How does Virginia decide custody and visitation?

Custody cases are some of the most dramatic, contentious, and stressful cases.  I’ve written on this before, and I’ll say it again: Virginia is NOT one of the states in this country that mandates 50/50 custody as a starting point. In Virginia, we use the ‘best interests of the child’ factors, established by statute, as...

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Can I draft my own custody agreement?

If you don’t want to have a trial in your court case, you have to settle your case first.  In a divorce or custody context, settlement is achieved when there is a signed agreement negotiated between the parties.  In a divorce case, you would sign and negotiate a separation agreement – a legal contract that...

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Family law – which includes divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, and spousal support – is a particular area of law that is incredibly state-specific.  What you find to be true in one state is not necessarily true in another.  Even states that are nearby – like, for example, North Carolina and Virginia – are...

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Virginia Separate Debt in Divorce

We talked the other day about debt when it is marital and how it is often divided in a divorce.  But marital ASSETS are categorized as either separate or marital before they are divided – so what happens in the event that debt is separate?  It’s a good question. Typically, separate property is anything that...

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Virginia Marital versus Separate Debt

Though we talk a lot about division of the assets, we often spend a lot less time talking about division of debt.  Even though dividing debt is always an important part of a divorce, it tends to take a backseat – not because it’s not important, but probably more because it’s a whole lot less...

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Up until the court formally decides custody and visitation – or, alternatively, the parties enter into a signed custody agreement – there’s no formal child custody, visitation, or child support. For many couples, especially the ones that stay together (regardless of whether they’re married), that’s enough and it doesn’t go further than that.  Even for...

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What kind of parenting plan do judges like?

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding our local area judges, and that’s probably especially true in the juvenile court. In case you’re not yet all that familiar with the Virginia court system, most custody cases start in juvenile court – unless they’re part of a larger divorce action (in which case they’d be filed in...

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I don’t want 50/50 Virginia child custody

I recently recorded a podcast (which will likely air sometime in September – so stay tuned!), and wrote a blog article about giving advice that clients don’t want to hear. When I was talking with Sheera Herrell about custody on that podcast, she quickly identified custody concerns as the #1 category of types of advice...

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