The Bushman Law Group

703.845.9070

Family Law

The Bushman Law Group handles family law matters. Family Law is a broad topic and we handle all issues from prenuptial to post-nuptial, and on to divorce. A prenuptial is a device used to protect assets prior to an anticipated marriage. A post-nuptial is a device used to protect assets after a marriage. Both are contracts and are governed by the law of contracts in addition to specific Virginia statutes that regulate them.

Divorce happens regularly in society and those who marry without a prenuptial or post-nuptial may face the issues of equitable distribution, alimony, and possibly child support. Grounds for divorce are few but each carries with it certain requirements. A no-fault divorce is one in which both parties agree to the divorce. Here, the parties must live separated and apart for one year and then the divorce will be granted by the Circuit Court. If the parties have no children then they can speed up this time to six months if they also can agree to a Property Settlement Agreement. On the other hand, there are several fault-based grounds for divorce. Some of these grounds are Adultery, Desertion, and Constructive Desertion. When one party has committed one of these grounds, the Circuit Court in its decree of divorce may award the non-offending party a greater part of the marital assets to be equitable under the situation.

Equitable distribution is the court's division of property. Property is initially placed in three categories: Separate, Marital, and Hybrid. Separate property is property one generally had before marriage but stays separate from the marriage. Marital property is generally property acquired during the marriage. Hybrid property is property that was separate but has become part separate and part marital. Separate property remains separate property of the party throughout the marriage so long as it never becomes part of the marital property. For example, if you were to inherit money from your uncle and place it in an account with your husband, the money would become marital property. Marital property will be divided according to fault, and Hybrid property will be divided in accordance with that portion that has become part marital.

Alimony and child support will be granted by a court upon an analysis of the statutory factors. These factors are fact intensive and intimate to the relationship and the parties. A court will only grant alimony to do justice and will not grant alimony merely to inflict distress on an offending party. Child support is the right of the child and not the right of either parent. Every parent has a duty to support his or her children.

F.A.Q.

  • My spouse wants me to sign a property settlement agreement, what should I do?

    First, do not sign it unless you have read the document, understand its contents, do not have any questions, and had an opportunity to seek legal counsel. Otherwise, make an appointment as soon as you can to discuss the agreement with an attorney.

  • My divorce is uncontested why is it taking so long?

    Divorces must proceed in accordance with the statute that governs its process. Depending on the grounds of the divorce, and the varying jurisdictional requirements that must be met, a divorce will take time to commence or proceed. In addition, courts have busy times of the year. At times your own lawyer or your spouse's attorney may be busy. Chances are you are neither the court's or your attorney's only case. Please understand that it is very likely it was quicker and easier to get married than it is to get divorced.

  • I want sole custody of my children, what do I need to do?

    Although any party can ask for sole custody, the analysis performed by the court is not what any party wants in particular, but what is in the best interests of the children. It is not uncommon in these situations that a guardian ad litem will be appointed by the court to assist in the matter. If in individual desires sole custody, then the individual must make a motion or include the request as part of a divorce petition.