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You’re Separating. Now What?
Choosing to separate is never an easy decision. Whether the move was yours or your spouse’s, you’re both likely to experience a wave of emotions. Even if discussed or expected, a separation can leave both parties in a state of numbness or shock, especially when you start to work through the realities such a decision involves.
Whether you’re interested in legal separation, mediation or divorce, the guidance and assistance of the award-winning attorneys at Graham Law Firm, PLLC, will ensure every legal procedure is as simple and stress-free as possible.
What Happens Now?
In Virginia, there are several avenues you can take when you’re first separated, the first of which is to stop living together. This is the time to get the advice and support of a professional experienced in family law. Your separation must last for one year if you have minor children or six months if you have no minor children or already have a signed separation agreement in place. In any case, decisions must be made on the following important considerations:
- Children: This is naturally the most important decision – agreeing how both of you will continue to offer your time and support. It’s important to work out custody, visitation, child care, vacation, birthday, holiday arrangements, and more. You’ll also want to discuss how to tell the children and how best to support and reassure them through this difficult time.
- Property: Will one of you be able to stay in the family home or will you sell it and both move elsewhere? Who will get what furniture and belongings from the home and who gets the pets?
- Finances: Managing separate homes means less income. Decisions must be made on support for the children and who will pay related, essential bills. An agreement must also be made on dividing any savings, stocks, or debts in order to open personal bank accounts.
- Family and friends: Who tells close family members and friends? How much do you explain and to whom? How will you preserve mutual friendships and maintain relationships with your in-laws?
Divorce & Family Law Firm in Northern Virginia
Right now, feeling anxious or overwhelmed about the future and the amount of decisions that must be made soon is uncomfortable, but normal. The attorneys at Graham Law Firm, PLLC can help by representing you throughout a separation agreement process. To schedule a consultation, call us at 703-443-9360 or fill out our contact form.