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...]

Virginia Annulment

Marriages end for all sorts of reasons. In most cases, marriages end in divorce, and it’s cut and dry and fairly simple. Though different issues, like a business valuation, complicated equitable distribution, or a custody battle can drag things out and make an otherwise simple divorce take longer, most divorces follow a predictable pattern. But not everyone is convinced that they should get a divorce, even when there’s no question that they’ve entered a marriage that they’d like to get out of. … [Read more...]

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...]