Divorce and Family Law

Separation and later, divorce, is a difficult, complex process which by its very nature may induce a stressful period for the individuals we represent. Our office takes pride deflating the stress by working cooperatively with our clients and working with, not against, their partner to produce the most efficient, appropriate and cost-effective avenue to achieve our clients’ goals. The ease and efficacy established with our clients helps them regain their attention to issues regarding their family and moving forward with their long-term goals.

As a possible alternative to divorce, annulment is a declaration by a court that a marriage was invalid from the beginning, or should be declared as such. Our office is prepared to explain the procedure and grounds in presenting an annulment and to assist our clients in such a proceeding.

When couples separate and divorce, families often find themselves with two habitations which strains their financial incentives. When there is a disparity in the ability to earn income or if you find yourself in a position that you will be unable to pay your monthly expenses without the help from your spouse, the law provides for alimony or spousal support to assist the lesser earning partner in providing for his or her needs, both during the separation and divorce period and on a more permanent basis.

Alimony is not automatic, and it may only awarded if one party can establish a need for support which the other party has the ability to provide. Further, similar to child support, modification of alimony may be reduced or increased if a court determines that that there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances that justifies the change. Our office has experience representing clients to sort their financial arrangements and obligations and we are prepared to advocate for our clients in legal proceedings when agreements are not an option.

Prenuptial agreements are no longer taboo, and most couples that rely on its enforcement ultimately find that it is a smart move. Common knowledge suggests that you do not have to be wealthy to have assets that you want to protect. Prenuptial agreements have been found to be a necessity in protecting assets, especially in areas involving estate planning, protecting businesses and avoiding prior divorce experiences.

Our office can detail to you what subject matters should be included in these agreements; what it takes to ensure their legal validity; and what provisions are reasonable and appropriate based on your situation. It is necessary for you and your spouse to decide important issues, rather than a judge. To learn more how to protect your future or for thorough review of a proposed pre- or post-marital agreement, contact our office for expert advice.

In order to retain custody, the Court must decide custody based upon the best interests of the child. To determine “best interests” the Court must consider the factors set forth in Virginia Code. Serving as a Guardian ad Litem for Arlington County for the past decade, Olga Casillas is able to recognize and convey to the court the best interests of the child so that the rightful parent can benefit from support, visitation, and custody.

Further, child support, custody and visitation may be modifiable if there is a significant change in material condition. Following state or district guidelines, support can be adjusted to account for these changes and your circumstance.

In all situations, our team works with clients to create an arrangement that balances the best interests of the child and both parents. We help parties reach agreements regarding visitation schedules and all aspects of parenting plans.