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Divorce in Amherst County
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Online Divorce in Amherst County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Amherst County, Virginia, is not a law firm, so it does not provide legal advice. This service is committed to preparing divorce forms in Amherst County, and all the information below is for informational purposes only.
For filing for divorce in Amherst County in the fastest and easiest way, the couple should consider an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce procedure implies that the parties can reach an agreement on financial issues, property, child custody, spousal maintenance, and other significant matters of their separation out-of-court, with no need to contest the case.
If the spouses can reach an agreement on all contiguous issues allowing them to file their divorce as no contest, they can then choose among several alternative options, including mediation, collaborative divorce, online divorce, and more. In some relatively simple divorce cases, the spouses may even get a divorce without a lawyer in Amherst County. This option is called a do-it-yourself divorce, meaning that the parties use self help guides provided by the state to prepare the required forms and file for divorce on their own, without any legal representatives.
As a document preparation service, OnlineDivorce.com is a fast, easy, and affordable way to complement the DIY divorce process, allowing you to avoid unnecessary costs and effort while arranging an amicable dissolution. This service allows you to fill out divorce papers required in Amherst County online, without leaving home.
OnlineDivorce.com takes into account the Family Law of each state and local rules of each particular county as well as the unique circumstances of each case. This allows OnlineDivorce.com to provide the user with accurate paperwork and proper step by step guidance through the process of filing. The user will receive a completed kit of printable forms within a couple of days at an inexpensive price, and OnlineDivorce.com guarantees that the court will approve it.
OnlineDivorce is a cheap and quick first step towards getting a divorce in Amherst County, Virginia.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Amherst County
In Amherst County, Virginia, the spouses can file for divorce using either no-fault or fault-based grounds.
Fault-based grounds imply that the Plaintiff will have to prove the spouse's misconduct as a cause for the dissolution of the marriage by providing the court with the evidence.
No-fault divorce in Amherst County means that the parties no longer get along anymore, and their will to divorce is mutual. Neither spouse has to prove anything before the court in this case. Thus, by filing for no-fault divorce, the couple can get an uncontested divorce and avoid a court trial.
The only no-fault ground for divorce in Virginia is separation for one year. Nevertheless, if the spouses have entered into a Settlement agreement and they do not have minor children, they are eligible to apply for a no-fault divorce in Amherst County, Virginia, after a six-month separation.
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In a divorce in Amherst County with children involved, the spouses have to resolve custody matters by themselves, creating a detailed parenting plan, or the court shall decide.
According to the Code of Virginia, Sec. 20-124.2, in determining custody, Virginia courts are guided by the best interests of the child. Initially, both parents have equal rights to be awarded custody and to maintain close contact with a child, unless there is evidence of domestic violence, abuse, or other extraordinary circumstances.
The court considers each case as unique, by weighing such factors as the child's relationship with the parents, each parent's role in the child's life, the physical and emotional health of all parties, and who has more capacity to contribute to the child's development.
In Virginia, the spouses are encouraged to share the parental liabilities, and joint custody is often assigned if the parties are ready to negotiate and cooperate.
In general, the following custody arrangements exist in Virginia:
Joint Legal Custody - Regardless of with whom the child lives, both parents retain responsibility for important decisions in the child's life.
Joint Physical Custody - Parents share parenting time more or less equally, and both are in charge of the everyday care of the child.
Sole Custody - One parent gets both legal and physical custody, and the other may request visitation.
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Rules for child support in Amherst County
Although in Amherst County with a child involved both parents are in charge of supporting their child after a divorce proceeding, typically, it is the non-custodial parent who makes child support payments.
In Virginia, child support is a court-ordered payment, the amount of which is determined following the child's reasonable needs as well as the ability of the parent to pay.
The Virginia Child Support Guidelines imply that such expenses as food, clothing, shelter, health insurance, education expenses, and, in some cases, extraordinary medical costs and extracurricular activities are included in a support order.
An exact amount of child support is calculated by judges using a complicated formula that takes into account each parent's income, the living arrangements of the child, everyday care expenses, and so on. The support order must be reviewed every three years, because the financial conditions of the parties, as well as the reasonable needs of the child, may change.
