Divorce
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Divorce Lawyers in Norfolk

Marriage can be one of the happiest moments in a person’s life, but that does not always mean that the marriage will last forever. It is better to get out of a relationship that is not working rather than sticking it out and being unhappy. If you are already married, that means initiating a divorce. Building a life with your spouse means many assets are jointly owned, so distributing them in the wake of a separation can be difficult.

Many divorces are caused by illicit activities, though other instances simply involve two people falling out of love. Whatever the case may be, you still deserve a fair and equitable split of your joint assets. That is why having a Norfolk, Virginia divorce lawyer on your side is so important. Take a closer look at how divorce works in Norfolk, and discover how the divorce lawyers at Montagna Law can help protect your interests throughout the process.


No matter what life throws at you, we can help you solve your legal problems.

Call (877) 622-8100 or complete the online contact form to request a free consultation.


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What Our Clients Say

  • Quote Mark
    If you’re looking for someone who’s professional, attentive, serious, caring, and negotiable than Mr. Anthony Montagna is who you need. He understood his assignment and delivered well especially being with what I was looking at in my case. I want …
    – Tiara S.
  • Quote Mark
    I don’t know how he does it, but this man is a monster in the courtroom. I’ll admit I had fears of the outcome of my case, but when I was with Mr. Montagna in front of a judge. My confidence started to raise. Extremely professional and how he hand…
    – BD P.
  • Quote Mark
    Honestly , Mr. Montagna treats like you are his family the way he cares, he takes care of his people , I was doing triple digit speed on a 60 and lord I thought it was over for me in that courtroom , he’s a genius because I literally got away with…
    – Justin
  • Quote Mark
    I have been a client of Montagna Law since 2014. Because the customer service is exceptional, I have established a rapport with everyone in the office. As a customer for 8 years, it is noted that this firm goes above and beyond for the clients.
    – Eric E.
  • Quote Mark
    Montagna Law are wonderful attorneys. I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and they assisted me from day one when I contacted them. I highly recommend their services! Thanks guy’s and gal’s for your services!
    – Kevin B

Grounds for Divorce in Norfolk

Virginia allows for both at-fault and no-fault divorces, though the grounds for each kind of divorce differ.

At-Fault Divorce

An at-fault divorce is one that is caused by unwelcome behavior from one of the spouses involved, and Virginia law allows for four different grounds for an at-fault divorce.

  • Adultery
  • Felony conviction
  • Physical cruelty
  • Desertion

No-Fault Divorce

A “no-fault” divorce is one in which both spouses agree to divorce due to other circumstances, such as falling out of love. Both parties wanting to get divorced is all the necessary grounds for a no-fault divorce.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is one that is initiated by one party in opposition to the other party’s wishes. Even if both spouses agree to the divorce, they may not agree on how their assets will be distributed.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree to get divorced and agree on how their assets will be distributed. This is the easiest kind of divorce to go through, as it is simply a matter of making the right legal filings. Keep in mind, however, that an uncontested divorce can easily turn into a contested divorce if one of the parties changes their mind about certain aspects of asset distribution.

How to Start a Divorce in Norfolk, Virginia

man holding his wedding ring

To file for a Norfolk, VA divorce, all you have to do is file the correct forms with the circuit court that governs the county. While many states provide forms and instructions for people to get divorced, Virginia does not. Because of this, you will have to take care of all the forms and filing yourself, which can be difficult when going through what is likely to be an incredibly stressful time.

Fortunately, you do not have to start a divorce in Virginia on your own. By hiring a Norfolk divorce lawyer, they can take care of all the necessary paperwork and filing for you. They are more inclined to help you than any court clerk would be, and a lawyer will know all the necessary steps to get the process finished as efficiently as possible.

How Would a Norfolk Divorce Lawyer Help?

A divorce lawyer can do quite a bit for your divorce case in addition to helping you file all the necessary documents at the right place and right time. Take a look at some of their most useful services:

  • Navigate legal proceedings
  • Negotiate fair settlement agreements and property division
  • Offer legal advice on child custody and adoptions
  • File paperwork accurately and on time
  • Represent you in court if necessary

Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer in Norfolk?

