Does your income get you qualified for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief?

Written by: Mehnaz I. Khan, Esq. 

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In order to get a discharge under chapter 7 bankruptcy relief, you must meet certain criteria. Among other things your income from all sources in the last six months should be less than or equal to the median income as specified in the median income guidelines. The median income depends on the locality of the debtor’s residence and the size of the debtor’s household. Higher the size of the household, greater is the median income (the allowed income to be qualified for chapter 7 without a presumption of abuse). These median income guidelines are revised periodically to accommodate a cost of living increase. E.g., in Northern Virginia, an annual median income for a family of one is $52,436.00; for the household of two the median income is increased to $67,021.00, for the family of three the median income is $75,044.00, and so on.

If a debtor’s income is less than or equal to the median income, no problem. However, there are certain debtors whose annual income is greater than the guideline median income. Does that mean this debtor will not be able to qualify for chapter 7 relief? The answer is No. This debtor can still be qualified to get a relief under chapter 7 bankruptcy provided he has certain monthly expenses, e.g., monthly mortgage payments on a real property debtor wishes to keep, or a monthly car loan payment on a car debtor wishes to retain, certain tax payments, certain domestic support obligations, etc. These expenses are generally allowed to be deducted from the debtor’s monthly income while running a means test.

In summary, if a debtor’s monthly/annual income is more than a specified median income, he should not get discouraged. He can still be qualified to get a chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. Talk to your bankruptcy attorney to find out what options are available to you.

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How divorce can influence your children?

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Divorce and the effects on children?

There was a time when American families believed that unhappy parents meant unhappy children. This belief made many parents seek divorce for their child’s happiness. With research spanning 30 plus years, it has been found that children suffer a lot and are very unhappy with their parents’ divorce and divorce process. There are many short-term and long-term effects of divorce.

Short-term effects of divorce

  • Rebellious and depression – Children who experience their parents’ divorce often turn disobedient. Their performance and behavior can drop and they could also get into trouble. The child can go into depression by staying aloof.
  • Aggressive behavior – Children can become very aggressive. This is one of their way to take out their frustration on you and your partner or teachers since they know they cannot change the reality.
  • Feeling guilty – If your child is too young, then he/ she may think themselves to be responsible for the divorce. This can lead to bed wetting in younger children.
  • Less parental control – When a divorce takes place, parental supervision is reduced drastically. For instance, a mom who stayed earlier at home might now have to go to work after divorce and hire a caretaker to take care of the kids. Due to less supervision or authority from the parents due to divorce, children start getting into problems or creating problems when they are not being noticed.
  • Financial difficulties – The family income comes down significantly, which have an unfortunate impact on the family. Studies have proven that children from divorced families are more likely to be poor than those parents who get married.

Long-term effects of divorce

  • Sexual promiscuity and drug abuse – Teenagers from divorced families are likely to engage in sexual activities and get used to drugs or alcohol. They can enter into wedlock at an early age or conceive a child outside of marriage. The child can show anti-social behavior.
  • Education – There are chances that the child can discontinue his/ her studies and are likely to be less educated.
  • Emotional scarring for a lifetime – Emotional scars in childhood and teenage years can pass onto their adulthood.

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Understanding Divorce and Its Effect on Your Children

Parents have the main responsibility for taking care of their children and making sure that all of their needs are met. Raising a child can be a roller coaster ride, there will always be ups and downs along the way. Nonetheless, parents play a crucial role in raising their children to be responsible adults in the future.

However, it can be devastating for children to learn that their parents want to hire divorce lawyers. Their childhood heroes are about to separate for good, and there’s less likely they can do to prevent it. Their parents’ permanent separation may be due to personal reasons. Regardless, it will be one of the darkest moments of a child’s young life.

Of young children and divorce

There is no denying of the fact that divorce can affect everyone in the family, including the children. For one thing, children may not be used to seeing child support lawyers visiting their parents as part of the divorce settlement. Or seeing divorce lawyers every couple of days.

During a divorce, the parents should settle everything before they separate for good. This includes child custody and support, alimony, asset distribution, and others. It can take a toll on both parties as well as the children. However, these are part of the divorce process that they need to finalize.

