?

FAQ

Do we have children whose custody is at issue?
  • If so, how are they handling the separation of their parents?
  • Do any of the children have special emotional, mental, physical or educational needs? Are those needs being met?
  • Should any mental health professionals be involved in the case to aid the parents, the children, or the family as a whole?
Do we have unique tax concerns?

Ms. Reese was an accountant before becoming a lawyer, and though it often comes in handy, the use of a good expert is often needed to address complex financial issues, or to get those many years of back taxes done.

  • Do we know what will be the real, after tax benefit of the assets or support that you or your spouse will receive?
Do we have property at issue?
  • Business interests? Are the interests of the spouses the same? Who will operate the business during the separation and after divorce? How, if at all, will the parties be compensated for their interests?
  • Real property? Is it jointly titled? What is it worth? Who has contributed to the value and how? Who wants it, and who can afford to keep it?
  • Personal property? Who's property is it, and why? What value, if any, does the property have on the open market, and what value does it have to each party? (Have you ever heard "one man's trash is another man's treasure"? Well, here you have it.)
  • Retirement accounts? Isn't it mine because it is in my name? How much do I get and when? What are the tax implications and who pays them?
 

Call 703.279.5140
Evening and weekend appointments are available under certain circumstances
quotebegin

What Our Clients Say

Litigation

The Processes of Family Law

In its simplest form, there are two routes a family law case may take involving children and/or assets. If the parties are able to reach agreement on all fronts, the process of divorce involves the filing of a Complaint, recognizing the parties' Agreement, and shortly thereafter a final decree is entered by the court after a short, 10-minute hearing or deposition.

If the parties cannot reach agreement, a Complaint is filed and the litigation process begins with a Pendente Lite (Latin for temporary) hearing to establish temporary support, custody-timesharing if there are children, and possession of the home. Thereafter, the discovery process, if not already commenced, will begin to prepare for the final custody, property, and support trials. The Pendente Lite Decree will stay in place until the court enters new orders at the conclusion of the final hearing(s).

Settlement Agreements

Most cases don't go to trial, often, a settlement is reached. The sooner the settlement is reached, the lower the litigation costs. Settlements at the 11th hour often occur, though they are frustrating for all involved, as the money has been expended to prepare for trial. That said, settlements do have an advantage over trial, in that the parties come to terms that they can live with rather than having terms dictated to them by the court. Settlement Agreements also have the ability to go beyond the authority of the court. For example, in Virginia, the court cannot require a party to contribute to the costs of a college education for a child. The parties, however, can agree that a term of the settlement includes college cost coverage for a child.

To properly settle a case, to know what you are getting and what you are giving up, you must be knowledgeable about the issues at hand. With a reasonable amount of investigation, this can be accomplished and settlement discussions can begin. Settlement discussions take many forms. Counsel for one party may draft an agreement for the other party to review; the counsel may exchange multiple letters; and/or settlement conferences involving counsel and clients, with or without the aid of a neutral, may take place.

Settlements can be parsed into segments, however, it is rarely advisable to break it down further than two segments: (1) custody and child-related issues, which may include child support, and (2) property issues, which may include spousal support.

Interim Settlement Agreements can also be done, covering whatever topics the parties may wish to address. Generally an Interim Settlement Agreement, like a Pendente Lite Decree, ceases to exist when a final decree or final Settlement Agreement comes into existence.

?

FAQ

Do we have children whose custody is at issue?
  • If so, how are they handling the separation of their parents?
  • Do any of the children have special emotional, mental, physical or educational needs? Are those needs being met?
  • Should any mental health professionals be involved in the case to aid the parents, the children, or the family as a whole?
Do we have unique tax concerns?

Ms. Reese was an accountant before becoming a lawyer, and though it often comes in handy, the use of a good expert is often needed to address complex financial issues, or to get those many years of back taxes done.

  • Do we know what will be the real, after tax benefit of the assets or support that you or your spouse will receive?
Do we have property at issue?
  • Business interests? Are the interests of the spouses the same? Who will operate the business during the separation and after divorce? How, if at all, will the parties be compensated for their interests?
  • Real property? Is it jointly titled? What is it worth? Who has contributed to the value and how? Who wants it, and who can afford to keep it?
  • Personal property? Who's property is it, and why? What value, if any, does the property have on the open market, and what value does it have to each party? (Have you ever heard "one man's trash is another man's treasure"? Well, here you have it.)
  • Retirement accounts? Isn't it mine because it is in my name? How much do I get and when? What are the tax implications and who pays them?
 

Call 703.279.5140

Evening and weekend appointments are available under certain circumstances
quotebegin

What Our Clients Say