Divorce & Family Law

Tesler and Werblood, with offices in Falls Church, Virginia, are experienced attorneys who know Virginia divorce law. In Virginia, the law requires at least one party to be a resident for six months before filing a divorce petition. In addition, Virginia law requires a one-year separation before parties can claim “no fault” grounds. The separation period can be reduced to six months if you and your spouse do not have minor children together, and if you can reach a settlement agreement.

Our attorneys have experience examining grounds for divorce, although “no fault” grounds in which neither party has to prove the other did anything wrong are most common. Grounds for a divorce in Virginia include the following: adultery, sodomy, or buggery without cohabitation after knowledge of the event; adultery, sodomy, or buggery that occurred outside of the marriage; a felony conviction with at least a one-year stay in prison; cruelty, threat of bodily harm, or abandonment; and/or separation of at least one year. In Virginia, legal separation does not exist; instead, voluntary separation is required.

At Tesler and Werblood, we have experience negotiating alimony and child custody for our clients. Alimony can be awarded for a specific amount of time, or for an indefinite period. It can also be awarded as a lump sum. Specific criteria have been determined by the Virginia legislature for the court to consider when determining the amount and length of alimony payments. Annulments are also possible under state law, but there are strict requirements for obtaining an annulment. Ask us about this, and about Separate Maintenance, which enables a spouse to receive support but remain legally married.

Family Law
At Tesler and Werblood, we have over 35 years of experience practicing law in Fairfax County. In the area of family law, we provide advice and representation for matters concerning divorce, annulment, child custody, adoption, guardianship, and domestic violence. Call us today for more information about how we can help you in this area.

We can help you navigate Virginia’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts system when pursuing child custody, visitation, and child support issues. Parents can be granted the following types of custody: joint legal custody, in which both parents are responsible for the child; joint physical custody, in which parents share physical custody and care of the child by alternating weeks or months; and sole custody, in which one parent has physical custody and the authority to make day-to-day decisions about the child. In the case of sole custody, the non-custodial parent may seek visitation.

At Tesler and Werblood, we can help you navigate Virginia’s laws regulating the adoption process. In order to adopt in Virginia, prospective parents must complete a six-month home residency period. If the child is 14 or older, the consent of the child must be obtained. If using an agency, the adoptive parents must petition the court, and obtain consent from the agency in order to finalize the adoption.

Virginia law provides certain protections for those who are alleged to be a victim of any act involving violence, force, or threat, including domestic violence. We can apply for a protective order on your behalf to protect you and others in your home. We can petition the court for changes to child custody agreements based on the occurrence of violence, and provide advice and guidance on ways to protect yourself, including a legal substitute address that can be used in place of your physical address.