Desertion in Virginia

In Virginia, there are both fault and no fault grounds for divorce. Many people believe, for whatever reason, that if they have fault grounds they should absolutely use them. The way the law is written, if a party has made what they deem a “negative non-monetary contribution” to the marriage, the judge may consider it when determining how all the assets and liabilities will be divided. One of the things that lawyers are always quick to point out when they’re reading the law is that “may” is a … [Read more...]

What if he kicks me out?

The early days of a divorce or separation are the worst. It’s when both fears and tempers are at their worst, which causes lots of otherwise perfectly rational people to make decisions that they wouldn’t ordinarily. Under normal circumstances, idle threats wouldn’t cause a World War III level fight; in the beginning of a divorce or separation case, though, all bets are off. Many of the women I met with, at least initially, are panicked. They’re filled with anxiety and worried about the future. … [Read more...]

Virginia Custody Laws: Can I move with my child?

We see it all the time. When things don’t work out between a woman and the father of her children, her first impulse is to pack up and move back home. Without the support provided by the child’s father, there seems no reason, to mom at least, to stick around. In fact, the thing that seems the most logical is to just head back home, wherever that is. Whether it’s halfway across the world, on the other side of the country, or in the next city over, relocation can present a lot of different … [Read more...]

A Virginia Divorce Attorney’s Advice to Anna Duggar

The internet is a cruel place, particularly for the scorned and shamed. These days, Josh Duggar (along with Jared from Subway) is pretty much at the top of that list. As far as the internet is concerned, he is persona non grata. So, who the heck is Josh Duggar? He is, as you probably already know, the son of the famous (or infamous, depending on your feelings) parents from the popular TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. If you know anything about the show (and, probably if you didn’t before last … [Read more...]

Social Media and Divorce: What Ashley Madison Has Taught Us

Social media is fast becoming a really serious problem in divorce and custody cases, and not just for husbands who were caught with profile on Ashley Madison. Social media sites are all over the place, and easily offer millions and millions of people the opportunity to screw up their relationships pretty much 24/7. If the Ashley Madison hack teaches us absolutely nothing else, it’s that very little of what we do on the internet is actually safe. I’ve read a number of different articles on the … [Read more...]

The Ashley Madison Hack: A Divorce Lawyer’s Perspective

With all of the recent hullabaloo surrounding the Ashley Madison website hack, people have been asking me a lot of questions about what it means for divorce in Virginia. It’s interesting. What would be regarded as a (first world) problem of epic proportions if the hack had released people’s credit card information (like the Target card hack awhile back) or confidential health care information or other social media account information, has been regarded by most people with a smirk and a snide, … [Read more...]

How DO we reach a settlement?

You probably already know, if you’ve been doing any kind of research on how divorce works in Virginia, that most cases these days are settled with a separation agreement. A separation agreement is, as you’ve probably already discovered, a legal contract that divides the assets and liabilities of the parties between them—somewhat “fairly” or “equitably.” It may not always be 50/50, but it’s usually (if we’re being honest here) somewhere pretty close to that. A separation agreement is one option … [Read more...]

Can I file custody and visitation petitions on my own?

It seems like a lot of the women I meet with want to talk to me in the hopes that they’ll find out they DON’T need to hire an attorney. (I try not to take it personally or let it hurt my feelings.) The truth is, though, that I understand completely. Hiring an attorney is scary. It’s expensive. And it seems like a big blank check leading you to—well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? You don’t even know where! When it comes to child support, custody, and visitation petitions, lots of women want to … [Read more...]

Girl’s Night Out — Kick Cancer’s Ass

My favorite thing about divorce is watching the transformation of a woman from who she is in the beginning of the process to who she becomes at the end of it. I know it’s difficult, sometimes expensive, and usually fairly time consuming, but a lot of good comes out of divorce, too. As you’re no doubt already aware, marriage doesn’t always mean that life after “I do” is happily ever. When things in your marriage begin to wind down, it’s natural to feel a little panic at the idea of moving on and … [Read more...]

Divorce Triage

Most people who come in to our office really just want to be told what they should do next. Their marriage isn’t going very well, and they’re afraid it’s over. Some are sad it’s over; others are just worried about what the next steps will be. They don’t really know what to expect, and they’ve heard horror stories about the divorce process. They’re also afraid about meeting with an attorney. I can understand that. It’s a really big step, and it feels a bit like opening Pandora’s Box. Are you … [Read more...]