What is a retainer in Virginia divorce?

We get a lot of questions about the cost of divorce, pro bono work, attorney’s fees (like, can I make him pay mine?) and so much more. We find that there’s a lot of confusion about how attorney’s charge for their work and what it actually costs. That’s probably for a lot of reasons. I…

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Advantages of a Separation Agreement

Divorce can take several different shapes, although the end result is fairly simple: either you get divorced with a separation agreement, or you litigate your divorce in court and the judge decides. A separation agreement is a legal contract that divides all the assets and responsibilities from the marriage between the parties. Most people ultimately…

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When does permanent spousal support end?

Spousal support cases are some of the trickiest. Even though the law has changed recently to allow Fairfax guidelines to be applied in temporary support cases, permanent support cases are a little more tricky. The law also changed in terms of the taxability and deductibility of awards of spousal support; under the current laws, spousal…

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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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Should my child be in therapy during my custody case?

OCTOBER 26, 2020 BY KATIE CARTER   Contested cases are hard on everyone involved. I work with women, so my perspective is often that of the wife and mother. I actually rarely see children. It’s really not appropriate; for me to do my job, I have to have conversations with my client that could be harmful for…

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Business Valuation and Divorce

I hesitate to use absolutes, because, in law, there are very few. We rarely say “never” or “always”; we often say “it depends”. But I’m pretty sure I can absolutely say that, if you or your husband own a business, your divorce is going to be more expensive than a divorce where we have two…

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Child Abuse and Virginia Custody Cases

Child abuse cases are seriously some of the most harrowing cases that family law practitioners have to deal with. To be honest, I can only imagine what it must feel like to have children in a position where you worry that, if your child’s father receives custody, they may be abused or mistreated in any…

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Parenting Capacity Evaluations in Virginia Child Custody Cases

In many types of cases, we can do a basic cost benefit analysis to determine whether something is worth pursuing in litigation. For financial assets, because they can be valued (even when “value” is a range, or there’s some kind of intrinsic sentimental value), that’s more or less easy to achieve. We can tell, at…

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I have an ongoing, complicated divorce or custody case. What should I do?

Divorce and custody cases can be pretty complicated. Though these things can take shape in all sorts of different ways, generally speaking, when we meet with someone who already has a case going on and who is either checking up on the decisions her lawyer is making or is ready to fire her first (or…

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What’s a reasonable custody and visitation agreement?

What is a reasonable agreement when it comes to custody and visitation? This is a question we get a lot – hey, I understand! – from concerned moms who are wondering what’ll happen after they separate from their child’s father. What should a custody and visitation agreement look like?  How much time with my kids…

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