Child custody and support can be applied to biological and legally adopted children. However, the latter can be more complicated as it may require further hearings and interviews. In such cases, it is often advisable to hire family lawyers for further legal concerns.

Dealing with teenagers

Small children may not understand yet the implication of your decision to separate from your ex-spouse for good. The child may also think it’s their fault why you and your ex-spouse divorced. That is why it is important to be open with your children about your current situation and assure that it’s not their fault why your marriage failed.

However, it may be a different story for divorced parents with teens. It is that stage that they start to explore their passions, emotions, and their limits. Unfortunately, raising a teenager can challenge your limits as well. They can be moody and hide things from you which can be stressful at most times.

Despite their imperfections, one thing is for sure: they need all the love and attention from you as parents and their childhood heroes. Before that, it is important to understand what goes into the minds of teens and how to deal with them.

Signs of a troubled teen

There are many reasons why teens seem to become a different person overnight. It can be due to school pressure or even their domestic situation. Teens tend to become rebellious and too conscious with their looks. They want to fit in with their peers and not become someone bullied.

A divorce can also affect them in all aspects of their lives. For example, it may be too hard for them to live with a step-parent or having problems with his/her biological parents and siblings. There are ways to determine a troubled teen, and these may include your own child.

  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Isolation (ex. locks himself in the bedroom)
  • Exhibits violent tendencies in and out of the house
  • Low grades in school
  • Sleep problems, anxiety, and mood swings
  • Substance abuse

When you notice these red flags on your teen, it is best to consult a therapist or any mental health expert. He or she will recommend the best treatment that can help your troubled teenager overcome these personal struggles.

Dealing with a troubled teen

The last thing that parents would want to happen is their own child getting incarcerated due to law violations. Family lawyers can help in dealing with delinquent teens and improve their relationship with their parents.

However, this does not mean that any legal wrongdoings done by a delinquent will be swept under the rug. It will be the court’s decision on the outcome of the delinquent teen’s case. If the parents are undergoing divorce, it is important to ensure that they hire the best divorce lawyers around.

Divorce can be devastating especially for children. It can affect their perception in life and their relationship toward other people including their parents. For divorcing spouses, it should be more than just hiring top rated divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA. It is about carrying their main responsibility as parents and to lead their children on the right direction.

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What Steps Should You Take to Protect your Assets in Case of a Divorce?


All couples undergo some kind of misunderstandings during their entire marriage. Disagreements are a normal thing among married couples and believe it or not, it is one way to strengthen their relationship.

It is not always butterflies and rainbows in relationships – there are also storms that they need to overcome. However, it is up to the couple on how they will deal with such obstacles and keep their relationship (as well as their family and properties) intact.

The impact of divorce on your financial health

Unfortunately, not all couples succeed in their marriage and end up hiring divorce lawyers. For one thing, divorce can be a stressful situation that can put your emotions in an all-time high.

Soon-to-be-ex-couples would have to battle it out in court for child custody and which property goes to whom. It can be because the divorce is the result of someone’s physical and emotional betrayal.

Nonetheless, those who are planning to divorce should hire family lawyers to help them through this difficult time. Divorce can take some time to settle due to child custody, alimony, and property division the ex-couple have to deal with. Indeed, this is something that most couples do not want to happen anytime soon, but still does happen anyway.

Divorce and asset protection

One of the most important things you have to do before or during a divorce is protecting your assets and properties. This includes your bank accounts, real estate properties, owned vehicles, and even your businesses if you have one. It can be devastating to lose all of your hard work when the court decides to grant all of your assets to your ex-spouse.

On the other hand, you can still get financial support from your ex-spouse even though you are fully dependent of the latter before the divorce. The court will mandate the earning spouse to provide you and your children the financial support you need so you can start all over again. To know more, you would need to consult child support lawyers or spousal support lawyers.

What to avoid when protecting your assets

There are also some things you need to know about asset protection. Divorce can help set you free from an unhappy marriage. However, divorce can also drain you especially financially and emotionally. Here are some things you may have to anticipate in protecting your assets during a divorce.

Never let your emotions dictate your financial aspects of your decision.

