Family Law

At Pagano & Marks, P.C. we understand how stressful it is to deal with a legal situation regarding your family. We help families of Richmond, VA and the surrounding areas, by providing both friendly and courteous legal services. If you have any questions about our family law services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our Family Law Services Include:

Uncontested & Contested Divorce
Child Support

Your family is your most prized possession and your most important responsibility. From a legal standpoint, divorce resolves three issues – it divides properties and responsibilities for debts, it gives each person the legal right to marry someone else, and it settles custody matters of children involved. With so much at stake, don’t take these matters into your own hands. Let us assist you during this difficult time. Our firm can make sure your rights are protected.

When a marriage is annulled, it is treated as if the marriage never existed. Typically it is difficult to have a marriage annulled, but under the three following circumstances, an annulment should be granted.
Defect in Marriage: lack of legal capacity
Important Fact Unknown – undisclosed impotence, felony conviction, pregnancy by another, fathering a child by another when the child is born within ten months of marriage, prior career in prostitution.

  • If you and your spouse have lived separate and apart with no cohabitation and without interruption for at least one year.
  • If spouses have entered into a separation agreement and have no minor children and have lived separate and apart without cohabitation without interruption for at least six months.
  • If one spouse has committed adultery, or sodomy or buggery outside of marriage.
  • If one spouse has been convicted of a felony and is sentenced to more than a year in prison and spouses have had no cohabitation after learning of the conviction.
  • If either spouse has been found guilty of cruelty, caused the other spouse to have reasonable fear of bodily harm, or deserted the other spouse, the innocent party may divorce after one year.
Uncontested divorces are usually very simple. If both spouses are able to come to an agreement on property distribution, child, and support issues, courts generally will approve fair and equitable agreements and issue a declaration of divorce for the parties.
Statutory requirements for an uncontested divorce:
If minor children exist, couple must be separated for at least a year.
If no minor children exist and couple has a signed Property Separation Agreement, couple only needs to be separated for six months.
Basic Procedure
A spouse will file a Bill of Complaint for Divorce and have a copy served on the other spouse. The other spouse will have 21 days in which to respond to the complaint. Either spouse can request a pendent lite order, in which a judge will approve certain ground rules for the spouses to abide by while in divorce proceedings. A hearing on the grounds of divorce will occur as well as any other matters pertaining to the divorce. Once all issues have been agreed upon, a judge will issue a decree of divorce.
Equitable Division of Property and Assets
Virginia law requires that marital property and assets be divided equally and fairly, but not necessarily 50-50. Marital debts are also divided throughout the course of dividing a couple’s property an assets.
Spousal Support (Alimony)
Spousal support is not awarded in every divorce. But some divorce agreements require one spouse to pay the other spouse in order to support the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed to during the marriage. Certain factors courts consider in determining whether spousal support should be required include length of marriage, age of parties, and each spouse’s income-earning capacity.
Child Custody and Visitation
Courts consider a variety of factors in deciding a custody or visitation issue under the standard of "the best interests of the child”.
Child Support
Any putative father has the right to genetic testing to prove paternity.
Court formulas are used in order to determine the correct amount of child support to be paid. Factors that are considered include amount of time spent with child, income, medical insurance costs paid out of pocket, child care costs paid out of pocket, other children.
If a parent fails to comply with a court order to make child support payments, the unpaid amounts will accrue interest and a judge can hold a parent in contempt and send them to jail for failure to pay. Certain involuntary changes in income can be grounds for lowering the amount of child support payment.

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