You do not technically need a lawyer to file for divorce. An uncontested divorce is particularly easy for the average person to handle on their own. Any kind of contested divorce, however, warrants a professional who can protect your assets and interests throughout the divorce process. Negotiating with your ex can be extremely difficult, especially when the stresses and resentment that commonly accompany separation are in play. Attorneys at law will know how to calmly handle the situation and argue in favor of your needs, overcoming the issues you would face dealing with the process alone.

What to Expect At Your First Divorce Consultation

Your first divorce consultation offers great insight into how your case will be handled and how complicated it is likely to be. One of the first steps in a divorce consultation is determining what you want your future to look like and the likely outcome of your divorce proceedings. A lawyer would ask you about asset distribution and how you want to deal with child custody if applicable. Child support and spousal support may also play a role in your divorce rulings.

Once you are informed about your case, it is time to begin making a game plan. Your lawyer will advise you on how best to move forward with divorce proceedings, placing a particular focus on the financial cost of the process. In fact, you may even find yourself being advised not to pursue divorce, though everyone’s circumstances are different. A good Norfolk divorce lawyer will be able to examine the unique aspects of your case and make judgments accordingly.

Before you go to your initial consultation with a divorce attorney, you will need to gather a few documents to bring along with you.

  1. Official marriage documents, including a copy of your marriage certificate: This is needed to establish with the lawyer that you are legally married.
  2. Documents for any marital property and personal property that may be relevant in the divorce: Bring your prenuptial agreement if you had one, too. Tax returns, employment records, and pay stubs will also be necessary to establish your income and the kind of lifestyle your spouse and potentially your kids have been living. Note that these documents should include all sources of income.
  3. Real estate documents: Make sure you bring any leases, mortgage documents, and debt documents to your initial consultation with a divorce lawyer. The lawyer must be able to understand what your current debts are and how much your spouse contributed to the bills.
  4. Other relevant legal documents: Additional relevant legal documents should be brought, too, such as active restraining orders if there are any.
  5. Evidence of spouse’s wrongdoing: This is critical for a contested divorce. This evidence can take many different forms, and it is important to know what you will need based on which grounds for divorce you are pursuing. Sometimes, evidence of certain behaviors like infidelity is hard to come by, but that is okay. A divorce lawyer can actually work to help you gather evidence in some circumstances.

A major aspect of any consultation with a divorce lawyer should involve you asking them quite a few different questions. Here are a few of the most common that are likely to be relevant to your case.

  1. How often will we communicate? A good lawyer will be open to regular communication with you about your case, especially if it is a complex one.
  2. What people will be working on my case? When trying to find the right lawyer, you will want a firm that will have actual attorneys doing most of the work on your case. As a disclaimer, firms that pass off most work to non-attorneys could be a sign that your case is not being taken seriously enough.
  3. Who will represent me in court? Your representative should be willing to go to court for you, and you should know who exactly that will be. You can inquire on how the representative will have time for court appearances if necessary.
  4. How much will my divorce cost? While divorce proceedings can be unpredictable in some circumstances, be wary of attorneys who use this as an excuse to not answer the cost question. An experienced divorce lawyer serving Norfolk spouses will know the factors that affect how much a divorce costs and can give you a price range that is generally reliable.
  5. What does Virginia law specifically state about “X”? When you are asking a question about your case, make sure to ask the lawyer what Virginia law specifically says. An experienced lawyer will have no problem giving a direct answer with the necessary citations regarding legal issues.
  6. Should I move out? Moving out of the marital home is more of a personal decision, but divorce attorneys can offer unique insight into this question. They will be able to tell you how this action may affect your case. If you are divorcing on grounds of domestic violence, for example, moving out would be consistent with claims regarding abuse.
  7. Can I kick my spouse out? Some circumstances can lead to a court order to remove your spouse from your home, but a Virginia divorce attorney will need to be consulted first. They will be able to tell you whether or not it is a feasible path to pursue.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Norfolk, Virginia

Each divorce case is unique. However, there are some questions that we hear often. These are some answers we typically provide to our Norfolk, Virginia clients.

Can a Military Member Stationed in Norfolk Get Divorced in Virginia?

Many military personnel ask this question since Norfolk is home to the largest naval base in the world. You can, in fact, get a military divorce in Virginia if you are a military member who is stationed in the state, though you must be stationed there for a period of at least six months to qualify.

