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Q: Do I need to hire an attorney if I want to get a divorce?
Q: What does custody mean?
There are two definitions for custody – legal and physical. Most courts award joint legal custody, which means the parents engage in joint decision making regarding important matters involving their children.
Physical custody addresses where the child will be spending each day with either parent.
Q: What is sole custody?
Sole custody is frequently awarded. If awarded, it may allow one parent to have sole decision-making authority. In the context of physical custody, it is very rarely seen except in cases involving the termination of parental rights. Generally speaking, all parents will have some kind of physical custody (visitation) schedule.
Q: How much can I expect to be paid in child support?
It depends on each parent’s gross monthly income. Other factors taken into consideration include the cost of health insurance for the children, the cost of day care, and the number of overnights the child spends with each parent. The state of Virginia has statutory guidelines that dictate the amount of child support after all these factors are considered.
Q: How much can I expect to be paid in spousal support?
The award of spousal support (alimony) at the time of the divorce remains discretionary. The judge will consider the requesting spouse’s needs as compared to the ability of the other spouse to pay the support.