I hold very limited knowledge pertaining to the law regarding divorce/separation and had hopes to obtain an attorney befitting for my situation.
We've been married for15 years. I didn't notice big problems initially, but it became more than unbearable in the latter parts.
His alcohol intake increased in frequency and quantity. His vile and rude actions started to affect other family members.
He also started gambling with his son. Once his ways of obtaining cash became limited, he turned to scratch off lottery tickets. I've also found his phone that showed emotional affair.
I left my house that we own together with a few belongings. He's calling pleading one day, then next day with threats.
Now what should I be aware of during the six months of separation? I had no choice but to leave my own house and now he's acting it's his home.
I am concerned about what the result would bring but I have reached my limits. Some say for me to stay in this situation but I believe that those years have caused me irreversible damages.
There is a lot more I'd like to schedule a consultation with a confident attorney so please let me know your opinions.
I changed the practice area to Divorce and Separation which can be VERY complicated. AVVO is designed and good for simple, general questions that will get you to the 'next step' for legal situations. Sometimes all people need is a simple answer. From the facts you’ve given, it seems that you need a lot more than an internet answer. Find and sit down with an experienced attorney in your area – AVVO has a ‘search’ feature that can help you.
Answers provided are general in nature and usually based on Virginia law. If I answer something posted from another state I'm probably out on a limb. Reliance on any answer posted here is at the sole risk and responsibility of the user, and in no way creates or implies an attorney client relationship with the author, his firm, staff, family or even his dog. And isn't it silly that we have to cover our *(&%$ with disclaimers in case some fool wants to blame me when they screw up? Reading any answer means you agree with the above.
There is insufficient information above to give you a full analysis. These are very serious issues. You should start by scheduling a consultation with a lawyer as soon as possible. You may be able to file for an immediate divorce rather than waiting for the full year.
As an aside, you suggest that you plan to file a divorce based upon a "six month" separation. Generally, you are required to be separated under Virginia law for at least one year before filing divorce. However, that time may be shortened to six months if - and only if - you and your spouse: (i) have no minor children born or adopted into the marriage; AND (ii) have a written settlement agreement resolving all the issues arising from your marriage. That exception does not seem to apply to your case.
If you found my answer instructive, I hope you will consider marking my answer as "helpful" of "best." Please be advised that attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.
In Virginia, there is no such thing as a legal separation. If you want to file for divorce, you can file on either a fault or no-fault basis. Fault grounds for divorce include adultery, cruelty, and desertion/abandonment. The no-fault ground for divorce is based on a period of living "separate and apart," with the time period required dependent on whether you have minor children and/or you and your spouse have entered into a property settlement agreement.
You haven't provided enough information to determine whether you have a fault based ground for divorce, but if you do, then you can file for divorce immediately without waiting the time period to file for a no-fault divorce. The court would set a trial date where it would hear evidence regarding the distribution of marital property, spousal support, child custody and support, and whether enough evidence has been presented to prove marital fault. In Fairfax, your trial date might not be set for at least a year (or more) after the initial filing of the divorce. Ideally, your attorney and your spouse's attorney (if he retains one) would try and settle the case prior to trial, saving the parties a great deal of time and money.
You should consult with a family law attorney in your area as soon as possible and go over your case with him/her. Even if you decide to file for divorce on a no-fault basis, the process can be complicated for someone not familiar with the local court rules/procedures (especially in Fairfax).
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