If I fear for my safety, can I take my child and go?

  Domestic violence is a very real issue in family law cases; it’s one we brush up against all the time. It was something that surprised me when I first started, because even in the most otherwise normal cases, there were undercurrents of domestic violence. A friend of mine from law school is a prosecutor,…

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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…

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Why Would I File A Contested Divorce In Virginia?

In many cases, it’s not necessary to use fault based grounds for divorce. After all, if you file on fault, you’ll have to litigate to prove to the judge that your grounds exist. Because, depending on the grounds, different civil and criminal penalties apply, you’ll have to meet a specific burden of proof, and that…

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Domestic Violence and Virginia Protective Orders

Whenever there is domestic violence involved in a case, we advise our clients about protective orders. It’s really one of the only tools in our arsenal available to help protect clients who are at risk from their former partners. On the one hand, it’s just a piece of paper. On the other, it works in…

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Should I press charges for his domestic violence while my divorce is pending?

There’s no shortage of domestic violence cases. Maybe I was being naïve, but, when I first started to practice family law, I was really amazed at exactly how many there were. I’ve been around for awhile now, and I’m not so easily surprised. There is a lot of domestic violence out there and, if you’re…

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Domestic Violence and Social Distancing

If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge anglophile. I can’t help it; I love the British. It has been a lifelong love, too. That’s generally not relevant to the work that I do. Once, I wrote a blog about Henry VIII and the differences between divorce then and now, and I…

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Virginia custody issues: when you suspect your child is being abused

I’m a mom, too, so I get it. Protecting those little people is literally the only job in the world that matters, and when you feel like the health, safety, and well being of your children is threatened – well, it’s understandable if it makes you feel a little crazy. When the health, safety, and…

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Can my child’s other parent refuse to allow me to leave with the child?

We get a lot of questions about what your child’s other parent can and can’t do as the situation moves towards a separation. I get it – it’s scary, it’s emotionally charged, and it can get ugly, really, really fast. There’s really nothing that pulls on our heartstrings quite as quickly and aggressively and viscerally…

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Spousal Support and Abuse

Abuse is, for me, always one of the harder subjects to discuss. It’s not that it makes the law complicated, or really that it changes what a person might be entitled to receive — but maybe that’s part of the problem for me, too. Abuse changes a person. After years and years of it, it…

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Protective Orders and Divorce

Domestic violence is often a big part of a divorce case. It’s sad (and really, really scary) but true. We see these types of cases all the time. When I first started practicing family law, I was surprised at how many cases there were that involved some kind of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; maybe…

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