Latest Family Law Articles

I’m Deploying! How are My Custodial and Visitation Rights Affected?

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in , .
The Commonwealth of Virginia has the second largest military population in the United States.  In 2008, the legislature enacted the Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act, which addresses the concerns of deploying parents regarding custodi…

Virginia Child Custody and Visitation FAQs

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in , .
After a divorce or the dissolution of a relationship, there are decisions to make regarding custody and visitation of minor children. Who will be the primary caregiver of the child? Will we share both legal and physical custody? What will the visi…

Military Divorce in Virginia: What You Need To Know

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
Active duty military service members, as well as their families, make large sacrifices in service to their country. The long separations, frequent relocations, and the challenges of active duty may stress and take a toll on these marriages.  A Vi…

What Does “Best Interest of the Child” Mean?

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
Virginia courts use the best interests of the child standard to determine custody and visitation of minor children. This means judges and mediators consider how parenting plans may affect children, and try to make decisions and orders that ensure …

Child Custody and Visitation in Virginia

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
When spouses divorce, the issue of “who gets the kids” is often the most difficult and stressful for both parents and children. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the law does not favor either parent.  Instead it considers the best interests of the …

Parental Alienation and Their Devastating Effects

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
Parental alienation is a form of manipulation in which one parent attempts to harm or destroy a child’s relationship with the other parent. It may also be referred to, in layman’s terms, as “parental brainwashing.” This process is often accomplish…

New Tax Reform Bill and Spousal Support Changes

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
President Trump signed the new tax reform bill December 22, 2017. Among the many changes to tax law, the final bill eliminated the tax deduction for spousal support or alimony payments. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, alimony, the legal obligatio…

Division of Property: Yours, Mine, or Commingled?

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
In Virginia, a married couple’s assets and property are generally divided into two categories: marital (also referred to as joint property) separate property Marital property is property and income that is acquired or received during a marriage…

Choosing the Right Divorce Lawyer

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
After a lot of soul searching, you’ve decided it’s time to file for divorce.  Now you have another big decision on your hands, choosing the right divorce attorney. This decision will likely be one of the most important in your life. Therefore, you…

12 Mistakes You Should Avoid During a Divorce

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
Unfortunately, for many people, some of the biggest mistakes that they make in their life come about during a divorce.  The divorce process is unfamiliar, stressful, and often painful.  There’s a lot at stake. Often, people settle for less than th…

Till Death Do Us Part…Again. Estate Planning for Second Marriages

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
Perhaps you are remarried, and now not only have a new spouse and a bright future, you also have a new, blended, extended family, including stepchildren. While there can be much joy involved in a second marriage and having a blended family, a…

How Residency Requirements Affect Divorce in Virginia

Written by Melone Hatley, P.C. on . Posted in .
While you always have the right to represent yourself in a divorce, you may be unknowingly giving up important rights.  In filing for a divorce, the parties need to meet certain requirements for the case to proceed; mistakes can result in a dismis…
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