Choose when to pick your battles is important during a divorce. Getting too petty with your ex through financial revenge can do more harm on your financial resources than good. Even a short letter written on your behalf and addressed to your ex-spouse can already cost your hundreds of dollars if you are not careful enough.

Don’t be too complacent with your assets.

Just because you have assets under your name doesn’t mean it cannot be claimed by your ex-spouse. Even your spouse’s debts will also be technically considered yours. That is why you should plan your finances carefully while you are still in marital bliss.

Consolidate evidences before filing a divorce.

Legal experts suggest collecting pieces of evidence before filing for a divorce. Make sure to have backup copies of all financial documents that you have and getting important contacts. These will come in handy in case your divorce case pushes through.

Other things to do to protect your financial assets

First of all, you need to determine whether your spouse has hidden wealth and assets. In such cases, you need to take extra precautions before hiring divorce lawyers and filing that dreaded divorce. Aside from that, here are some things you may have to do to protect yourself financially.

Open a bank account.

If you don’t have a bank account yet, now is the time to open one. Let the spouse know so he or she won’t accuse you of hiding your finances. Also, legal experts recommend filing for divorce once you have enough finances for family lawyers fees and living costs.

Close joint accounts.

If you have joint accounts, you can consult the best divorce lawyers about how you can remove your name from those accounts. Ideally, there should be less stress on your part the less debt you have.

Hire legal experts for your impending divorce.

For your legal concerns, make sure to hire top rated divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA. Contact one today!

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What You Need to Know about Common Law Marriage and Divorce

Couples are considered married once they decide to spend the rest of their lives forever in front of a judge or an officiating priest or pastor. A lot of couples look forward to getting married as this means their relationship is now considered legal. Along with getting married, they have the option to conjoin their properties and assets and bear legitimate children.

Unfortunately, not all married couples end up happily. In fact, a lot of married couples decide to hire divorce lawyers and end their marriage for good. Divorce can be a tedious process and both parties should mutually agree on child support, alimony, and property and asset distribution. In such cases, child support lawyers and spousal support lawyers can provide legal support to the soon-to-be-ex couple.

Meanwhile, there are also a lot of couples who apparently don’t believe in marriage. Perhaps one of the major reasons for their decision not to marry, even if they are already living together under one roof, is because they want to avoid the cost implications of divorce in case it does happen in the future.

These couples believe that as long as they have been living together for a long time like married couples do, they are already considered married. If you and your partner are in this kind of setup, you are considered under common-law marriage. What are the implications of being in a common-law marriage? Is this even legal? What happens when you and your common-law spouse decides to “divorce”?

All about common-law marriage

It is usually accepted that if a couple lives together and even have children but are not legally married, you are considered common-law married. In case you are not familiar with this set-up, common-law marriage is a thing and in fact, allowed in some states. Common requirements that will consider you and your partner as common-law married include the following:

  • Both of you should be at the minimum allowable marrying age as per your state’s age requirement
  • Both of you consider yourselves married to each other
  • Both of you act as if legally married (ex. have joint bank accounts, conjugal properties, declared legal parents of your children, etc.)

Some consider themselves common-law married if they have been living together for five, 10, or more years. However, there is no exact period that dictates how long you must live together before you are considered common-law married. This is because such kind of requirement may vary from state to state.

What if common-law spouses decide to “divorce”?

For one thing, you cannot simply pack your bags and end your relationship that easily just because you are technically not married. In some states where common-law marriage is allowed, you would still have to hire divorce lawyers in the event of a divorce.

In other words, common-law spouses would still have to undergo the same divorce process. This includes alimony, child custody and support, and property division. In such cases, you would have to hire professional family lawyers to handle your divorce case. You and your partner would have to agree on specified financial assistance, child visitation schedule, and which parent the child lives with.

What if you are common-law married and you decide to divorce in another state?

For example, you and your partner began a relationship and eventually lived together in Texas where common-law marriages are allowed. Later on, you moved to another state, say, in California, where common-law marriage is not recognized.

Then one day, you and your partner decide to end your relationship for good. Can they be divorced in California if they are not considered married there? This can be quite a tricky situation because you would have to prove to a California judge that you are indeed considered “married” in Texas.

