Do I need to go to your divorce seminar?

Posted on Dec 9, 2015 by Katie Carter

For more than twenty five years, my law firm, Hofheimer Family Law, has been offering divorce seminars for women in the Hampton Roads area. Today, we teach three seminars a month, one in Virginia Beach and one in Newport News on the Second Saturday of each month, and one in Virginia Beach on the Third Tuesday of the month.
They’re great seminars, designed to help teach Virginia women what they need to know about divorce. We’ve recently updated the format, and now spend our time focusing primarily on answering some of the most frequently asked questions we get, both in our seminars and in our initial consultations.
The name of the seminar is “What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce,” but we affectionately refer to it as “Second Saturday,” because, historically, that’s when we’ve taught it. They’re pretty comprehensive seminars, designed to help make sure that Virginia women walk away feeling empowered.

Who teaches the seminars?

Each of our seminars is taught by one of our licensed and experienced Virginia divorce and custody attorneys. We teach them on a rotating basis, so if you want to find out exactly who is presenting on a particular date, feel free to give our office a call at (757) 425-5200. All the attorneys in our office, Kristen, Sheera, Caitlin, Shannon, Sarah, and I present at the seminars, which can be especially helpful if you’re considering hiring and you want to meet the attorney before you schedule a consultation.

How long are they?

Each seminar runs about an hour and a half, and features time with the attorney and a licensed local mental health professional.
It’s a question and answer format, so you can feel free to ask whatever questions are keeping you awake at night. It’s not a confidential forum, so you should ask questions generally, rather than specifically. We’ve never had a problem protecting any confidences, but any time there’s more than one person in the room you have to think about what kind of information you’re letting slip. Still, it’s a great way to get your questions answered by an attorney without paying the costs of a consultation.

What can I expect to learn?

At Second Saturday, we cover all sorts of important topics, including
• When you’re legally separated;
• What the different types of divorce are (including contested and uncontested, fault and no fault, mediation, negotiation, collaboration, litigation, and separation agreements);
• How child custody, support, and visitation work;
• How spousal support is determined and calculated;
• How property is divided in Virginia;
• What happens if your husband committed adultery or is abusive;
• When you can change the locks; and
• Tons more.
Of course, because all of our seminars are a Q&A format, we’re happy to answer the specific questions you have, even if they aren’t on our list.

What is the cost to attend?

The cost to attend is $40 if you pre-register online, or $50 at the door. We take cash and check.
At the seminar, you’ll receive a copy of our seminar workbook, including the outline we’ll cover in the seminar, free copies of any of our books that apply to your situation (“What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce,” What Every Virginia Military Wife Needs to Know About Divorce,” “The Woman’s Custody Survival Guide,” and “The Woman’s Guide to Selecting an Outstanding Family Law Attorney”), and brochures.
It’s not a free service, but it’s one that we really believe in providing to women in the community. In fact, our attorneys aren’t paid to teach the seminar; all of the fee that we receive goes directly back into the Second Saturday program to pay for room rental and book printing, so that we can continue to offer it at such a low rate.

I’m low on funds right now. Is there any way I can get in to the divorce seminar for free?

As a rule, we don’t offer free seminar admission. In extreme cases of financial need, though, we do take referrals from therapists, victim advocates, counselors, and Fleet and Family support services. If you’re working with one of these people, you can ask that they submit a request for a fee waiver from us.

Is the divorce seminar for me?

If you’re thinking about getting divorced and want to get some questions answered, the seminar is definitely for you! Once you’ve attended, you’re welcome to attend again, as many times as you’d like, for free, too. We find, a lot of times, that women have different questions at different points in the process, and this way we can ensure that they have a way to get those questions answered and make strategic choices.
The seminar is taught behind closed doors, so it’s as private as we can possibly make it. They’re taught in small groups, usually of less than 20 (but sometimes even less than 10). It’s an awesome way to get the answers you need now, so that you can start making decisions you need to make to move your case forward.
If you’re wondering what type of divorce might be in your best interests, whether to hire an attorney or not, or how much your divorce might cost, this is a great place to start.
Second Saturday is a great program for Virginia women facing divorce, and, if you’re about to go through a divorce or custody case, you may really benefit from attending. For more information, give our office a call at (757) 425-5200, or check out our website by clicking here.