Can a Spouse Deny a Divorce in Virginia?

While a spouse cannot outright deny or stop a divorce in Virginia, there is quite a bit they can do to make the process more difficult. If they will not cooperate, you will have to demonstrate that you qualify for one of the aforementioned grounds for divorce or that you have been separated from them for at least a year, regardless of the separation agreement.

Additionally, you may find your ex-spouse trying to sabotage the proceedings by introducing dispute claims regarding asset distribution, child custody, alimony, etc. In these circumstances, it is absolutely essential to have a lawyer by your side.

How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Norfolk, Virginia?

The exact timelines of divorce proceedings vary based on how complicated your case is. An uncontested divorce that does not involve any asset distribution or children may be finalized in as little as a month. For complex contested cases, however, the timeline can be very long. For particularly complex cases, the proceedings and court appearances could extend the timeline to longer than a year.

How Much Does a Divorce Attorney Cost in Norfolk?

Generally, a divorce attorney’s cost is based on how much experience they have as well as how complicated your divorce case is. If it is a contested divorce with a large amount of assets that need to be distributed, a divorce attorney tends to be more expensive than one who is working on a more straightforward case. More specific estimates for costs will be available at the end of your initial consultation once the divorce attorney knows the details of your case and has an idea of what to expect.

How Are Assets Divided in a Norfolk Divorce?

Assets are generally divided using a standard of equitable distribution in a Virginia divorce. This is a standard based on a judge ruling on what is fair rather than what is purely equal. Because of this, you may not get a 50/50 split of property in divorce. In fact, it is likely that you will not get a 50/50 split in Virginia. Most often, two-thirds of the assets will be distributed to the spouse with a higher wage. Of course, other factors are relevant as well, such as property that was acquired before the marriage and property that was purchased with personal funds rather than marital funds.

How is Spousal Support Determined in a Norfolk Divorce?

The first step to determining spousal support is seeing if the party seeking it is actually eligible. Certain factors completely bar one from receiving spousal support, such as committing adultery during the marriage. If one is eligible for spousal support, however, the court determines the exact value of it by examining factors in accordance with the Virginia Code. The factors relevant to spousal support issues include how long the marriage lasted, the financial needs of each party involved, the general standard of living during the marriage, and agreements regarding parenting and education post-divorce.

How to Choose a Norfolk Divorce Law Firm

A divorce can have a serious impact on your future, so you will need to find a law office that can handle your case with experience and dedication. Because of this, there are a few factors you will need to look for in any prospective lawyer.

  • Positive reviews from clients
  • Relevant practice areas in family law
  • Empathetic and open to regular communication
  • Within your budget and honest about pricing
  • Comfort in initial consultation and client relationship
  • Shares your desired approach to divorce

Why Our Clients Trust Montagna Law

At Montagna Law, our clients have come to trust our legal services largely thanks to the experience and knowledge of Samantha Bull and Tony Montagna. With their years of experience dealing with family law matters and divorce, you can feel confident with them fighting by your side. Here is what previous clients have had to say about the firm.

“If you’re looking for someone who’s professional, attentive, serious, caring, and negotiable than Mr. Anthony Montagna is who you need. He understood his assignment and delivered well especially being with what I was looking at in my case. I want to again thank Mr. Montagna and Kelly for being there for me. Will definitely be spreading his name around.” – Tiara S.

“I have been a client of Montagna Law since 2014. Because the customer service is exceptional, I have established a rapport with everyone in the office. As a customer for 8 years, it is noted that this firm goes above and beyond for the clients.” – Eric E

Here to Help You Untie the Knot

a knot in a rope with wedding rings

If you are looking for an experienced divorce attorney for quality legal representation, Montagna Law is happy to help clients throughout the Hampton Roads area including Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News, Suffolk, and Portsmouth. Get in touch with our team by calling our Norfolk office phone number at 877-622-8100 or filling out our online contact form for a free consultation.

Visit Our Office

Address:
Montagna Law
425 Monticello Avenue Suite B
Norfolk, Virginia 23510-2408
Phone:
+1 (757) 622-8100
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Written By Jon Montagna

Attorney

Jon Montagna received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from American University in Washington D.C. and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1999. Jon practices law in the Hampton Roads Virginia area.