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  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.


    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

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  • Ruth M. McElroy


    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

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  • Jennifer D. Cisneros


    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

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5 Big Mistakes to Avoid in Your Virginia Divorce


Making a mistake during your divorce is common, especially if you are not represented by a skilled Leesburg divorce attorney. Divorce is stressful and emotional, so it’s easy to make mistakes and be controlled by your emotions. Having an objective attorney on your side who can help protect your interests in a contested Virginia divorce can help you considerably in the process.

Here is a look at six of the most common mistakes to avoid during your divorce.

Using Children as Leverage

If you have children, don’t make them pawns in your messy divorce. They are not bargaining chips to get what you want. A judge will certainly look down on you if it’s evident you are using your children as a negotiating tool to get a bigger portion of the marital assets.

Hiding Assets Rather Than Disclosing

Some people mistakenly assume that they can “protect” themselves by hiding assets from their spouse. This will certainly backfire on you in multiple ways. The law requires you to be transparent and disclose all assets. You will likely get caught, especially if your spouse suspects you are hiding something. There are experts who specialize in uncovering hidden accounts and assets, which could lead to serious financial and legal ramifications.

Being Too Attached to the Family Home

It’s understandable that you don’t want to let the home go, as your children were raised there, or you have an established routine, friends nearby, etc. However, your financial situation is about to change, and keeping the family home may not make a lot of sense. You need to do the math and determine whether you can truly afford it. Is there still a mortgage on it? You have to cover utilities, upkeep, and other expenses you may not be thinking about as well.

Sometimes moving to a smaller home or a condo is a better financial decision. Not to mention, there may be some bad memories attached to the house given your marriage broke up. Starting with a clean slate can be emotionally beneficial as well.

Forgetting about the Trust and Will

Don’t forget about your trust or will. If you are getting divorced, your spouse doesn’t automatically lose any rights if they are named in a trust and/or will. If you forget to change it and you pass away, your ex could still be getting a portion of your estate that you wanted to go to someone else instead.

Not Following Court Orders

If the judge issued an order, even a temporary one, it must be followed. A judge’s order is not a suggestion. Failure to follow any orders could result in contempt of court, jail time, fines, another order to pay your spouse’s legal fees, or any other punishment that the court feels is warranted. Not to mention, the court is not likely to side with you on future issues in the case.

Retaining a Virginia Divorce Attorney

If you need assistance with navigating the divorce process in Virginia, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC at 703-997-4982 to schedule a consultation.


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Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 provides that businesses that offer professional rather than retail services may remain open. Our firm is continuing to operate to ensure you and your family have advocates available for whatever legal issue you face. For clients who prefer, we can arrange meeting by Zoom or other video-conferencing. We are also implementing internal procedures to provide a safe environment in the office. Please contact us at 703-777-1795 or schedule an appointment today!