How quickly can I get divorced?

You might be surprised to hear that I have scads of clients who, when I email, don’t respond for a week or more. I have clients who retain and, in a flurry of activity, work with me to prepare a first draft of a separation agreement, which goes untouched (on their part, mind you) for…

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What is adultery? (And sodomy and buggery?)

Sometimes, I feel really technical when I talk about adultery. I say when someone “commits” adultery, and I always feel weird about it, because that’s not how people talk. And I often get questions about exactly what it means, which is understandable – it’s a technical term, like cohabitation and equitable distribution. Lawyers use it…

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What is cohabitation? Am I cohabiting?

OCTOBER 28, 2020 BY KATIE CARTER Cohabitation is a key component of legal separation in Virginia. For a lot of reasons – chief among them being the fact that separation is a sort of loosey goosey concept here in Virginia – we get lots of questions about separation. When are you separated? Am I separated? Do we have to…

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How do I file for legal separation in Virginia?

In Virginia, you have to be separated to get a divorce. In fact, you have to be separated for a year for most types of divorce. (The notable exception to this rule is divorce when you’re using adultery as your grounds, but you should read up on this, and its specific limitations, HERE if that’s something…

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Adultery, Spousal Support, and Custody

Adultery, Spousal Support, and Custody We talked Monday about adultery, and the difference between filing a divorce (which is a civil case) using adultery as your grounds and an actual criminal prosecution on adultery (which is a level IV misdemeanor in Virginia). The purpose of that article was to alleviate concerns I see around adultery…

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What to do about adultery in Virginia

The most common questions I get in initial consultations (and at cocktail parties when people find out what I do for a living – don’t you just love that?) are about adultery. What does it mean? What does it affect? Can’t I just get a boyfriend already? The questions are varied, and usually full of…

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Separation Before Divorce in Virginia

You’re probably familiar with the idea that you have to separate from your husband before divorce – not just in Virginia, but in most places. Every state (and indeed every country!) handles this a little bit differently, and the required period of separation differs from one to the next. Sometimes, separation of longer duration is…

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Does adultery matter?

For most women, finding out that their husbands have committed adultery is devastating. For him to throw away your life together, after however many years, is a terrible and overwhelming feeling. I get it, and yet, at the same time, my goal is always to make sure that my clients have up to date, reliable,…

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File a Divorce

In Virginia (and, I’m pretty sure, just about everywhere else) the divorce process formally begins with the court when a complaint is filed. That doesn’t mean, though, that the first thing you need to do is march down to the courthouse and file a divorce. In fact, in many cases, you don’t file anything until…

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Is a legal separation just a pit stop on the way to divorce?

For a lot of people, a separation is a time out, not necessarily a step towards divorce. I’ve heard people say things like, “I don’t want to separate, because I’m afraid that is automatically going to lead to divorce—but I really would like a break to figure out what I want.” Even though separation is…

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