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Does mutual abuse exist in domestic violence cases?

I needed a little bit of time to process the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard verdict. And then, after I processed, I needed a little distance, because I just found the whole entire thing so completely upsetting. In the wake of the trial, I’ve read article after article about how the case duped America, how we should…

Can I record a conversation in Virginia?

When tensions start to escalate, and it looks like you might be headed towards a divorce or custody case, it’s tempting to want to use whatever methods are available to you to gather the evidence you might need – up to and including recording conversations. But what’s legal varies pretty dramatically from state to state,…

After you’ve lost child custody in Virginia

There are probably very few things as devastating as losing custody of your children. As a mother myself, I can only imagine. In my experience, this happens pretty rarely, and (I’m sorry to say) often not without reason. In the majority of cases, the parties agree about how custody and visitation will be handled between…

Why don’t you just divorce him?

  I’ve been guilty of it, too, in the past. I’ve asked a friend, who confided in me about the misery involved in her relationship, why she stays. Why she doesn’t just go, because doesn’t she know she deserves better? These days, I try not to. Because I know it won’t help. Because I know…

Do I have to tell my child’s father my address?

  Divorce – or separation, or just a breakup – is a period of time that, for many people, comes with a change of address. Whether you’re actually divorcing your former partner or whether you’ve broken up but share children in common, its pretty normal for you to go to a ‘live-in’ situation to an…

Domestic Violence in Virginia Military Divorce Cases

A few months ago, I followed the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation case pretty closely. In a lot of ways, to me, it represents the core of what I do at work, and what I’ve come, personally, to care a lot about. In general, we don’t put much faith in the things that women say. You’d…

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…

I shouldn’t have to pay for a family law attorney; I’m innocent!

  This was a new one for me – “I shouldn’t have to pay for a family law attorney; I’m innocent!” While I do sympathize with the sentiment, there’s also a whole lot wrong with it. In a lot of ways, I know that the way the Virginia court system – and, probably, every court…

Harassment during Virginia Divorce

My sister in law asked me a question the other day – for a friend of a friend – and it really irritated me. Not that she would ask me a question; that’s fine, we’re really pretty close. But the question itself irked me. Her friend had a friend, from a really long time ago,…

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,…