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Referral List: Attorneys - Divorce
I went through a number of divorce attorneys until I realized they were making money and it was a conflict of interest to the client’s goals. If you are not multi- millionaires I would recommend mediation. Then I would call the Vienna Woman’s Center. They have really great former divorce lawyers that mediate the divorce as $100 per hour. Then once she drafts the agreement then you each go to a Virginia divorce lawyer to make sure it fair and compliant. That costs about $2,500. I created a proposal to my spouse and we negotiated every financial element. If you can get your partner to agree to mediation you are really financially better off. Everything in VA is 50 – 50 all property, custody, retirement accounts, debt and alimony should be a proposal from you to him. Very few divorce cases go before a judge and if they do only means the lawyers are making lots of money. I learned that the only grounds in VA are abuse and you need to have a leg or arm severed before the court will hear an abuse case, abandonment and infidelity otherwise all divorces fall into a no fault category. The only thing grounds may give; 1) if there is abuse greater leverage on custody and2) if there is infidelity greater splits meaning 1-5% ( guilt leverage). But even with infidelity they pretty much go 50-50. The the biggest priority is protecting your children and yourself in terms of financial support for all children requirements ( braces, private schools, college, camps, healthcare, tutors, nannies only if you work), alimony if you do not work or there is a disparate amount of income between your husband and yourself, usually then alimony is settled on for a number of years, 50-50 on retirement and all assets you hold regardless of whose name they are in. Also any property held by your husband before marriage or retirement income before marriage is not part of marital assets. This is just some basic guidance. After visiting some of the best lawyers all I learned was that 50-50 was how it was going to play out no matter how sad a story.

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