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Can I represent myself in my separation agreement?

Everyone wants to save on attorney’s fees. No one likes the idea of shelling out all the money for a retainer and ultimately having very little control over how much a divorce costs. It feels like a blank check, and at a time in your life where you’re probably even more concerned about how every…

Virginia Divorce Case Strategy

The other night – actually, at Girl’s Night Out – I sat and talked for awhile with a woman who is in the middle of an ongoing divorce and custody case. She didn’t hire an attorney from our firm, and I could tell that she was just desperate to talk about her situation. She wanted…

Can I hire a family law attorney for just one part of my case?

Hiring a lawyer is expensive, not to mention intimidating. Depending on the circumstances, there can be a million different reasons why you can’t really afford to have someone completely handle your entire case from beginning to end – especially since it’s really difficult, ahead of time, to get an accurate estimate of what the case…

Should I file for divorce? Or custody? Is there an advantage?

I follow up with women who’ve had consults with us – with any of our attorneys, not just the ones who meet with me – after their appointments, just to make sure that they got their questions answered in the appointment. I find that, in a lot of cases, they either forgot to ask something,…

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…

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,…

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…

Do I need grounds for divorce? What if I don’t have any?

Though I’ve only ever practiced family law in Virginia, I’m pretty sure that everywhere – Virginia included – requires grounds in order to finalize a divorce. In Virginia, those grounds can be either fault based or no fault based. Whether you choose to file on fault or no fault depends, of course, on the facts;…

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…

Tax Consequences in Virginia Divorce in 2020

I’ve written about tax consequences in divorce before, but alas – the law has changed again! It happens, from time to time, which is part of why it’s so important to be sure of where you’re getting information when you search for it online. You need to make sure that you’re not blindly trusting nameless,…