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,…

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What is a parenting plan?

In terms of vocabulary, there are all sorts of things that we say when it comes to custody and visitation that may seem new to you. I’ve written extensively on legal and physical custody, the different types (primary, shared, and split), coparenting, parenting education seminars, and many other topics related to custody and visitation that…

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Nursing and Virginia Child Custody

  I’ve seen firsthand what a special bond nursing creates between a mother and a baby. As a currently nursing mother, it sometimes seems that my daughter thinks that literally no one else is acceptable at any time of day, regardless of whether she’s nursing. I’m a nursing mom AND I represent women only in…

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The Virginia Court System

In the election last month, one of my best friends was elected as prosecutor in her county. (She’s actually the first woman to have been elected in her county, ever – but, for my purposes today, a little beside the point.) It got me doing a little research into the local government and court structure…

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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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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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Parenting Education Seminars

It should come as no surprise to any parent that, when it comes to parenthood and raising children, there is literally no instruction manual. Hospitals really do just let you take brand new babies home, with little more than a stern admonition to not shake the baby and a quick peek at your car seat…

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Holiday Custody and Visitation

At the root of most custody disputes is fear. The fear that you won’t be able to be the kind of parent you always wished you’d be. The fear that a court order, or a custody agreement, would prevent you from having the kind of relationship with and time with the child that you envisioned,…

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50/50 Custody in Virginia

Custody and visitation are always major hot button issues in divorce and custody cases, especially because there are so few guarantees. The whole ‘best interests of the child’ standard means that there’s not a standard custody and visitation arrangement ordered; it’s a subjective, not an objective, process, which means that a variety of different arrangements…

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Addiction and Child Custody

Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious problem in our society. Many families have loved ones who struggle under their addictions for years and years at a time. Watching the recent presidential debate, where President Trump mentioned Senator Biden’s son, who was discharged from the military because of his struggle with addition. I’m not here…

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