. This
manipulation can cause emotional harm to a child if left unchallenged.
If you or someone you love is being subjected to parental alienation,
contact one of the attorneys at ShounBach who have experience in dealing
with these matters.
Mental Health Evaluations
The court on motion of either party can order one or both parties to undergo
a mental health evaluation if a party’s mental health is at issue
in matters related to custody and/or visitation.
Enmeshment usually occurs when the relationship between parties and child
is without appropriate boundaries. This causes confusion for the child
regarding the traditional responsibility and hierarchy of the parental-child
relationship, with the parent embracing the child as more of a best friend
than a parent. This confusion may lead to unrestricted behavior and a
sense of false entitlement by a child. To learn more about enmeshment
and how to deal with these behaviors, contact an attorney at ShounBach.
Fairfax Divorce Lawyer
For a Fairfax divorce attorney who has the knowledge and training to represent
you in any of these practice areas, contact ShounBach today. As one of
the largest family law-only firms in Virginia, our attorneys have over
200 years of collective legal experience, giving our firm the unique ability
to provide tailored legal representation to meet your unique needs. If
your case calls for aggressive litigator, we have attorneys with extensive
courtroom experience who can provide you with vigorous representation
and defense. We also have skilled Collaborative attorneys and mediators
who can help you achieve a cooperative resolution. Find out more about
our firm by calling our offices today.
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