You also need a lawyer if you receive notice that the other parent has filed to have a step-parent or others adopt your child, and you object to the adoption.
Divorce: When a case is filed or needs to be filed in the Circuit Court (the only court that can grant you a final divorce or divide your property), you need a lawyer.
A lawyer can also be useful in visitation, custody and support cases in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
It is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately if you are served with papers. If you miss a deadline, you can lose your rights. Never fail to appear in court if you receive a summons. Also, always pick up your certified mail. Ignoring it will not make it go away.
The sooner you contact a lawyer, the more time you will give your lawyer to prepare.
We are not “divorce lawyers.” We do not encourage divorce. That is a decision that the parties must make. They also must take responsibility for how the process is handled. They ultimately are responsible for how long the case takes to complete, how much it will cost and how difficult (or not) the case will be for all involved.
All of these cases require specialized legal knowledge and training. They are controlled by Virginia statutes and case law from the courts. As the law is constantly changing, an attorney must work to keep up. The policy of this office is to remain current through frequent training, review of current literature and court decisions and participation in national, state and local family law organizations.
We recognize that family members will need to deal with each other for years to come. For this reason, we encourage communication and often, therapeutic intervention. We also encourage the use of mediation and collaborative law in the appropriate situations. A consultation will help us determine the best course of action in your case.
Two unmarried adults cannot adopt a child in Virginia.
To initiate a search for the birth family, you must fill out an Adoptee Application for Disclosure from: Adoption Reports Unit, Department of Social Services, 730 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219-1849; Phone (804) 692-1944
Courts encourage parties to try to resolve issues between themselves first. Experienced attorneys also recommend this.