9. What is included in your fee?
The following charges are included in our fee quotes: court filing fees, sheriff service or publication notice to your spouse, if needed, and attorney and paralegal fees. Deposition cost extra. You will be advised prior to executing a retainer agreement (contract with out office) of any exact costs involved with your case, without obligation, and can decide at that time whether to engage our services.
10. Why don’t I have to go to court, when other lawyers tell me a court hearing is required?
As of July 1, 2012, Virginia law does not require a deposition or court hearing for certain uncontested divorces, and you may submit the required “testimony” by written Affidavit instead. For years we have conducted divorces by holding a short hearing in our office, and submitting the transcript to the Court, Instead of having you go to court. The new law allows us to eliminate even this hearing. Because of our years of experience in offering low cost divorces without a court hearing, our office is well set up to transition to Divorce by Affidavit. We developed this service for the convenience of our clients who prefer to avoid a public hearing and also who do not wish to inconvenience their family or friends by attending a hearing, or take excessive time from work.
11. What is a “telephone deposition”?
In the rare situation* where a hearing is required, and if you qualify for our service, you may be able to avoid attending a hearing at the courthouse. A brief deposition of you and a witness (or two witnesses) will be taken by us at the location most convenient to you like:
- Fairfax County: Our offices (in person)
- Norfolk: ReportersDot.com (via telephone)
- Richmond: (via telephone); or
- Roanoke: Central Virginia Reporters (via telephone).
Other locations are available by special arrangement. We are committed to endeavoring to provide you with the best, most convenient, Virginia uncontested divorce service which includes serving those for whom the only practical way to obtain a divorce is using telephonic depositions. A telephone deposition takes the place of having a hearing in our office or at the courthouse. There is an additional fee for this deposition in order to pay the court reporter and for the transcript.
*Divorce by Affidavit is not available in contested divorce cases, or where one of the parties is incarcerated.
12. Do I need my spouse’s consent to obtain an uncontested divorce?
No. You can get a divorce even if your spouse does not consent. But your spouse has the right to receive legal notice of the divorce case. Service can be accomplished by sheriff for in-state spouses or by publication if your spouse’s location is out of state or unknown. If your spouse rather than just not consenting, is contesting the grounds of divorce, division of property, or child custody or support, we will not be able to assist you in a contested divorce, but will refer you to other counsel who do accept such work.
13. Can I email you a question?
After you have submitted the necessary information on our simple form we will be glad to answer questions particular to your situation. Our attorneys strive to reply to your emails within 24 hours, but our response may be delayed by our duties in court or other matters. You are also invited to call us with any question you may have. Our knowledgeable staff can answer many questions and arrange an appointment for you at a convenient time.
14. Is there a difference between a “Property Settlement Agreement” and a “Separation Agreement”?
No. These agreements go by many names, but are generally the same. They can be called “Property Settlement Agreement”, “Marital Separation Agreement”, “Separation Agreement”, “Mutual Agreement to Separate”, etc. Generally they should include language that the parties have agreed to live separate and apart, have agreed to issues of child custody, child support, spousal support (“alimony”), and division of all marital property, retirement funds and debts. Virginia law has some particular requirements of what should and should not be included in these agreements.
If you and your spouse arrive at such an Agreement, it will need to be signed before we file your papers for a divorce. Also, your spouse will need to sign the Final Decree of Divorce (the court wants to see that he/she knows what is in the Final Decree). We will prepare this Final Decree and forward it to your spouse at the time we forward the Waiver, for him/her to sign and return to us. The Court will retain the original of this agreement in its file, so you may wish to make additional copies.