Commonly Asked Questions About Divorce Proceedings
Divorce, seemingly by its very nature, creates stress and sadness. It can also create uncertainty and ambiguity about critical matters such as your relationship with your children, your ability to support yourself after the marriage, and how getting divorced may impact your finances well down the road.
Johnson Law PLC represents divorce clients living in Roanoke and other parts of southwest Virginia. We treat our clients with compassion and ensure that we are accessible to them as much as possible, because circumstances in divorce cases can change quickly. Our founding attorney, Neal S. Johnson, drafted answers to some of the divorce-related questions we hear most frequently in our offices.
Divorce FAQs And Their Answers
Both my spouse and I worked and contributed to our individual retirement accounts during our marriage. Will I have to share some of my 401(k) money with my ex as part of the divorce?
There is no easy answer to that question, but our attorneys can review the financial circumstances of you and your spouse and discuss your retirement assets as part of the property division section of your divorce settlement. If both parties in the divorce have similar incomes and retirement assets that are considered marital property, it may make sense for each party to retain their own account. If it is determined – either by a judge during litigation or by you and your spouse in a mediated divorce – that you will share part of your retirement account with your ex, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) will be need to be drafted and approved by the sponsor of your retirement account(s) before any transfers of funds can be executed.
I work long hours as part of my job. Will I have to sacrifice custody of my children because of this, or should I quit my job?
Before you attempt to make such a momentous decision, remember Virginia courts consider two kinds of custody in divorce settlements. Physical custody relates to which parent they will live with most of the time. Legal custody refers to which parent is involved in making important decisions related to their education, health and well-being. It is possible to share joint legal custody of your children and work out a robust visitation schedule so that you remain a part of their lives. Our attorneys can help you negotiate an agreement that benefits both you and your children.
I want to continue co-parenting my stepchild after my spouse and I divorce. Is this possible?
Yes. Although birth parents who are divorcing are usually the parties that request custody or visitation rights, other parties — including stepparents and grandparents — have also successfully made claims to continue their relationship with a child. This can be a complex issue, so discussing the family structure and history with your divorce attorney is a must if you want to remain an active co-parent to your stepchild.
My ex is demanding alimony as part of our divorce. How can I support them as well as myself when there are two households involved?
The thing to remember when considering an alimony request as part of a divorce settlement negotiation is how the court will look at it if the case is litigated. Judges must evaluate spousal support requests according to guidelines that include:
- The health and age of both marital partners
- The length of the marriage
- The educational levels and individual income levels of both partners
- The tax consequences of the request
- The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
Another thing to consider related to this question is that alimony is one aspect of a divorce settlement. If you and your spouse are able to negotiate or mediate a settlement, you may be able to come up with solutions that work for both of you and are more innovative than the standards a judge will have to follow in their ruling in a litigated divorce settlement.
More Questions? Make An Appointment With Us To Discuss Them.
Our firm is committed to helping your family get a fresh start after divorce and achieving your goals for your divorce settlement. Call our office in downtown Roanoke at 540-685-0136 or use our email intake form.