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Family Law
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I have a stepson whose father pays no child support because he is on SSI. Is the child entitled to some of that SSI?

Typically, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program that provides financial assistance to individuals who have limited income and resources and who meet specific eligibility requirements. The program is designed to provide for the basic needs of individuals who are disabled, blind, or elderly, and it is not meant to be used for child Read More

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What You Should Know About Seeking Child Support in Virginia

All parents have a responsibility to financially support their children until they reach the “age of majority,” or 18 years old in Virginia. If you did not receive a child support order as part of a divorce or separation agreement, you may seek the assistance of the Virginia Department of Social Services’ Division of Child Read More

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Frequently Asked Questions about Separation Agreements in Virginia

Virginia courts do not grant legal separations. However, couples may create a separation agreement — also called a property settlement agreement. Before entering into such an agreement, it is important that you are educated on what it entails. What is a separation agreement? A separation agreement allows couples to live separately, equitably divide their property Read More

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Approaching a Collaborative Divorce

While divorce is always tough, choosing to negotiate with your former partner using a collaborative process can reduce stress and expenses, while also saving time. During the collaborative divorce process, the spouses negotiate an acceptable agreement with the help of a professional mediator or arbiter. Each spouse hires an attorney to advise and assist in Read More

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A day we hoped would come, FINALLY came.  On October 6, 2014 with the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari, same sex couples could marry.  I, along with many others, made a bee line to the court house that day to witness friends tie the knot and to witness history.  It was a great day.  Read More

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What Is Considered the “Best Interests of the Child” When Determining Custody?

When making determinations about child custody, courts generally follow the principle that a child’s best interests, rather than the parents’ desires, should dictate custody and visitation rights. While the parents’ needs are still considered, family courts tend to place more emphasis on the child’s adjustment and development. In Virginia, a child’s best interests are determined Read More

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Collaborative Divorce a Better Alternative to Court for Many

Although some divorce cases may involve high stakes or unresolvable issues that preclude using any process other than court, collaborative divorces are actually a viable option for many couples dissolving their marriages. There are several key advantages to this approach compared to litigation.   What does collaborative divorce involve? Collaborative divorce is a mediated process Read More

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Recent Gay Marriage Ruling in Virginia Could Have Effects Across the South

In early February, a Virginia federal judge ruled that the commonwealth’s existing ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. This is the first ruling of its kind in the South, setting an important precedent for future court cases. While federal judges in Utah and Oklahoma have announced similar decisions, Virginia is the first state in its Read More

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What You Need to Know About Virginia’s Adoption Guidelines

In Virginia, there are two legal options for adoptive placements: agency and non-agency placements. Agency placements are made through local social services departments or licensed agencies, usually after an agency takes custody of a child and the birth parents’ legal rights are terminated. The agency is granted custody, along with the right to find the Read More

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