You would have to show documents like bank accounts and even call witnesses from Texas to validate that both of you considered yourselves “married” to each other while in your previous state. Divorcing as a common-law spouse in a state where it is not recognized can be quite a hassle, so make sure to do the aforementioned tips before calling top-rated divorce lawyers who will help handle your case.


Whether legally married or common-law married, the divorce process is both applicable to both marital status. But for the latter, it can be a little more complicated when they do decide to part ways for good. For your legal concerns, you can hire the best divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA.

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What to Expect if Adoptive Parents Are About to Divorce

Parents carry a major responsibility of taking care of their children and attending to all of their needs. This includes giving them a safe and loving home, food and medicine for good health, proper education, and other material needs. Taking care of your children can surely be one journey that parents will remember for the rest of their lives.

However, adopting a child is a noble act. The decision to adopt a child can be due to various reasons. Nevertheless, all children, whether biological or adopted, deserve to be loved and be taken care of. In return, their adoptive parents should commit to treating the adopted child as if he or she is their own blood and flesh.

But what if the adoptive parents decide to hire divorce lawyers and end their marriage for good? What will be the legal impact of the divorce to the adoptive child? Are there things that the soon-to-be-ex couple need to consider that can potentially affect their adoptive child’s adoption status?

Of adoption and divorce

First of all, the divorcing couple should contact experienced family lawyers if they decide to part for good. During the divorce process, the couple should consider several things that can potentially be affected once it becomes final. One of the major factors is child custody.

But what if the couple are adoptive parents to a child? The answer is that both parties still have the legal responsibility and rights to their adopted child. Technically, the spouses entered an agreement prior to the child’s legal adoption. This means that the child is considered your own and can benefit from child support in the event that the adoptive parents’ divorce.

In such cases, it is best to hire child support lawyers to help you with concerns regarding child custody and support. Even after the divorce, the ex-couple still has the responsibility of deciding for their adopted child (unless in certain cases) in terms of education and other aspects of the child’s life. Nevertheless, the welfare of the child, whether biological or legally adopted, is still a top priority over everything else.

What if the couple decides to divorce during the adoption process?

There may be cases wherein the couple decides to hire spousal support lawyers and end their marriage while awaiting adoption results. In such cases, the impending divorce won’t cancel their adoption intent. However, it may depend on the type of adoption. Among common types of adoption include the following:

  • Consensual adoption – occurs when the biological parents voluntary give up their parental rights and choose to pass that right to adoptive parents. In some cases, the biological parents require foster parents to be married.
  • Foster care adoption – occurs when the biological parents are removed from their parental rights by the state. In the case of divorce, the court will decide on the potential effects of the adoption.
  • Step-parent adoption – when the biological parent’s new husband/wife expresses a desire to legally adopt the former’s child(ren)
  • International adoption – involves a child’s adoption outside the US, in which the adoption law of the country of origin will be followed.

What happens if the divorce happens before the adoption process?

More often than not, hiring divorce lawyers to end your marriage can put an adoption process on halt. It will also depend on the type of adoption they have gone through. Here are some possible outcomes that can affect a child’s adoption case.

  • Under consensual adoption, the birth parents can express their interest to get their child back if they learn that the supposed adoptive parents are filing for divorce or misrepresented themselves as married.
  • Under foster care adoption, the biological parents have no rights to revoke the adoption even if the adoptive parents are filing for divorce. The court will then step in and make the final decision whether to grant the adoption or not.

For the sake of the child

Even if the adoptive parents’ divorce, the adopted child’s welfare should be the priority. Usually, the US government would provide subsidies for the adopted children through the Title IV-E Adoption Assistance scheme. Child support lawyers would also advise parents on providing all aspects of support to the child especially if he or she is considered a dependent.

Divorce is never an easy thing, especially in children. In such cases, it is best to hire top-rated divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA for your legal concerns. Contact one today!

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The Price of Fame: What We Can Learn from Celebrity Divorces

Being a celebrity may come with a price. On one hand, popular celebrities including Hollywood A-listers, singers, and performers enjoy worldwide fame and huge paycheck.

On the other hand, their personal space is out of the question since their lives are basically an open book. But behind the limelight, they are humans, too – they would go home to their families and enjoy quality time among themselves.

