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Understanding Divorce in Norfolk

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Understanding Divorce in Norfolk, Virginia

Knowledgeable attorney serving Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake

Divorce is the process by which a court of law dissolves the legal marriage between two individuals. This by itself is relatively straightforward. What tends to complicate divorce is the need for the court to resolve other issues implicit in the marriage--spousal and child support, distribution of marital property, and custody of minor children. How the court resolves these issues can have a huge impact on the parties involved. For that reason, it is essential that Norfolk individuals going through divorce--even seemingly simple divorces--secure the representation of a divorce attorney.

At the law firm of Messman Law, PLC, the divorce lawyer has represented clients during divorce proceedings for several years. I understand the emotional and financial difficulties inherent in divorce and am sensitive to the needs of my clients in Norfolk and throughout VA. I use the extensive knowledge and experience at my disposal to safeguard clients' interests.

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Property division is perhaps the most complex aspect of a divorce. In constructing an equitable division scheme, the court must determine:

  • What assets of the parties are marital property
  • How much those assets are worth
  • How the court should divide those assets

Virginia courts generally presume an equal distribution is equitable. This, however, may change upon consideration of a number of factors, such as the duration of the marriage, the ages and abilities of each party, their relative contributions to the marriage, and more.

However, even before the court can equitably divide marital property, it must identify and appraise what is deemed marital property. Marital property generally includes all property either party acquired during the marriage, unless obtained by gift or inheritance. Marital property also includes most jointly held property, as well as pensions, retirement plans, and other deferred compensation. The source of such property, and therefore whether it is marital or separate property, can become a point of contention during divorce litigation. If the source of such property is in dispute, a divorce lawyer must provide the court with evidence of the status of that property.

Once the court has identified marital and separate property, the value of particular property may become an issue. In order for the court to distribute property equitably, it must ascertain its value. This can be difficult, especially in cases of assets of fluctuating value or whose value is open to interpretation. A Norfolk divorce lawyer must often offer expert testimony by appraisers and other evidence of value, as well as argue for a favorable valuation date.

Consult an experienced divorce attorney today

Messman Law, PLC has provided legal counsel in family law matters--including divorce, annulment, support, and custody matters--to clients throughout the Norfolk and Chesapeake areas. I also provide services in estate planning, business formation and real estate transactions. Call the offices at 757-340-5800 or contact me online to schedule a consultation with the experienced divorce attorney.