Rules for spousal support in Amherst County
Either spouse has the right to request alimony in a divorce in Amherst County. However, in Virginia, spousal support is only awarded if the court concludes it is necessary.
The party who asks for alimony should prove their financial incapacity, and the other party should be able to pay spousal support. The amount, duration, and type of maintenance (which may be made in periodic payments for a defined duration, in periodic payments for an undefined duration, in a lump-sum award, or in any combination thereof) is decided by the court separately for each divorce case.
the property owned, and income potential of that property owned, by each party;
the age and health condition of both parties;
the length of the marriage,
standard of living while together as a married couple;
each spouse's contribution to the earning power of the other party;
the tax consequences to each party, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties;
and other circumstances that the judge may deem relevant.
Along with it, marital misconduct and fault grounds for divorce play a role. Thus, the party who committed adultery cannot be awarded spousal support in Virginia.
Uncontested Amherst County divorce with children
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Property division in Amherst County
According to the Code of Virginia, Sec. 20-107.3, Virginia follows an equitable distribution model when it comes to dividing assets in a divorce. All the jointly owned marital assets and property of the parties should be divided equitably at the court's discretion. How the property is divided in Amherst County may be decided by either the court or the spouses themselves if they sign a Settlement Agreement.
When dividing the marital property or reviewing the spouses' Settlement Agreement, the court considers the following circumstances:
each spouse's income, debts, liabilities, earning capacity;
the length of the marriage;
each spouse's age and health;
whether either party is financially self-sufficient;
the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party in the acquisition and care and maintenance of such marital property of the parties;
the debts and liabilities of each spouse;
tax consequences of dividing the property;
the liquid or non liquid character of all marital property;
and any other factors which may seem relevant to the court.
In Virginia, typically, only the common property acquired during the marriage is subject to division. The separate property of each party, including everything each spouse had before the marriage as well as personal gifts and inheritances, remains with the initial owner.
Mediation support in Amherst County
Mediation implies that the spouses negotiate all the complicated terms of their divorce out-of-court and try to find an amicable solution acceptable to both parties instead of competing. The mediator assists the process but cannot take either spouse's side. Many couples choose divorce mediation voluntarily to settle their differences and to write up the Marital settlement agreement.
However, in a contested divorce case, parenting classes are mandatory for spouses with children. The Amherst County court may also require the spouses to attend a parent education seminar or program in uncontested cases, but only if there is good cause.
How to file for divorce in Amherst County | Step-by-Step
Foremost, the couple has to meet Virginia Residency requirements. Under the Code of Virginia Sec. 20-97, to be eligible to obtain a divorce in Amherst County, VA, at least one of the spouses must meet the following state residency requirements:
- Either spouse must have been an actual bona fide resident of Virginia for at least six months preceding the start of an action, so this affects the length of the process.
- The spouses may file for divorce in the county of either party's current residency or in the last area where they lived together as a family.
The plaintiff (the person starting the procedure) must file the initial divorce documents with the Fairfax Circuit Court, including the Complaint (petition for divorce), VS-4 Form, and Domestic Case Coversheet.
The petitioner must also pay the court filing fee to start the process.
After filing the Complaint, the next step is to determine how to serve the defendant with divorce papers. In Amherst County, the serving process can be accomplished following the Code of Virginia, Sec 8.01-296. Personal service may be done by a Deputy Sheriff or a person authorized to serve in the process under Virginia Code, Sec. 8.01-293. If service is executed by the Sheriff or a Private Process Server the plaintiff has to also prepare a Summons to attach to and be served on the defendant along with a copy of the Complaint.
The defendant may accept or waive service by signing a proof of service or an "Acceptance of Service" indicating that the papers were delivered. The defendant may also waive service of process by filing an Answer to the Complaint.
The defendant has 21 days to file a Response, and after this period, the plaintiff is eligible to request a default motion in Amherst County. If the defendant accepts service and waives answering the divorce complaint, the timeline of dissolution procedure could be shortened. Since Virginia Family Law does not require a waiting period after the necessary forms are filed, the final court hearing may be scheduled with no delays.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse.