Of celebrities and divorce

Like any other couples, divorce happens in Hollywood as well. In fact, it seems to be the norm in the entertainment industry. These popular celebrities would hire top rated celebrity divorce lawyers to settle their case.

These celebrities would often hire high-asset divorce lawyers to settle the division of their million dollars’ worth of properties and financial assets. They would also have to seek advice from the best child support lawyers and spousal support lawyers to settle child custody and financial support.

Celebrities are like us – they’re humans, too. They fall in love, get married, and have kids. They also have the right to enjoy the fruits of their labor and quality time with their loved ones. However, they also experience marital problems that often lead to divorce.

Why celebrities divorce

There are many reasons why celebrity couples divorce. For one thing, their work in the entertainment industry plays a major role in their relationship strains that would often lead to divorce. Among these said reasons include the following.

Busy schedules

Most celebrities travel a lot as part of their job. It may be because they will be shooting a new film in a faraway location. Some entertainers would go on tours that would last for months, leaving their loved ones at home. Due to the busy schedules, there may be less time with the spouse especially in terms of intimacy and emotional support.

The lure of temptations

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt met in the set of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and married years later. The catch? Pitt was apparently together with actress Jennifer Aniston during that time. Pitt and Aniston eventually divorced because of the affair. In the entertainment industry, actors must follow the script. If they have to kiss each other as part of the scene, they have to. This simple instance can lead to devastating divorces for some celebrity couples.

Unable to cope up with the reality of marriage

Some celebrities tend to develop crushes to one another based on what they see on interviews and films. However, most of these celebrities may not realize that the person they married is way different off-camera. There may be some quirks that they may either find endearing or annoying. Disagreements may happen here and there, which can end up in divorce.

What we can learn from celebrity divorces

A lot of people may not find it surprising anymore to hear news about celebrity couples divorcing left and right. In fact, it is said that divorce rates are higher in couples who are both celebrities. Still, divorce can happen to couples whether celebrities or ordinary people.

For one thing, divorce can be a complicated affair. You would have to spend money on divorce lawyers to settle your case. It can be a complicated procedure that divorcing couples have to go through.

With that said, there may be some things we can learn from celebrity divorces. Their case may be more sensationalized all over the world, but the stress and all sorts of emotions are there. Here are some things you may learn from these high-profile divorces.

  • Consider having a pre-nuptial agreement. Some celebrities lost a considerable amount of their wealth due to the absence of a prenup. Such documents can help protect your assets and properties in case your marriage dissolves.
  • Keep the divorce as private as possible. Emotions may run high at this time, but avoid badmouthing your ex-spouse especially if the divorce is not yet final.
  • Follow the divorce agreements, including child custody and alimony. This will avoid further complications between you and your ex-spouse. Make sure to hire reliable family lawyers to help you with your case.

The reality of divorce

As mentioned, divorce can happen to anyone, whether you’re famous or not. Nevertheless, it can be an unpleasant event in one’s life. If you are one of those struggling into your marriage and contemplating divorce, you should consult the best divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA to help you with the legal process.

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Will a Divorce Affect My Inheritance?

There are instances wherein one of the spouses was able to acquire an inheritance from his or her family’s side. It can be in the form of money or property. Nevertheless, it is a major responsibility on your part if one of your family members pass on important family inheritance.

In some cases, an inheritance may be acquired during a person’s marriage. However, it can be a little complicated if the couple decides to divorce later on. Your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may go after your inheritance and might claim it as also his or hers. In such cases, it is better to hire family lawyers to handle your case.

Getting an inheritance during a marriage

First of all, an inheritance given to one spouse is technically treated separately within a marriage. Meaning, that inheritance is solely intended only for the spouse and the other spouse should have nothing to do with it.

On the other hand, income that is generated by one or both spouses within the marriage is considered owned by both. But if there is an impending divorce and you have an inheritance to protect, you should consult knowledgeable divorce lawyers first.

Having said that, it is important to decide before putting your money inheritance in a joint account. Otherwise, disputing your inheritance during a divorce in this kind of situation can be one of your worst nightmares. That is why technically, inheritance is considered a separate property and usually not subject to division during a divorce case.

