Practicing Family Law in Virginia for Over 20 Years
The stress faced by families dealing with separation and divorce can be significant. Custody disagreements can complicate the process because they are emotional. Financial differences can be challenging when couples don’t agree on the amount or duration of support payments. Or when they don’t agree on the value of business interests or retirement plans. The divorce attorneys at Farrell & Croft, P.C. are adept at guiding our clients beyond the turmoil and beyond the conflict.
The divorce attorneys at Farrell & Croft, P.C. achieve successful results through skilled negotiation and litigation of family law issues. We draft the formal document if the parties are able to reach an agreement. Also, we negotiate agreements, and can be available for consultation while you and your spouse attend mediation.
In addition, we confidently pursue litigation on behalf of our client. Our attorneys are experienced litigators who have each practiced for over 20 years in the Circuit and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts of Prince William County. Each has a proven track record of obtaining fair and equitable resolutions on family law issues by being strong advocates and balancing the cost benefit for our clients.
Whether by agreement of the parties or by court ruling, the divorce attorneys at Farrell & Croft, P.C. have the experience and demeanor to effectively and aggressively represent your family law interests. From the most basic issue of child support to the most complex issues including division of closely held business assets, retirement benefits, military benefits, and stock options, you will find experienced counsel to work on your behalf at Farrell & Croft, P.C.
Based in Manassas, Virginia, our firm serves families throughout Prince William County. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions about how we may serve you.
Prince William County Divorce Attorneys
Whether you are involved in a contested or uncontested divorce or annulment, the Prince William County divorce attorneys of Farrell & Croft, P.C. will work diligently to protect your interests in resolving all aspects of your case.
Grounds for Divorce in Virginia
Divorce law is governed by the states and the laws vary from state to state. Virginia law requires at least one of the following grounds for divorce exists before a party may file for divorce:
- Separation for a period exceeding one (1) year or, if the parties have no minor children and have a written settlement agreement, separation for a period of 6 months
- Willful desertion
- Cruelty and constructive desertion
- Other grounds, including annulment for bigamy, felony conviction and incarceration
The Divorce Process
Pursuant to divorce, the court also has authority to determine issues involving custody, child support, spousal support, property division, apportionment of debt, and attorney fees. The court may grant the parties temporary relief, without prejudice, to stabilize the family situation until the parties are able to reach an agreement or the court is able to resolve the issue in a full and final hearing that may not occur until months or even years after the initial complaint for divorce is filed. The timeline for a divorce from start to finish can vary substantially depending on the issues of each case and when, if ever, the parties are able to reach an agreement on the issues which the court would otherwise have to determine upon divorce.
Based in Manassas, our divorce attorneys have provided trusted family law counsel to Prince William County for over 20 years. To see what it’s like to work with us, we welcome you to learn more about why clients choose us and to read our client reviews. To request a consultation, please contact Farrell &Croft.
Manassas Child Custody Attorneys Serving Prince William County
The Manassas child custody attorneys of Farrell & Croft, P.C. have a reputation for delivering the best possible outcome for our clients and their children. Child custody and visitation issues can be some of the most challenging in the practice of family law. Parents often have different approaches to child-rearing. Often the differences are due to their varied personal experiences and views related to discipline, religion, education, and supervision. Therefore the goal is to reach an acceptable compromise or a blending of the practices that best serve the needs of the child.
Virginia Child Custody Law
Custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody refers to decision-making responsibility for the children. As a result, a parent charged with the responsibility for making legal decisions for or on behalf of the children, possesses sole legal custody. Notably, Virginia law generally favors joint legal custody.
Physical custody refers to the amount of time that each parent spends with his or her children. As a result, the parent that spends more physical time with the children has primary physical custody. So, the parent with less physical time is referred to as having visitation with the children. If both parents spend significant time with the children, the parents share physical custody.
The best interests of the children is the paramount consideration. The bests interest of the children is defined in the child custody factors required under Virginia law and will be considered by the court when determining legal and physical custody. Parents are encouraged to put the needs of the child first which often results in some compromise on their parenting practices.
Based in Manassas, our firm has provided trusted legal service to Prince William County families for over 20 years. Clients regularly recommend this firm. To see what it’s like to work with us, we welcome you to learn more about why clients choose us and to read our client reviews. To request a consultation, please contact Farrell &Croft.
