licensed to practice in virginia and the district of columbia
Step One: Find the Right Attorney
If you are here you are already taking an important step. Finding an attorney to help with any legal matter can be overwhelming in and of itself.
- Take a look at the phone book.
- Run a search on the Internet.
- Ask a few friends for recommendations.
You’re bound to receive more options than you probably wanted.
Perhaps more than any other area of law, selecting the right family law attorney should involve a balanced matching of personalities. You will work closely with your family law attorney. You will discuss details of your life that you would otherwise keep to yourself in normal circumstances.
The context of most domestic law cases involves personal and family matters where emotions can easily get the best of those dealing with them. Your family law attorney can - and in many instances should - serve several moderating roles. Your family law attorney should be a source of objective analysis, an outlet for venting, and your guide through a strenuous process. But their primary role is to be your devoted advocate. Find a family law attorney you can work with, someone who listens to what you have to say and tells you what you need to hear, even if it is not what you want to hear.
Step Two: Start Gathering Information
The more information you provide, even early in the process, the better equipped your family law attorney will be to serve your interests. What information is needed depends entirely on the reason you need a family law attorney.
If property is an issue, bank statements, real estate documents, and information on retirement accounts may be necessary. If the matter involves support, income information and documents will be needed. The point here is that efficiency does not have to be a lofty goal in family law cases. If the first meeting provides your attorney with the information they need, rather than simply leaving with a list of all the questions you need to answer, everyone’s time is well spent.
To obtain specific advice applicable to your situation, please visit our contact page to schedule a consultation.
step three: adopt a filter
Step Three: Adopt a Filter
The sources of misinformation regarding family law matters are too numerous to list here.
- A friend went through a divorce and told you about it.
- A cousin in another state had a custody battle and told you what to expect.
- You read the article in the tabloids about the celebrity support award so-and-so is paying ex-so-and-so.
- Your brother is a corporate attorney who has practiced law for twenty years and gave you some advice.
When it comes to family law issues, it’s hard not to come into the first meeting with your attorney with perceptions based on what happened to other people and expectations framed by any number of sources that do not include informed and experienced family law attorneys. Your attorney should quickly help you by becoming your filter and source of legal opinions, advice, and reasonable expectations. In the meantime, accept that no one has circumstances that are exactly the same as yours. Just because it happened to someone else, does not mean it is going to happen to you.
For more information and to obtain specific advice on the laws applicable to your situation, please visit our contact page to schedule a consultation.
- Fairfax County Circuit Court’s Divorce information page
- City of Alexandria Clerk of the Circuit Court
- Arlington County Clerk of the Circuit Court
- Loudoun County Circuit Court general information
- DC Superior Court Domestic Relations Branch Information Page
- Virginia Judicial System Parent Education information page