However, this condition regarding inheritances may vary depending on the state. For one thing, there are some states that do not consider inheritances as a separate property. If you are married and want to keep your inheritance as separate property, it is better to consult experienced family lawyers regarding your concern.

What if your ex-spouse wants to claim your inheritance?

You could be in a stressful situation when you are in a process of divorce and then you have a separate family inheritance to protect. As mentioned, inheritance is generally treated as a separate rather than a joint property.

However, there may no contest if the inheritance is also named to your spouse before the divorce happened, although this may be a rare instance. This is called comingling, wherein the inheritance money is deposited in a joint account and used for various expenses during your marriage.

An inheritance may also lose its separate status if it is used to renovate your primary home or any joint properties. In other words, an inheritance will not be considered a separate property anymore if it is used for the benefit of joint assets. But if you want to contest your right to claim exclusively an inheritance, it is better to consult the best divorce lawyers and ask for legal advice.

What if you have inherited money or properties before marriage?

It is not new anymore if you or your spouse is already financially well-off prior to your marriage due to received inheritance or other instances. As already mentioned, an inheritance is considered separate property unless it is used for the benefit of joint marital assets. It won’t also be considered marital property if there is no comingling involved.

This is one reason why having a pre-nuptial agreement can help a lot in case a divorce happens. No couple thinks about getting divorce soon enough or never at all. However, a pre-nuptial agreement can also help couples state which properties are for whom and which ones are considered as jointly owned.

Technically, comingling means the inherited assets and properties will be jointly owned by both spouses. In some cases, the court may rule out that that the comingled property should stay as a separate property. For this to happen, one of the spouses should prove that the assets and properties are not meant for sharing at all.

Getting legal advice from the experts

Divorce, at most times, can take some time to be finalized. It depends on the certain terms and conditions that need to be agreed upon by both parties. For example, one of the spouses should hire spousal support lawyers to settle alimony. On the other hand, child support lawyers usually handle child custody and support cases among divorcing couples.

Inheritance can also be a major concern during a divorce. In such cases, it is best to hire top rated divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA to help you with this kind of situation. Contact one today!

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The Child is Not Mine: What Happens if a Spouse Gets Pregnant with Another Man?

Divorce can be a long process depending on the conditions that both spouses may not find common grounds on. For one thing, divorce lawyers can provide legal assistance for divorcing couples. Still, it may not guarantee a smooth-sailing divorce unless there are other concerns that can affect the divorce proceedings. You may also have to seek legal support from child support lawyers or spousal support lawyers to settle child custody and alimony.

Anything can happen especially before and during a divorce settlement. There are various legal grounds for divorce, such as infidelity, domestic violence, and irreconcilable differences among a few. However, what if your spouse got pregnant while the divorce process is currently ongoing?

Given the above situation, there are some questions that need to be answered. Will the legal spouse be considered or presumed the father of the unborn child? Will the wife/spouse be charged with adultery? How about child support and custody? In such cases, it is best to consult family lawyers regarding these concerns.

Is the legal husband presumed the father of the unborn child?

It is understandable that the husband would think of divorcing the wife who got pregnant with another man. However, there are many cases wherein the wife becomes pregnant with another man before the divorce has been finalized. Either way, it can be a major blow, especially to the legal husband.

At the same time, it can have a major impact on the ongoing divorce case. But as far as divorce laws are concerned, it will be presumed that the husband is the legal father of the unborn child. This is even if the husband thinks that the child is not his and has been living separately from the wife.

In such cases, the legal husband file for a paternity test if he does not want to be recognized as the unborn child’s biological father. This is a necessary process in order to finalize the divorce. In other words, the baby should be born first before a test is made and finalize the divorce process. The laws regarding paternity and child custody may vary depending on the state.

Can the wife be charged with adultery?

The answer depends on the situation. For example, the child can be charged with adultery if the wife got pregnant with another man while she is still married to the husband. Adultery can also be a legal ground for a divorce which can be filed by the aggrieved husband.

However, it should be proven that the unborn child is not his before the divorce may be deemed final. In some cases, it may have to be proven that there is no crime involved which led to the woman’s pregnancy (i.e. rape, coercion). Then again, it will be another legal case that has to be dealt with to prove that the woman did not commit adultery after all.

