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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Custody, the holidays, and good mental health

There’s never a good time to go through a divorce or custody case, but probably one of the most difficult times to do so is during the holiday season. Though I think it’s true that most families fall into a rhythm over time with their parenting plans, there’s also a season of life where it’s…

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I slept with my husband — are we still separated?

There are a lot of divorce-related things that are difficult to discuss, but it’s important to hire an attorney with whom you can be honest. There are not a whole lot of things that feel worse than finding out – at trial or some other inopportune moment – that you don’t really know what’s going on…

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Virginia Divorce by Affidavit

I found out, 9 years ago today, that I passed the bar. I’ll never forget the day. In that time, I’ve handled a LOT of divorces. A lot of uncontested divorces (LI), in particular. Contested divorces, too, but, in so many cases, even if we start out in court, eventually the parties end up able…

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Uncontested Virginia Divorce by Affidavit

I’ve been practicing family law for close to a decade now, and, even in that time, I’ve seen a lot of major changes to how we do things that (I think, anyway!) are really interesting. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen is that, instead of doing uncontested divorce hearings regularly, almost all of our…

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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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Do Virginia Family Courts Get It Right?

Recently, on Facebook, as I mindlessly scrolled (come on, you know you do it, too) I saw a video that showed a child fighting a visitation exchange. The video alleged that the child was resisting going to spend time with her mother, because her mother’s boyfriend abused her. The end of it – the moral,…

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Virginia Marital Agreements and Eventual Divorce

It’s not always possible for a couple to say, at the very beginning of the process, that they will or won’t ultimately get divorced. For many, there’s a desire to save the marriage, if at all possible. In some of those cases, a marital agreement may be one way to at least attempt to save…

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Why Would I File A Contested Divorce In Virginia?

Why would I file for a contested divorce? 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…

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