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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…

Constitutional Rights in Family Law

We’re all used to the idea that, by virtue of the Constitution, we have these certain, unalienable rights. And it’s true – we do. But the reality of what those rights are, and what they mean, and how and when they apply is a little bit more complicated.  In a lot of ways, family court…

What does uncontested divorce mean?

On Wednesday, we discussed what a contested divorce means. We touched a little bit, too, on uncontested divorce – because it’s hard to understand one without the other. Contested refers to a divorce where the parties have not reached an agreement about how the assets and liabilities will be divided; in an uncontested divorce, on…

The Virginia Court System

In the election last month, one of my best friends was elected as prosecutor in her county. (She’s actually the first woman to have been elected in her county, ever – but, for my purposes today, a little beside the point.) It got me doing a little research into the local government and court structure…

Will you take my family law appeal case?

We get calls, from time to time, about appeal cases, both for custody and divorce. It’s not the most common type of call – appeals are, after all, more rare than other types of cases – but it happens. Of course it does! In a divorce or a custody case, there’s a lot at stake;…

Juvenile and Circuit Court Custody Case Procedures

Juvenile and Circuit Court Procedure in Virginia Custody Cases You think you might have to file for custody. Maybe something has been brewing for awhile. Maybe recent coronavirus concerns have forced some difficult issues to light. Maybe there’s a looming change in circumstances, like a move, a new job, a school change, or a wedding….

Virginia Custody Retainer

We get lots of frantic inquiries from women about pro bono divorce and custody services – something we really don’t offer (and, frankly, that no other law firm that I’m aware of really does offer, either). Pro bono is a hard thing, for a lot of reasons. Cases are expensive and time consuming; we really…

Have I been Virginia divorce or custody paperwork?

  There’s so much confusion and fear when it comes to legal documents, and a lot of that stems from really not having seen similar documents before. It’s not every day that you get divorced or that you file custody petitions, or are on the receiving end of documents like these prepared by your husband/child’s…

What’s an appeal de novo?

  Considering it’s a dead language, there’s an awful lot of Latin in the law. Since so many of us are not Latin speaking, it can make reading the law, cases, and even general information about the law difficult – or, worse, nearly completely incomprehensible. Understanding the direct translation of a phrase doesn’t necessarily enhance…

Help! I was served with a divorce complaint and a notice of hearing!

I talk a lot about separation agreements – those legal contracts negotiated between husbands and wives that divide up the marital assets and liabilities between the parties so that they can get an uncontested divorce without even going to court. But not every divorce follows this familiar path. Sometimes, for one reason or another, one…