How about child support?

There are some cases wherein the father was made to believe that the unborn child was his. As a result, he is obliged to provide financial support and assumed custody of the child. Years later, the man finds out that the child is not actually biologically his. Can the man refund all of the financial support given to the child?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. In fact, most US states oblige the person presumed to be the father of the child to provide support until the latter turns 18. The decision is deemed final once the man signs the papers acknowledging his paternity.

Having said that, all men who are claimed to be the father of an unborn child have the right to undergo DNA testing to prove the said claim. More so, the man should be careful not to sign anything that they do not completely understand. It is best to consult child support lawyers before proceeding with the case.


Undergoing a divorce can be challenging especially if there are children involved. However, it is a different story when the wife, who is still married to the husband even if they are going through a divorce, gets pregnant with another man. It is better to hire professional divorce lawyers to handle the case. Contact top rated divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA for your legal concerns.

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What You Need to Know about Divorce by Default

There are times wherein a divorce may be the answer to end your marital woes. It can be one of the hardest decisions you will make in your entire life. However, a choice should be made – even if it means ending your marriage for good. In such cases, you would have to hire top-rated divorce lawyers to help you deal with the complicated divorce process.

Anything can happen during the entire divorce process. On the one hand, the couple may both agree with the impending divorce and go ahead with the divorce proceedings. On the other hand, one of the spouses may not agree with the divorce and want to stick to the marriage. If the latter happens, it can lead to divorce by default judgment.

How divorce by default works

Divorce by default happens when one of the spouses does not respond to the divorce petition filed by the other spouse. Failure to response may either be unintentional or by purpose. That is why you should make sure that the other spouse has received the divorce papers. Regardless, you should seek professional advice from family lawyers specializing in divorce.

There are actually two instances wherein divorce is declared “by default”. For one, a divorce by default happens when the spouse who was given the divorce petition fails to respond within the time frame set by law. It is also applicable if one of the spouses fails to appear in court for the divorce proceedings.

On the other hand, a divorce by default judgment usually happens as the final step for an uncontested divorce. To declare it is as a divorce by default judgment, the spouse — the petitioner in this case – should be able to submit a request for divorce by default judgment. You can consult divorce lawyers for more details regarding this matter.

The spouse/petitioner should also include in the form his/her intention for alimony, child support and custody, and asset and property division. This will most likely be the last shot to forward the petition form. The petitioner may or may not expect the other party to respond.

Other forms may be required to you for submission, so you can check with spousal support lawyers regarding this. Next step is the waiting game. If the other party still does not respond to the latest petition and the response period is over, a divorce by default judgment may be granted by the court.

Pros of divorce by default

There are advantages and disadvantages of divorce by default. First, are the advantages, of which are the following:

  • Allows getting a divorce minus the expense of paying for lawyer’s fees and costs to attend hearings.
  • There is no need to disclose your financial status including your assets and income. On the other hand, all of these should be included in a traditional divorce.
  • It can actually be a part of the soon-to-be-ex-couple’s plan not to respond on the divorce petition in order to be granted a divorce by default. This will help them settle the divorce privately – with or without the help of family lawyers – and save face from attending public hearings.

Cons of divorce by default

On the other hand, a divorce by default also has its cons. Among these include the following.

  • There might be some kind of misunderstanding on the terms stipulated on the request for divorce by default. It can be risky even if the soon-to-be-ex-couple had already agreed to follow their prior plan to obtain a divorce by default.
  • It may lead to the judge referring you to another one, which means it can prolong the process of divorce. It may be because the previous judge wants to give a second chance to the other spouse to appear in court.
  • It may also happen that some unethical lawyers will purposefully delay the serving of the petition papers. This will result in a delayed or no response from the other spouse and then lead to divorce by default.

Should you go for a divorce by default?

If in case that you are the one given the divorce petition, it is important to hire the best divorce lawyers right away. You can contest or agree on the conditions stipulated on the petition. Nonetheless, it is still best that the divorce process undergoes as usual, to avoid any delays and mistakes along the way. For legal advice, contact the best divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA today.

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