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50/50 Custody in Virginia

  We get a lot of questions about custody and visitation in Virginia. Does the court assume 50/50 here? Does the court prefer mom? No, the court definitely prefers dad, right? Is there a standard custody arrangement that the court orders? Like, what happens in these cases, anyway? I hear you. It’s like most moms…

How to talk to your child about parental abuse

Cases where we know – or suspect – that there’s abuse happening are some of the worst for about a million different reasons. If you just take them at face value, there’s the obvious issue that we’re concerned that a child is suffering physical, emotional, or sexual abuse at the hands of their other parent….

Virginia Material Change of Circumstances

In a divorce, a lot of things are set in stone – regardless of whether the case is finalized by a signed separation agreement negotiated by the parties, or whether the case goes all the way to trial and the judge issues a final order. Things in equitable distribution, like the division of the retirement…

Domestic Abuse and Divorce

Domestic violence is everywhere. It’s a lot more prevalent than most people think, which is pretty alarming. When I started here, over a decade ago now, as a brand new baby lawyer, I was definitely surprised at how often it really happens. When I speak to women who have suffered from domestic abuse, they often…

In Your Virginia Child Custody Case, Forget Fair

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a truth that you should accept, and the earlier the better. Custody cases are not about fairness. There are lots of things about custody cases that are “unfair”. It’s not fair that he can petition, over and over again, for a modification based on a material change…

My child’s father is immature and careless. I want full custody.

On Friday, I talked about cases where moms allege physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Those cases are super complicated, not to mention incredibly risky. But what about cases where dad’s behavior maybe doesn’t amount all the way to abuse, but it’s careless, irresponsible, or inappropriate under the circumstances? What does a mom do when she…

Emergency Petitions for Custody in Virginia

When I was a kid, I took the whole “boy who cried wolf” story a little too seriously. I vividly remember being told about 911, and how it was only to be used in emergencies. I vaguely remember a terrible impression that bad things happened to people who called 911 when it wasn’t an emergency….

Handling divorce and custody separately

It happens sometimes – though I definitely don’t prefer it – that custody is handled separately from the rest of the divorce proceedings. It can happen for any number of reasons. Like everything else, divorce and custody cases are highly variable, and all sorts of things can happen that can result in people choosing to…

Changing your separation agreement

In divorce and custody cases, all sorts of different things happen. No two cases are exactly the same, and so, as a result, we often see different issues present themselves. Sometimes, those different issues can result in parties who previously negotiated a signed separation agreement wanting to change some of the terms of that agreement….

Ballpark Virginia Custody Case Fees

Everyone (and I do mean everyone) wants us to give them just a “ballpark” figure for how much their case might cost. In some cases, that’s an easier thing to do than others. But, even so, costs can be a difficult thing to estimate. There are a lot of variables involved. There are a lot…