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FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY

Families matter to us

Courtney Griffin Roberts is a proven family law attorney who understands that family matters before the court can be emotionally-charged and are high stakes for those involved. For that reason, she strives to provide compassionate counsel to clients in need, while putting an objective trial strategy and zealous advocacy to work for the best results for your family. 

New River Law provides legal consultation and representation for families in need of legal services.
To learn more about each type of family law service, select a category below or scroll down the page.

FAQs Family Law Services

Do I need to bother with a legal divorce?

Absolutely. The costs and headaches involved with finalizing a divorce are nothing compared to the problems you could face if your ex-spouse takes on debts without your knowledge and fails to pay them, or if they access and abuse marital assets. Additionally, bigamy is a crime in Virginia, so divorce ensures that you are free to leave the failed relationship behind and move on with your life.

Can I work out a divorce by agreement with my spouse?

Absolutely.  While a circuit court judge must issue a divorce decree for your divorce to be final, the terms of most divorces are worked out by agreements.  The parties will set out the terms in a written contract called a separation agreement and ask the judge to incorporate the agreement into the final order.  For that reason, while you and your ex may wish to settle terms on your own, it is wise to have an attorney look over your separation agreement before you sign on.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Virginia?
  • A couple with children can file for a no-fault divorce after a year of being separated.
  • A couple without children can file for no-fault divorce after six months of separation.
  • You can file immediately for divorce on fault grounds, which are:
    • Adultery
    • Felony conviction that will require serving a sentence of a year or longer following the conviction
    • Divorces based on grounds of cruelty, reasonable apprehension of bodily harm, desertion, and abandonment can be granted after one year following the act of fault.
Isn’t it true that the mother always gets custody of the children?
No.  There are no presumptions in favor of either party.
Isn’t it true that the richer parent gets custody of the children?

No. There are no presumptions in favor of either party.

I stayed at home to care for the children while my spouse worked. Won’t they get custody because I am not working or not earning very much?

Not necessarily. There are no presumptions in favor of either party, and a court considers many factors, including the attachment a child has to each parent, as well as each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s basic necessities.

Who can seek custody of a child?
The Commonwealth of Virginia allows any person with a legitimate interest to petition for custody or visitation.
What factors are considered when a judge is determining custody?

The factors set forth in the Virginia Code are:

  • The child’s age and physical and mental condition
  • The age and physical and mental condition of each parent,
  • The existing relationships between the child and each parent,
  • The child’s needs and relationships with other family members,
  • What part each parent has played in raising the child up to now,
  • How well each parent has supported the child’s relationship with the other parent (in cases where abuse is NOT a factor),
  • Each parent’s willingness and ability to maintain a relationship with the child and to co-parent effectively, and
  • The reasonable preference of the child.

Family Law Services

SEPARATION

The first step towards divorce, a separation period of at least six months is mandatory before a court will grant a no-fault divorce. For couples with children, a separation must last over a year. Give the office a call if you have questions on how to demonstrate separation in challenging circumstances, such as when the parties cannot afford to move into separate homes right away.

Couples planning on divorce can get started on the process during separation. A carefully drafted separation agreement can set forth the rules for child custody, property division, and support. These agreements can even be incorporated into the final divorce decree, making the divorce itself a quick and inexpensive process. We can help draft an agreement that protects you.

Divorce

A divorce terminates a marriage due to cause. Causes range from abuse and desertion to continual separation that will not resolve. If you are considering divorce, talk to Courtney Roberts about the best strategy on which to proceed when seeking this relief from the court.

Custody

Child custody and visitation are some of the most emotionally fraught reasons people head to court. You need a careful, compassionate, and experienced attorney on your side when faced with a custody challenge. Courtney Roberts has represented mothers, fathers, and has appeared as Guardian ad Litem for children in these disputes.

Child Support

Many single parents decide against pursuing child support, choosing instead to rely on their own strength and hard work to support their children. While this office has great respect for the monumental task each single parent is taking on in raising their children, if there is another parent not paying his or her fair share, please call us. We can talk you through what sort of financial support may be available to your child, for today’s needs and for their future.

Spousal Support

Working, staying at home, keeping a side hustle: there is no single right choice for how a family supports itself. If your contributions to the family have been non-monetary while allowing your spouse to work, contact this office to learn about ways that you can ensure a fair level of support while your family and its needs change.

Equitable Distribution

Courtney Roberts can walk you through the oft-confusing landscape of marital property, separate property, commingled assets, and other issues to help you get the division that you deserve when you and your spouse are going your separate ways. She can help you find hidden assets and prevent loss from your spouse draining joint accounts or otherwise abusing marital assets.

Contact Us Today for Help

We will treat you and your family with compassion and respect.

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