6 Big Misconceptions in Family Law

We all know a lot about how the law works because we watch TV. Right? Well, no—actually, it’s quite the opposite. We don’t know very much about the law, but most of us do know just enough to be truly dangerous. There are courtroom dramas right and left, and what most people really know is just enough to set them up for frustration and disappointment later on. There are lots of misconceptions when it comes to family law cases. Family law is, in a lot of ways, very, very different from other … [Read more...]

Divorce Costs

If I could give you one piece of advice as you begin to prepare for your divorce case, it would be this: keep calm. I know, I know.  That’s easier said than done.  Divorce is complicated, and it affects a lot of things—among the most important of which are your family and your finances.  It’s stressful, it’s overwhelming, and your life is changing. On top of all that, your husband (you know, that man who promised to love and cherish you) isn’t being very nice.  He’s threatening to do things … [Read more...]

Saving Money on Virginia Divorce

On Monday, we talked about how to tell good attorneys from bad ones and how much divorce really costs.   If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you definitely should! Hiring an attorney is a pretty scary thing, and not something that you have to do all the time, so it’s difficult to have a lot of experience or up-to-date information about the law, the courts, and attorneys in your area.  It’s confusing because there’s so much information out there, and it’s hard to know who to trust.  Who … [Read more...]

How much does divorce cost?

When people start shopping around for divorce attorneys, they are definitely concerned about the price.  The thing is, though, it’s not like shopping at a regular store.  You can’t see that there are different, specific prices associated with different options.  Take car shopping for example.  You can’t see, at a glance, that there’s a definite price difference between a Kia and a Porsche. Not that there’s anything wrong with a Kia, of course.  In fact, a Kia may be exactly what you’re looking … [Read more...]

How Custody Decisions Are Made

In most states, custody decisions are made in court based on the “best interests of the child.”  It’s a pretty general phrase that can mean all sorts of things.  In fact, most courts have a different definition of what, exactly, qualifies as being in the best interests of a child. If you’re facing a custody case in Virginia, you should know the ten factors that the courts use to determine what is in the best interests of a child.  Custody cases are tricky, but it can help a lot if you … [Read more...]

Virginia Custody Cases Where There is Abuse

As a mother, you would do anything for your children.  It’s a cliché and yet, at the same time, it’s also incredibly true.  It’s something I’ve witnessed time and time again in my practice, talking to moms who are in the middle of fighting for, or are preparing to fight for, custody of their children. In most cases, though that protective momma bear comes out regardless, custody is a relatively simple thing to determine.  Both mom and dad are reasonably good parents, though they were (for … [Read more...]

What if one of us doesn’t want a Virginia divorce?

Divorce is hard, no matter what the circumstances.  However, when one of you doesn’t want to get divorced, it can be even more difficult. Before I go too far, let me tell you, at the outset, that, whether you want it or not, there’s not a whole lot you can do to stop a divorce.  You don’t both have to consent; if one party wants to get divorced, that’s enough. That being said, though—just because you can’t STOP the divorce from happening doesn’t mean that you can’t slow it way down, cause a … [Read more...]

What happens when you hire a Virginia divorce attorney?

Picking up the phone and calling an attorney, not knowing what you’ll hear on the other end of the line, is scary.  It’s a big step, and you’re afraid you’re opening Pandora’s box.  What if you take a step that you can’t take back later?  And what do you know what they’ll tell you on the other end of the line—that it costs $10,000, or some other ungodly number you can’t fathom?  What if they don’t understand, don’t sympathize, or make you feel stupid?  What if you can feel their judgment … [Read more...]

Pro Bono Divorce Services in Virginia

We get a LOT of questions from women looking for pro bono legal services.  I don’t know how pro bono is the one Latin phrase that everybody seems to know, but it is—and there’s definitely a perception among people (in Virginia, anyway) that lawyers are honor or duty bound to provide a certain amount of pro bono service.  It seems like every single day we get calls from women who need free legal help. But aren’t lawyers supposed to provide free legal services? Probably the way pro bono works in … [Read more...]

Changing Your Name in Virginia Divorce

For lots of women, one of the most important parts of the divorce process is the name change.  Especially when there aren’t children born during the marriage (and sometimes even when there are) one of the most important parts of the process (and certainly one of the most therapeutic and significant parts) is the name change order. You don’t have to get your name changed because you’re getting divorced.  And, on the other hand, if you want your name changed, you don’t have to wait until you’re … [Read more...]