Retired and active duty military wives and female military service members: If you haven’t already, contact us now to schedule your reduced-fee Veteran’s Day consultation!Retired and active duty military wives and female military service members: If you haven’t already, contact us now to schedule your reduced-fee Veteran’s Day consultation!
We rarely reduce our consultation fees, but on Monday, November 13th, our regularly $285 consultations will be reduced to just $150. You’ll receive the same one on one appointment with one of our licensed and experienced Virginia military divorce attorneys, but for a reduced fee as a special thank you for your service to our country.
What happens in a consultation?
I get it; it’s pretty intimidating to walk into an attorney’s office. It’s easiest and best if you know what to expect before you walk in the door, right?
Well, a consultation is pretty much just like a conversation. You’ll tell the attorney you meet with about what’s happening, and the attorney will ask questions and then give you an idea of the legal issues you might be facing. As you talk, the attorney will give you advice based on what, in her opinion, your best course of action might be (compared with other courses of action) and help you come up with a custom tailored plan for how to move forward.
Like I said, though, it’s a conversation – we don’t dictate to you what you have to do. We want to hear from you, and to help make sure we come up with a plan that takes your goals into account.
It’s nothing to be scared of. You’ll walk away with a lot of information, though, and some ideas for how to begin to move your case forward, when you’re ready. For more information about exactly what to expect in a consultation, click here.
What should I bring with me?
You don’t have to bring anything with you, so don’t let it stress you out. If you do have particular documents that you want reviewed, though, you should make sure to have them on hand.
If there’s already a case filed, it’ll be most helpful if you bring along anything you have – anything you’ve been served with, or any decisions rendered by a judge, or any agreements you and your husband or child’s father have reached. It’s easiest for us to tell what has happened by looking at the record, rather than assuming we understand based on what you tell us. (Sometimes, it’s confusing!)
You can also bring in any documents you have about your case – any mortgage statements, retirement account balances, credit card statements, or loan paperwork, for example, can be helpful in advising you regarding your divorce rights in Virginia.
Most important, though, are any signed agreements (including prenuptial agreements!) or judgments entered by any court.
Can I bring a support person along?
Sure you can. Lots of people do. But be warned that if you bring someone along with you, it defeats your claim of confidentiality later. Still, many people choose, for a lot of reasons, to bring someone along to help.
It can help to have someone else to listen in, to ask questions, and to remember to bring up things that you’re too stressed to remember in the heat of the moment. Some one else may be able to be more objective, and that can be super useful.
Still, be careful of who you bring. Divorce and custody cases often involve a discussion of sensitive topics, and you want to make sure you bring someone you can be honest in front of. Your consultation won’t do you any good if you don’t bring up something that’s bothering you because the person you bring with you makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Sometimes, we talk about sex, or finances, or other sensitive topics – don’t bring someone you can’t be honest around.
What if I’m not ready to move my case forward yet, I just want advice?
That’s totally fine too. You don’t have to be ready to move forward; lots of people come in because they want to know more about their rights in Virginia, or how the law might operate in a specific type of scenario.
Lots of people come in and never get divorced or go through a custody case at all! They just want to find out what might happen if they did.
It’s not like opening Pandora’s Box. You don’t have to hire an attorney, or take any action, or change anything at all in your daily life. If things are rocky but you’re hoping to reconcile, that’s fine too – it’s really just a question of getting information you need to be aware of your rights, whether that means you choose to move forward or not. It always will be completely up to you, and we won’t push you in any direction.
Can’t I just talk to a JAG attorney about my Virginia military divorce or custody case?
No, unfortunately not. Divorce is a state specific area of law, and JAG attorneys are licensed to practice military law. You can’t get divorced in a military court; you have to file in the state’s courts.
Though the military does seem to dabble in domestic relations issues (there are, for example, military support guidelines), the military has no authority over the courts in the Commonwealth. In fact, if you go into court and argue for the military support guidelines, the judge may very well laugh at you. It’s Virginia’s guidelines that matter in court, not whatever policy the military may espouse.
If you’re military, you need military specific divorce and custody facts, and you need an attorney with experience representing military spouses in the Virginia courts. For more information, or to schedule a Veteran’s day consultation with us (you only have a couple more days!) give our office a call at 757-425-5200. Space is limited!