What is primary physical custody?

  Understanding custody isn’t easy. In fact, I often tell people that learning about custody first involves learning the vocabulary of custody, and understanding how the different forms of custody relate to each other. Though custody litigation is common, these disputes often center around similar themes. In general, child support is not a particular contentious…

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When does permanent spousal support end?

Spousal support cases are some of the trickiest. Even though the law has changed recently to allow Fairfax guidelines to be applied in temporary support cases, permanent support cases are a little more tricky. The law also changed in terms of the taxability and deductibility of awards of spousal support; under the current laws, spousal…

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Holiday Custody and Visitation

At the root of most custody disputes is fear. The fear that you won’t be able to be the kind of parent you always wished you’d be. The fear that a court order, or a custody agreement, would prevent you from having the kind of relationship with and time with the child that you envisioned,…

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Primary Physical Custody and Child Support

I’ve talked about custody every which way from Sunday, but often with more emphasis on shared physical custody than primary physical custody, even though moms almost always tell me, within minutes of our first meeting, that they want sole custody of their children. Failing that, of course, the next best thing is often primary physical…

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I slept with my husband — are we still separated?

There are a lot of divorce-related things that are difficult to discuss, but it’s important to hire an attorney with whom you can be honest. There are not a whole lot of things that feel worse than finding out – at trial or some other inopportune moment – that you don’t really know what’s going on…

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What property in a divorce is marital?

In most cases, my clients have been with their husband for a number of years, accumulating a number of possessions – both consequential and inconsequential. Though we don’t often spend much time dividing the sheets and bath towels, other things, especially big ticket items like houses and cars, do occupy a fair amount of time…

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Do I need grounds for divorce? What if I don’t have any?

Though I’ve only ever practiced family law in Virginia, I’m pretty sure that everywhere – Virginia included – requires grounds in order to finalize a divorce. In Virginia, those grounds can be either fault based or no fault based. Whether you choose to file on fault or no fault depends, of course, on the facts;…

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Virginia Divorce by Affidavit

I found out, 9 years ago today, that I passed the bar. I’ll never forget the day. In that time, I’ve handled a LOT of divorces. A lot of uncontested divorces (LI), in particular. Contested divorces, too, but, in so many cases, even if we start out in court, eventually the parties end up able…

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50/50 Custody in Virginia

Custody and visitation are always major hot button issues in divorce and custody cases, especially because there are so few guarantees. The whole ‘best interests of the child’ standard means that there’s not a standard custody and visitation arrangement ordered; it’s a subjective, not an objective, process, which means that a variety of different arrangements…

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Uncontested Virginia Divorce by Affidavit

I’ve been practicing family law for close to a decade now, and, even in that time, I’ve seen a lot of major changes to how we do things that (I think, anyway!) are really interesting. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen is that, instead of doing uncontested divorce hearings regularly, almost all of our…

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