Richmond Bankruptcy, Divorce, and Estate Planning Lawyer

Family law matters are often hotly contested. Unlike some other legal matters, they can have repercussions that last far into the future for every member of a family. Richmond divorce lawyer James H. Wilson understands the complexities that may arise in these situations. He handles issues related to divorce, child custody, child support, and more. His practice also extends to estate planning, probate, elder law, and bankruptcy. Let him guide you through the process and protect your legal rights.

Family Law

Family law considers the rights and obligations of family members or individuals who live in the same household or who are trying to dissolve certain bonds, such as the marital bond. It can be challenging for a divorcing couple to reach an agreement on many key issues, such as how to equitably divide their property, how to fairly allocate marital debt, or how to set up support and custody if minor children are involved. If a couple cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide these issues. Other matters that may arise within family law include legal issues related to paternity testing, prenuptial agreements, alimony, stepparent rights, grandparent rights, and annulments. James H. Wilson works toward a fair resolution of family law concerns while avoiding unnecessary public exposure of private issues.


Divorce can be upsetting even under the best of circumstances. As a divorce attorney in the Richmond area, James H. Wilson can represent your interests in a divorce, an annulment proceeding, a hearing about the best interests of your child, an interstate family law dispute, or a separation. A divorce can be obtained on a contested or uncontested basis. It is less common to pursue a contested divorce. Contested divorces can be based on fault or no-fault grounds. Filing for a no-fault divorce means that you need not establish your spouse’s wrongdoing to sue for a divorce. In Virginia, you must be separated for at least one year before you can seek a no-fault divorce. Additionally, you must be a resident for six months before the divorce.

Child Custody

Child custody disputes can be hard-fought. Under some circumstances, it is possible for two co-parents to agree on legal custody, including who will make medical decisions, educational decisions, and religious decisions, as well as physical custody, which involves who lives with the child. The child’s best interests are the guiding principle in custody and visitation decisions. In Virginia, the court is permitted to consider a child’s age and physical and mental condition, the age and physical and mental condition of each parent, the relationship between each parent and the child, each parent’s capacity to accurately determine and meet the child’s needs, the child’s upbringing and care, the ability of each parent to cooperatively resolve child-related disputes, and the child’s reasonable preference, among other factors. Richmond divorce attorney James H. Wilson can explain how the factors may apply in your situation.

Child Support

Both parents must provide financial support to a child. Courts are supposed to follow the child support guidelines in Virginia. The child support guidelines assign presumptive amounts of child support based on the parents’ joint income, as well as a child’s health care insurance and day care costs. Judges can adjust upward or downward from a scheduled amount according to the relevant evidence. Parents without physical custody usually need to pay child support to a parent who has physical custody of the child or children.

Estate Planning

Your belongings, real estate holdings, and other possessions make up your estate. Your estate can be inherited by family, friends, or others if you die, either according to intestate laws or according to your will’s instructions. There are different instruments that can arrange how your estate should be distributed or how other wishes should be met if you become incapacitated. For example, a living will can be drafted to specify how you would like to receive care if you become disabled or otherwise unable to communicate after a serious accident or illness. Living wills are only valid when they are drafted by a competent adult and signed in front of two witnesses, and other requirements are met.


Probate is the complicated and expensive process whereby the validity of a will is established or the administration of an estate is overseen. If somebody dies, with or without a will, there are numerous tasks to be completed in the context of administering the decedent’s estate. These tasks include inventory, identification, appraisal of property, transferring title to property, completing tax forms, and paying off debts. In Virginia, probate is a legal process that occurs once somebody dies, regardless of whether that person passed away with or without a valid will. When somebody dies with a will, the property will be distributed based on the will.

Elder Law

James H. Wilson, Jr., understands that Virginia residents may face special issues as they grow older or if they become incapacitated. In addition to serving as a Richmond divorce lawyer, he helps aging clients with elder law matters. Elder law includes not only estate planning but also other issues that affect seniors. Among the issues likely to arise is how to protect assets for loved ones after you pass away. Another issue that people commonly face is how to save for retirement or a disability. Elder law attorneys often deal with concerns related to Social Security benefits, pensions, and long-term care facilities like nursing homes.


Bankruptcy is a legal process that is governed by the United States Bankruptcy Code and Rules. Most often, people with consumer debt file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The primary purpose of bankruptcy is to provide debtors with a fresh start and allow some debts to be discharged, restructured, or repaid. Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, an automatic stay will go into effect. This automatic stay will stop most efforts to collect debts. However, a bankruptcy court can give a creditor permission to pursue collections.

Consult a Skillful Richmond Attorney for Your Family Law or Estate Planning Needs

James H. Wilson grew up in Virginia and serves people throughout Henrico County, Chesterfield County, and Hanover County from his office in Glen Allen. He can assist you in developing an effective solution to a legal concern with understanding and empathy. We offer a broad range of legal services at a reasonable price. Call us at 804.740.6464 or contact us online to schedule a free initial half hour consultation with a divorce lawyer in the Richmond area.

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