Should I go to a VA divorce seminar?

Posted on Jul 28, 2021 by Katie Carter


It’s always hard to learn something new. And, though I’ve now been in practice for more than ten years, I remember what it was like to learn all about divorce and custody law in Virginia. It was – in a word – overwhelming, and that’s even when I didn’t have my own personal case to worry about.

To have to educate yourself, on the fly, when you’re stressed beyond belief, is a different challenge altogether. But, still, it’s an important thing to do because I find that, in general, the people whose outcomes are the worst are the ones who know the least about family law and how it works in Virginia.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the people with the absolute worst outcomes are the ones who just sign an agreement without reviewing it, without understanding it, and without attempting to even discuss it with an attorney first.

But you’re not one of those people, or you wouldn’t have found your way here. You wouldn’t be reading and learning and researching all of the things you didn’t know – and hopefully finding even more things that you didn’t know you didn’t know along the way. You’re gathering information, getting answers, asking questions, planning and taking decisive action, and that’s probably one of the best things you could do.

But, then again, divorce law is a pretty challenging thing to teach yourself. Sure, you can read cases (but they’re full of legalese), or read the statutes (but, like, is that even English?), but it probably doesn’t move you a whole long way towards comprehension or understanding. You can read things you find online, too, but mostly they’re from nameless, faceless internet sources. In fact, most of what I’ve found in my searches is from jaded people whose cases ended badly. And, look, I get that we all need a safe space to vent and all, but I’m not sure that learning from people who’ve failed so spectacularly is a great place to start.

What you need is access to up to date, Virginia specific information from a source you know and trust. Ideally, that source should be a lawyer or a law firm who is currently practicing family law in Virginia, near where you live.

Divorce law is state specific. It’s not regulated on a federal level, so things are very different in California, Texas, and Virginia. Heck, things are very different in North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia – so it doesn’t do any good to hear anything from anyone who isn’t in Virginia.

It’s also pretty different from locality to locality. Family law cases are heard by judges – there are no juries here – so a lot comes down to what the judge thinks, and what his (or her) interpretation of the law is. There are also local rules that apply to each court. So, a lawyer from Virginia but who practices in Fairfax is not going to be but so helpful to you if your case is in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Newport News, or Hampton.

So, how do you get access to up to date, Virginia specific information from lawyers in a locality near where you live?

Well, if you’re in Hampton Roads, you’re in luck – because we offer a monthly divorce seminar, taught by one of our attorneys. It’s a Zoom-based seminar these days (at least, since 2020 – no telling what the future will bring, though), but it’s taught live by two attorneys. One attorney presents and – the clincher here, the thing that makes this such a valuable opportunity – the other attorney moderates.

The moderating attorney is behind the scenes, answering live questions from the audience.

Sure, we have tons of resources – blogs, free reports, books, and more – but it might be hard to find a question based on your exact fact pattern. I’ve been blogging a lot since I started (about 3 times a week for the past decade, just sayin’), but I STILL get questions all the time that I haven’t answered before. (And what do you think I’m doing three times a week if I’m not answering new questions or addressing new fact patterns?) But maybe you don’t want to wait for a blog to come out.

Maybe you can’t sleep, and you need real time answers to your real life questions. But you’re maybe also not yet ready to pay $285 and have an initial consultation.

The seminar is the answer for you, dear reader. It’s a great way to learn about the divorce process in Virginia and have an opportunity to ask your specific questions directly to a lawyer.

It’s all private, too; we can’t see the people who are attending (we can just see a list of names), and the other attendees can’t see you or your name. All you – or any of our other attendees – will see is our presenting attorney’s face, the PowerPoint presentation we use, and, occasionally, the moderator as she pops in and out to ask questions to the group, to answer questions, or to add an interesting tidbit to the discussion.

You certainly don’t have to attend, but we’ve constructed this seminar (and adapted and refined it over the years) to ensure it’s usefulness.

A lot of your case – and your ultimate success – will hinge on the decisions you make early on in the process. Even if you’re not at the point where you’re hiring an attorney or filing for divorce, you can be making big decisions that have an impact on your case. The more you know, the better those choices will be. Not only that, but the more you know, the better aligned your decisions will be with your ultimate goals. What could be more important than that?

It’s our goal to help make sure you have the information you need to make big decisions, and this is one of the best ways we can think of to do it. So, come. Ask your questions. Get information. And figure out your next steps – but go forth knowing that, whatever you do, you’ll be informed enough to make the best decisions possible for yourself and your family.

For more information about our seminar, to request a free book, or to schedule a consultation, give our office a call at 757-425-5200.