Prince William County Child Support Attorneys
Farrell & Croft P.C.’s Prince William County child support attorneys assist our clients with negotiating and determining child support, as well as with enforcement of Virginia child support orders.
Virginia Child Support Guidelines
Pursuant to Virginia law, both parents have a duty to support their children. If the parents cannot agree on the amount of child support to be paid, the courts will determine the amount. Either parent may file a Petition for Child Support through counsel or without counsel. The parties or the court will calculate child support by reference to the Virginia Child Support Guidelines.
Virginia law creates a rebuttal presumption that the child support amount determined by application of the Guidelines is appropriate in each case. The parties or the court will calculate the presumptive Guideline amount by using a standard Virginia child support workseet. In addition, the key factors considered are the following:
- The parties’ respective average monthly gross income
- The amount of spousal support paid between the parties, if any.
- The amount of time each parent has with the child (in cases where each parent has the children at least 90 days each year, as the term “day” is defined by the statute)
- The cost of providing medical, dental, and/or vision insurance for the children, and
- The cost of daycare expense, if any, for work-related reasons
Also, the court must also consider the best interests of the child. Especially relevant, the court can deviate from the Guideline amount only for certain reasons set forth by the statute.
Based in Manassas, our attorneys have provided trusted family law counsel to Prince William County for over 20 years. To see what it’s like to work with us, we welcome you to learn more about why clients choose us and to read our client reviews. To request a consultation, please contact Farrell &Croft.
Prince William County Alimony and Spousal Support Attorneys
Also known as alimony or separate maintenance, spousal support is paid by a spouse with the financial ability to the spouse with a legitimate need. Farrell & Croft, P.C.’s experienced Prince William County spousal support attorneys work on your behalf for a satisfactory resolution.
Virginia Spousal Support Factors
Under Virginia law, spousal support is an obligation that arises from marriage and is not available to persons who are not lawfully married. Spousal support may be paid by a husband or by a wife and is not gender specific. Under the Virginia spousal support statute, the court must consider many factors in determining the amount and duration, if any, that spousal support is to be paid. The court may order spousal support to be paid while the divorce action is pending and, after the divorce has been granted, for a specific or unlimited period of time, in lump sum and/or in monthly amounts.
Based in Manassas, our spousal support attorneys have provided trusted family law counsel to Prince William County for over 20 years.
Prince William County Attorneys Experienced in Equitable Distribution – Property Division
The court will distribute or divide all marital property between the parties upon divorce through equitable distribution. The law of Virginia is that equitable distribution means fair or equitable division but it does not mean equal division. Sometimes the court will find that equitable is equal.
A party will find that the classification of property as “marital” or “separate” is critical in the overall analysis of a property case. The court’s classification analysis is frequently complicated and not what parties would otherwise assume. The parties themselves may sometimes overlook what is property including investment and retirement accounts and entitlements.
Surpassed only by custody disputes, those who are separating or divorcing are most concerned with property division. The family law attorneys at Farrell & Croft, P.C. are uniquely experienced to help you navigate these issues successfully.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property Under Virginia Law
In Virginia, the court may only divide marital property between the parties and does so by applying equitable distribution. The court must consider certain Equitable Distribution Factors established under Virginia law in the determining the distribution of marital property between the parties.
The court must classify, and value all property before any marital property is distributed between the parties. The law of Virginia classifies property as “separate” or “marital” or or some combination of the two pursuant to Virginia statute. The law of Virginia defines marital property as all property that is not separate. But distinguishing between the marital and separate property classifications can be tricky. Considering how and when specific property was acquired as well as how the property is titled will determine whether property is separate or marital.
Based in Manassas, our divorce and family law attorneys have provided trusted legal service to Prince William County for over 20 years.
Prince William County Attorneys for Apportionment of Marital Debt
Marital debt is that debt which is incurred for the benefit of the marriage during the marriage by either party, regardless of whether that debt is titled jointly or is solely in the name of either the husband or wife. Farrell & Croft, P.C.’s experienced divorce attorneys help you to minimize your exposure to marital debt.
Virginia Law on Division of Debt During Divorce
Virginia courts have the authority to apportion marital debt between the parties equitably or fairly and must consider the equities of each case and other factors as required by Virginia law.
Based in Manassas, our divorce attorneys have provided trusted family law counsel to Prince William County for over 20 years.
