Tips on Protecting Your Assets When Filing for Divorce

The moment a spouse files for divorce is one often overwhelmed with mixed emotions, which can include grief at the end of a relationship combined with optimism for a better future. But whatever your emotions are, it is critically important for you to make sure that you are taking the steps to protect your assets before you or your spouse take actions which can significantly damage your financial picture after a Read More

How is Drug Testing Used in Virginia Custody Cases?

When the parents of a child cannot agree about custody and visitation arrangements for their child in Virginia, the state court will ultimately have to make its own decision regarding the legal and physical custody of the child. The court uses a “best interests” standard in making this determination.  In particular, parental drug use has an enormous impact on the interests of that child and on the ability of a parent Read More

Why is Divorce More Common During the Start of the Year?

Because divorce in the United States is conducted within 50 different state family court systems involving nearly two million spouses a year, it can be difficult to track reliable statistics regarding the issues and steps leading up to the start of a divorce action, much less a consultation with a divorce lawyer. This is especially the case when the majority of states allow for “no fault” divorces which do not Read More

Is My Spouse Entitled to Inherit From Me During Divorce in Virginia?

From the time a couple separates and at least one spouse begins the divorce process until the divorce is finalized, a lot of unexpected events can occur. One of those events could be the death of either you or your spouse. If the deceased spouse had a valid will in place, then the will, subject to some exceptions (namely the elective share rule discussed below), controls who should receive what, regardless of the Read More

How Long Must Child Support Be Paid in Virginia?

Under Virginia law, both parents have a duty to provide support to their minor children, regardless of whether the parents are currently married or were married in the past. Child support cases usually occur following a divorce or where the father has not married the mother of a child and is not providing support, and, if paternity of the child can be established in the case of an unwed father, the courts will Read More

Can Alimony Be Terminated in Virginia When an Ex Cohabitates With a New Partner?

Spousal support, or “alimony” as it is often called, can be awarded in a Virginia divorce matter in a variety of payment structures: it can be awarded in a lump sum; it can be awarded in periodic payments for a specific duration (e.g. 3 years); or it can be awarded in periodic payments for an undefined duration. When alimony is awarded in periodic payments, the person paying the alimony can generally cease paying the Read More

Determining Paternity in a Child Custody Dispute

When there is a dispute over the custody of a child in a Virginia court, that court is going to primarily look to the two biological parents of the child in determining who should have custody. It is possible for other people such as grandparents, aunts, or uncles to win custody of a child, but that will generally only occur where both biological parents are found to be unfit and/or unavailable. When a child is born Read More

How to Obtain a Protective Order

When you married your spouse, you probably never imagined that the day would come when that person would present a threat to you or your children. Unfortunately, sometimes these situations arise and people are left with few options on how to improve or resolve the issue. You may try reasoning with your spouse and perhaps even calling on family, friends, therapists, and clergy for advice and intervention. As good as Read More

How Does Alcohol and Drug Use Affect a Custody Battle in Virginia?

The latest high-profile divorce case to hit the headlines has been that of A-list actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. We know very little about the personal details that led to Jolie filing for divorce in a Los Angeles courthouse in September, but what we do know is that she asked for sole custody of the couple’s six children, and the filing suggests she decided to pursue a divorce only days before she filed. Media Read More

Religion and Child Custody in Virginia: Who Gets to Decide?

For many parents going through a divorce, being able to guide the religious upbringing of their children is a major concern. This is especially the case when the parents are of a different faith, or one parent is opposed to the child being exposed to any religious teaching or community. This can, of course, be challenging for the child as well, who may be getting conflicting perspectives on faith from each parent. Read More