The Divorce Attorney’s Role

Posted on January 21, 2013 by

A divorce can be a stressful time for all parties, emotionally, financially and legally. There may be considerations of property division,  separation and settlement, child custody issues, motions to file, court fees to pay and appearances in court. Fortunately, attorneys at Locke and Quinn can help with all of these tough aspects of your divorce.

An attorney is a counselor to his or her client. During an initial consultation with an attorney, he or she can assist clients with identifying and establishing the grounds for divorce and getting a better assessment of the strength or weaknesses in each case. An attorney can assist in acquiring the evidence necessary to prove the case including using document requests and subpoenas to obtain records that otherwise may be unavailable to the client. With certain grounds for divorce, sufficient evidence is needed in court. For example, to prove adultery, “clear and convincing evidence” is required which is often very hard to obtain. In order to meet this burden an attorney can assist in acquiring the proper evidence that the other spouse was unfaithful.  For any grounds of divorce, there generally are many court documents and sometimes several court appearances that may be involved.

There are many procedural aspects to a divorce that an attorney is specially trained to understand. For example, strict compliance with the statutory requirements for service is necessary in a divorce in order to give proper notice to the defendant; otherwise, the divorce or annulment may be invalid. An attorney will aid in properly serving process of a divorce or annulment action to the other spouse.

The attorney also can assist in identifying if an award of spousal or child support is warranted, in determining what factors go into the computation of child and spousal support, and in computing the actual numbers. In Virginia, the “age of majority” is eighteen, before which there is a parental duty to support his or her child. Moreover, there may be a continuing duty on both parents to support an adult child who is physically or mentally incapable of earning a livelihood. These duties continue after divorce or separation except as otherwise modified by judicial decree.

With regard to the distribution of property, an attorney can assist in identifying what items of real and personal property belong to the marriage as marital property or which items will be considered separate property. The attorney also can advise whether a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement will be enforceable. The court considers multiple factors in dividing marital property and in determining the amount of spousal and child support awards, including the monetary and nonmonetary contributions of each party to the well-being of the family; the duration of the marriage; the circumstances and factors that contributed to the dissolution of the marriage, and various other factors.

One enormous benefit to having an attorney is that the attorney can serve as a  “buffer” for the client so that the client no longer has to interact directly with an estranged spouse. Divorce can be an emotional time for both parties, and an attorney often acts as an empathetic advocate for the client. And finally, the attorney can play an enormous role in mediating and resolving the case, which can then reduce the overall amount of attorney fees and costs spent.

Categories: Divorce
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My husband and I just recently finalized the adoption of our son thanks to Colleen! Our situation happened FAST, and Colleen never missed a beat. Colleen, Katie and Charli were all quick to answer any questions we had and made us feel confident in their ability to provide the services needed. We were blown away at the knowledge and organization Colleen had throughout this process as well! We intend to continue to grow our family through adoption again, and will be using Locke & Quinn!
Ashley Halsey
Ashley Halsey
2019-02-10T03:58:33+0000
My wife and I worked with Colleen Quinn and her paralegal Charli (CharSalle) on my daughter's international re-adoption. We are in Fairfax, VA and they were happy to work with us even though we weren’t local to them. Everything was done by email and mail. They answered all of our questions in a timely manner and were very knowledgeable about the process. We worked almost entirely with Charli after the initial emails and phone calls and she was great to work with. They filed all of our paperwork with our court, everything went smoothly, and we received our Final Order. Charli has always kept us in the loop about the process and sent us updates. We mailed original documents back and forth without any issue. Their legal fee was very competitive and better than most attorneys in our own area. We are very pleased with their work and assistance in getting our adoption finalized. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Thank you!
Ahmed Rashid
Ahmed Rashid
2018-12-20T14:52:57+0000
Great experience!! Everything I needed they took care of with a timely fashion! Highly recommend!
Morgan Williams Seay
Morgan Williams Seay
2018-08-21T00:14:11+0000
Bob Stiepock
Bob Stiepock
2017-10-23T19:39:04+0000
Personal Injury is a challenging event on many levels in ones life. Have you experienced a moment where you were injured and need to seek legal advice? You need to make a call to Colleen Quinn today. I began to research different law firms that handled Personal Injury. I interviewed several attorneys and spoke with large practices to small firms. I was impressed by Colleens resume and her work with women and the law. I will never regret hiring Colleen and her TEAM. The word TEAM is exactly what I received through out my case. My case was attacked with professionalism and the team was always in communication with me. When I would call to ask questions or to get a better explanation I was always made to feel as if I was the only client. As my case arrived closer to the trail date, my TEAM went into full 110%+ effort and preparation. Colleen was ALWAYS seeking to settle my case with the best outcome that she could. YOU WILL NOT FIND A MORE UPFRONT, HONEST, HARDWORKING-GET IT DONE ATTITUDE THAN THE TEAM OF COLLEEN M. QUINN!! MAKE THAT CALL TODAY-YOU WONT REGET IT!!
Lisa Moore Walker
Lisa Moore Walker
2017-09-17T03:54:10+0000
Cathy Tyree Herb
Cathy Tyree Herb
2013-07-30T17:33:44+0000

 

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