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Juvenile Court v. Circuit Court: Where Do I File?

Knowing which court does what and where to file your petitions is anything but easy, especially in family law. Our cases are handled both in the juvenile courts AND the circuit courts, and there can be some interplay between the two, depending on the specifics of each case. Let’s talk about it. What petitions do…

Do family law lawyers make conflict worse?

I was recently reading a book (that I mentioned in the articles I shared with you on Monday and Wednesday of this week as well), where the author, Greg Ellis, alleged that, in his high conflict divorce and custody case spanning over 5 years and costing in excess of a million dollars, family law attorneys…

Does it matter who files first in Virginia divorce and custody?

Does it matter who files first in Virginia divorce or custody? I was recently reading a book, “The Respondent”, about a dad who faced a divorce and ongoing custody battle in California, allegedly as a result of the lies his wife told about his relationship with his two young boys. I have a lot of…

What does ‘pro se’ mean in a divorce or custody case?

  There’s a lot of Latin in the law and, what with it being a dead language and all, there are very few people who speak or understand Latin, beyond the obvious ‘habeas corpus’ stuff. It’s kind of interesting how often we come up against Latin terms and phrases to describe things in the law;…

Can I hire a family law attorney for just one part of my case?

Hiring a lawyer is expensive, not to mention intimidating. Depending on the circumstances, there can be a million different reasons why you can’t really afford to have someone completely handle your entire case from beginning to end – especially since it’s really difficult, ahead of time, to get an accurate estimate of what the case…

Trauma Responses to Divorce and Custody Cases

  Divorce is a trauma. It’s a trauma for you, and, in many cases, it’s a trauma for your children, too. But, then again, probably many of the events leading up to your divorce and/or custody case were pretty traumatic, too. It’s not like you just showed up at a divorce attorney’s office unscathed, and…

After you’ve lost child custody in Virginia

There are probably very few things as devastating as losing custody of your children. As a mother myself, I can only imagine. In my experience, this happens pretty rarely, and (I’m sorry to say) often not without reason. In the majority of cases, the parties agree about how custody and visitation will be handled between…

Negative and Positive Monetary and Non Monetary Contributions

  In Equitable Distribution, the legal process through which we divide the assets and liabilities of a marriage between the parties, the court doesn’t automatically assume a 50/50 split. This is different than states that follow a Community Property model of division. In equitable distribution (or ED, as we sometimes call it), it’s almost like…

Is he a narcissist? Common Themes in Virginia Divorce

I was reading a quote the other day that said that the best thing you can do for a narcissist is to give him a child. That was it – that was the end of the quote – but it really did get me thinking. It probably is the best thing you can do, because…

How to hire the right family law attorney for you

  What’s right for one person isn’t necessarily the perfect fit for someone else. That goes with shoes – just ask Cinderella – and it also goes for divorce attorneys. I mean, really, I think the same is true across many different things in life, but I do think it’s particularly true when it comes…