Jonathan B. Vivona, PLC
Attorney at Law

601 King Street, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
(Entrance on St. Asaph St.)
vivonalaw@gmail.com

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703-739-1353

CONTESTED DIVORCES

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Fault, Support and Custody Disputes
 
A contested divorce deals with the same issues that exist in an uncontested divorce, but in this case, the parties have not agreed on certain issues such as fault in the divorce, spousal support , child support and custody , and property division . If your spouse is not making reasonable demands with respect to these issues, it could be in your best interest to litigate these matters in court. 
 
At Jonathan B. Vivona, PLC, we will fight for your rights by preparing an effective trial strategy that suits your needs.  We will work efficiently to make sure that your case is heard by the Court with as little delay and cost as possible.  Rather than get bogged down with meaningless pre-trial procedural matters and accruing unnecessary billable hours, we will focus our attention on the substantive issues in the case and preparing evidence so you can have your day in Court and tell your side of the story.  By taking this cost-effective approach to trial strategy, we will also help you build leverage in negotiation of the important issues in your case.
 
Fault or No-Fault Divorce
 
In Virginia, a divorce can be granted on either fault or no-fault grounds.  Parties will often agree that neither party is at fault for the divorce.  However, there are grounds for a finding of fault if one spouse's wrongdoing has caused the failure of the marriage. The grounds for a finding of fault are adultery, desertion, cruelty or a felony conviction with confinement for more than one year.  No fault means that neither party is to blame for the divorce as far as the divorce process is concerned.
 
A determination that you or your spouse was at fault for the divorce can affect the other issues involved in the divorce process.  For example, the adultery of one spouse could allow the other to obtain an immediate final decree of divorce while a no-fault divorce normally requires a six-month separation period before the divorce is finalized. Adultery can also cause a party who would otherwise be entitled to spousal support to be barred from receiving it.  Under Va. Code §20-107.1(B), a judge in Virginia cannot award permanent maintenance and support to an spouse that has committed adultery unless it is clear that this would be a "manifest injustice".  The issue of fault is also one of the factors considered by a judge in determining equitable distribution of the marital property.
 
If you believe that you and your spouse will be contesting any of the following issues, please review our materials on each one to find out how these will be dealt with in your case.
 
 
Annulments
 
Unlike a divorce which is the termination of a valid marriage, an annulment is a determination that a marriage is void.  The legal effect of this is that the parties are treated as if they had not been married in the first place.  The grounds for an annulment are if the marriage was entered into because of fraud, duress or coercion.  Essentially, an annulment can be obtained when one of the parties entered into the marriage against their will or based on a material representation made to them that was not true. Grounds for an annulment also exist if one party withheld important information from the other party.  For example, an annulment could be granted if one of the spouses lied about being married or an inability to have children.
 
  Jonathan B. Vivona, PLC
  Attorney at Law

601 King Street, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
 

Tel: 703-739-1353
Email: vivonalaw@gmail.com
 

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