divorce and separation

Divorce and Separation

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Divorce and Separation

We will take care of you and your family

Many couples face multiple difficulties throughout their marriage. Some can be overwhelming. While counseling and mediation are options for many couples to pursue before separating, there are times when a divorce becomes a necessary choice.

Stress and anxiety are inherent in most divorces, whether or not children are involved. With the right legal representation, you can exit a failed marriage without damaging your life, your finances, and most importantly, your children. The first step forward is to contact an experienced Virginia attorney who specializes in handling divorce.

The Hutchinson Law Center manages every case with one objective: helping you and your family. We work with you to steer through the complex legal landscape so that you have as little financial and emotional damage as possible.

Working with a smaller law firm does not mean your representation won’t be as good as a larger firm. On the contrary—a smaller law firm can offer more personalized representation throughout the duration of your divorce case.

Let the Hutchinson Law Center take care of you and your family and make the process as easy as possible.

divorce and separation


In Virginia, there is no such thing as “legal separation” as there is in other states.  A couple is deemed to be “separated” when a couple no longer lives together as husband and wife and the intent to separate has been communicated. However, it is essential that you speak with an experienced attorney to navigate the separation process to avoid taking any steps that can impact you negatively.  Until a divorce decree is issued and signed by a judge, the couple is still legally married.

After a couple decides not to be husband and wife anymore, they no longer live together, or represent themselves as a couple, many will sign a Separation Agreement, often called a stipulation agreement or property settlement agreement. This covers not only the division of property and assets, but also custody of the children, visitation, child support, spousal support, attorney fees, and any other matters that could otherwise be decided by a court.

A signed separation agreement can also expedite the divorce process and save you from costly litigation.  If there are no minor children, your divorce can be finalized in six months after separating, whereas without one, it could take a year or longer.

Considering divorce or served with divorce papers?

Whether your spouse gave you papers, or you are just considering separation and divorce, here are some ways you can start preparing now.

Take Responsibility

If news of the divorce comes as a surprise, you may be tempted to ignore it and wish it would go away. That only happens in the movies, and the reality is that you’re more than likely going to be divorced no matter what you do. It is now up to you to be proactive. Even if you did not initiate the divorce, you will need to have strong legal counsel to help you make the right decisions for you and your children.   A proactive approach to handling your side of the divorce will be less expensive, stressful, and will help you get a better settlement faster. Take control of your divorce to make the process as easy as you can.

Get Organized—Now

Begin to gather up information that will assist your attorney with advising you on financial decisions and preparing for a division of assets and debts.  Documents that are often requested are as follows:

    • Bank and financial statement
    • Investment and retirement accounts statements
    • Deeds and settlement statements for properties you and your spouse own
    • Verification of household income, includes, but not limited to.
      • Tax returns, w2 forms, and pay stubs
      • Verification of any debt, such as credit card statements, mortgage and car loan statements.

What Is Your Best Option? You have options available that can make the divorce process a little easier.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to complete your divorce simply, especially if you don’t own property together, and there are no children. In some cases, you can file and complete an uncontested divorce. However, we suggest consulting with a family law/divorce attorney before you start to ensure it’s done correctly and to help you navigate the court procedures.

If uncontested is not an option, you’ll need an experienced family law attorney who will work to protect your rights and your children’s rights. Divorce mediation is one way to get help working out the details of your divorce without a large amount of litigation. Mediation can be implemented when you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement. Hiring a mediator will also take the pressure off of you and your spouse to finalize agreements on your own so your divorce can proceed.

When the time comes, Hutchinson Law Center is ready to help

If divorce is in your future, call us to schedule your consultation at (757) 367-8888 or contact us online. We are here to help, and answer all your questions. We work hard to protect you and your children at this difficult time, and help you get to the other side.