Trusted Lawyers for Adoption & Surrogacy
There are many ways to expand your family aside from natural childbirth. Adoption and surrogacy are two common forms and both need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. The attorneys at Farrell and Croft, P.C. know the intricacies of adoption, surrogacy arrangements, and custody cases. Their expertise can prove invaluable as you consider your options for expanding your family.
Virginia Adoption Law
Adoption is the creation of a legal, permanent relationship typically between a child and a non-genetically related adult. Virginia law allows for private placement adoptions, agency adoptions, stepparent adoptions and adult adoptions, to name a few. The laws of adoption in Virginia are complex and require strict adherence to prevent future problems or questions.
Virginia Surrogacy Law
Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproduction in which a woman donates the use of her reproductive system to a couple that wishes to have a biologically related child but cannot conceive or carry a child to term on their own. Virginia was one of the first states to pass legislation regarding the use of surrogacy arrangements and contracts following the national attention drawn to the issue in the tragic custody case involving “Baby M” that occurred in New Jersey.
The laws are very specific as to what can and cannot be paid to a surrogate and how and when termination of the agreement can take place and the resulting outcomes. It is imperative that each person involved in the surrogacy be represented by competent counsel and be advised of their rights and obligations under the law. Such an important and meaningful undertaking should not be taken lightly.
Based in Manassas, our adoption and surrogacy attorneys help Prince William County clients welcome new family members into their lives. To see what it’s like to work with us, we welcome you to learn more about why clients choose us and to read our client reviews. To request a consultation, please contact Farrell &Croft.
Family law issues are submitted to a Virginia court for determination if the parties are unable to reach an agreement. Once the resolution of the issue, either by virtue of a court ruling or by agreement of the parties, becomes a court order, the resolutions are enforceable by the court. Farrell & Croft, P.C. is experienced in the enforcement of court orders.
What if the other party fails to pay child support? Or what if the other party fails to return the child at the appointed time? Our attorneys are knowledgeable about enforcement remedies in Prince William County, including contempt proceedings for violation of a court order. There are many different penalties that can be imposed for contempt, including but not limited to incarceration until the non-compliant party has corrected the violation.
Each case is different and what remedy may be best in one case may not be the best in another. Our attorneys are well-versed in contempt remedies so that our clients can enforce the benefits awarded them by court order.
Our Manassas family and divorce attorneys have served clients in Prince William County for over 20 years. To see what it’s like to work with us, we welcome you to learn more about why clients choose us and to read our client reviews. To request a consultation, please contact Farrell & Croft.
Prince William County Attorneys in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Social Services – Child Protective Services handles the investigation of any reported case of child abuse or neglect. Their power is tremendous including the ability to remove child from your home, talk to children without your knowledge, and inspect your home. If you or a family member has been accused of abuse and neglect, you need to treat this seriously and consult with an attorney experienced in this area of law.
If you believe that a child has been abused or neglected, you should report that immediately to the Child Protective Services and cooperate with their investigation. A link to the website and phone number is available on our resources page. Child Protective Services may ask a court to enter an order not only requiring the abuser to cooperate with certain services or conditions, but asking you to cooperate as well. It’s important to seek legal counsel even if you have done nothing wrong to help guide you through the process, answer questions with you in mind, and protect your interests.
Contact Farrell & Croft, P.C. today to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys regarding your situation. Based in Manassas, our family law attorneys provide trusted counsel throughout Prince William County.
Prince William County Attorneys in Protective Order Cases
Protective Orders can be obtained against a family or household member in Virginia when there has been an act of family abuse which is defined under Virginia law as “any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places on in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury.” Protective Order cases includes any forceful detention, stalking, criminal sexual assault or any criminal offense that results in bodily injury or places you in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault or bodily injury.
If the police make an arrest, they may request an Emergency Protective Order from the magistrate that is valid for 72 hours only. You must follow through with the proper paperwork to receive a Protective Order for an extended period. A judge that issues a Protective Order may also may orders as to the use and possession of living quarters regardless of who owns the property, child custody and possibly child support.
Having an attorney on your side that understands the law regarding the issuance of protective orders is important. Likewise, if someone is seeking a protective order against you, you want an attorney with experience in handling these types of cases.
The attorneys at Farrell & Croft, P.C. are knowledgeable and experienced in these issues. Based in Manassas, our family law attorneys provide trusted counsel throughout Prince William County. Contact Farrell & Croft today to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.