Divorce After an Abusive Relationship

Abuse – especially abuse that is ongoing for a period of years – can really cloud your judgement, affect your thinking, and alter your sense of reality. It can be difficult, as you adjust out of that abusive situation, to reacclimate yourself to normal life. In general, I try not to project my experiences onto…

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What happens to debt in divorce?

One of the scariest parts of separation and divorce is knowing that everything will be divided – but not being sure exactly how. Literally everything is up in the air, and you don’t know what your finances will look like in the not-so-distant future. That’s especially true when there’s debt to divide. In some cases,…

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Should children have a voice in their custody case?

  Custody cases are definitely challenging, and it can be very difficult to tell exactly what’s going on. In Virginia, courts use the ‘best interests of the child’ factors as the standard for making custody and visitation determinations, and the courts are aided by Guardians ad litem, experts, and others to help make those determinations….

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Collaboration v. Negotiation

I’ll admit it: before I had witnessed any part of the collaborative divorce process, I assumed it was ultimately a lot like negotiation. You see, negotiation is the word we use to describe the process by which parties negotiate the terms of a separation agreement. Usually, when we say it, we mean with lawyers –…

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Virginia Custody Cases: When There’s a New Stepmother

  Families are full of complicated dynamics. That’s especially true in the case of a blended family, or even a set of blended families. When parents break up, and remarry other divorced parents with children, the logistics can get complicated really quickly. Even if the remarriage doesn’t include more children, it still includes more personalities…

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Should I itemize how my child support dollars are spent?

No man wants to pay support. That’s even true, unfortunately, for child support. Don’t even get me started. Just kidding. I’m already started, because I already decided to write about child support and whether a person – usually, a mother – receiving it should be required to write down and report on how her child…

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“Gotcha” Games in your Virginia Custody Case

I can’t tell you how many cases I’ve seen where the parents engage in some version of the “gotcha” games. That’s not a technical term, of course; it’s a term I’ve more or less created myself to describe some of the drama that can surround a custody case. Though I’m writing specifically about my experience…

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The good news about Virginia divorce

  “Good” is probably not a word you typically associate with divorce. After all, no one grows up dreaming of divorce. Most of us dream of happily ever after. But what happens when it becomes apparent that happily ever after is just not going to happen? You can hold on to the hope for awhile….

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Is divorce a failure?

It seems like I’ve come up against this word – failure – a lot. Even in circles of women who otherwise are empowered, positive, and uplifting, they describe their divorce as a failure. It’s a word that makes me sit up and take notice. Full disclosure: I haven’t been divorced. I’ve been through hundreds of…

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