Costly attorney fees resulting in unpredictable expenditures.
Overall lenghty and expensive way to go.
Attorney availability impacts completion time
Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal fees
Potential court battles adding to already high stress levels
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Filing fees for divorce in Amherst County
How much a divorce will cost usually depends on many individual factors. The case is officially started (a case number is assigned) after the plaintiff files the forms and pays a court filing fee.
In Amherst County, Virginia, the divorce filing fee is about $150. Additional court fees may include a Sheriff fee and a filing fee to record the resumed Maiden Name.
If the plaintiff's income is within poverty guidelines, he or she may qualify for a waiver of court costs and fees. The plaintiff has to disclose their financial information and complete and submit to the court a Petition for Proceeding in Civil Case Without Payment of Fees or Costs.
How long will it take?
How long it takes to get a divorce in Amherst County usually depends on whether the spouses agree on the essential terms of their separation, like child custody and financial matters. In simple uncontested cases, if both parties agree to end the marriage, it can take an average of 30 to 90 days to finalize a divorce from the time the paperwork is filed in court.
Filing for divorce in Amherst County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Amherst County? Since there are lots of dissolution options from hiring an attorney to alternatives like mediation, online divorce, and DIY divorce, the cost of divorce in Amherst County depends on how the spouses choose to arrange their divorce process. The cost of any dissolution starts with a court filing fee. The total cost for a divorce in Virginia typically ranges from $4,500 to $32,000 with a lawyer's assistance. Online Divorce helps to minimize these costs significantly.
How do you file for divorce in Amherst County without a lawyer? In Amherst County, the spouses are eligible to file for divorce without legal representative. Do-it-yourself divorce is a great way to save money if the case is uncontested and the spouses have settled their disputes out-of-court. Additionally, OnlineDivorce.com can assist with the paperwork issues.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Amherst County? The most common divorce forms required to be filed to start a dissolution process in Virginia include:
Bill of Complaint for Divorce
Divorce Case Cover Sheet
Monthly Income and Expense Statement
Vital Statistics Form VS-4
Acceptance/Waiver of Service of Process and Waiver of Future Service of Process and Notice
Acceptance of Service and Affidavit of Service
Final Decree of Divorce (or Final Decree of Divorce with Child/Spousal Support)
Sole Custody Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
Shared Custody Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
Can I file for legal separation in Amherst County, Virginia? Unlike many other states, Virginia does not grant Legal Separations. Separation Agreements provide that when there is a divorce decree or other court order, the Agreement will be "affirmed, ratified and incorporated but not merged" in that court order.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? Virginia Family Law does not provide any waiting period to get remarried after a divorce is final. However, some Virginia courts may require a certified copy of the Decree of Divorce to the Clerk's Office to issue a marriage license.
Divorce in Amherst County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet that is required by a local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online.
In rare cases, some local forms specific to a filing county can vary in color, paper material, size and / or scanning bar code so they may need to be obtained from the county clerk's office directly.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on the answers they give in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to read through the legal jargon and try to figure out how to fill out those forms yourself.
We give the detailed and easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so a client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email or live chat and we'll do our best to help.
We save time and money for our clients - if divorcing spouses are in agreement regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer
to handle their divorce forms and they don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or money back - we have 20 years of experience in completing divorce
forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents with no issues.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is
prepare, file and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for trial complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - expect at least $2000-3000 spending and more depending
on complexity of your case.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and averagely are $250-300 per hour. In rural areas,
attorneys may charge less, however, if you live in a large city local attorneys may charge up to
$1000 per hour.
At first glance using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing timeframes - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g. for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
actually based in other countries? No wonder that some clients are provided with outdated divorce
forms that will be rejected by the court. Result? Those people lose their time and money. Lacking
professionalism, these services are not keeping up-to-date with the state forms updates.
Beware of fake reviews: with no experience and lack of quality service it’s common that some
post reviews by non-existent "customers".
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