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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 Mistakes that Could Hurt Your Virginia Child Custody Case


Going through a divorce is hard enough, but the added factor of deciding child custody can be overwhelming. It’s common for personal and emotional issues to get in the way, leading to a breakdown in communication during the negotiation process. Trying to decide child custody in this fragile state can only lead to additional problems. This is why it’s important to speak with a skilled Leesburg child custody attorney who can help.

Here’s a look at five mistakes you want to avoid during your Virginia custody battle.

Talking Badly About the Other Parent in Front of Your Kids

Resist the urge to speak ill of your ex in front of your kids. You cannot afford to increase any animosity or create negativity between you and your ex by dragging your kids into this. Take the high road and try to keep things civil in front of your children. If you don’t, the court may determine you are not better equipped than your ex to keep you children’s best interests in mind.

Discussing Your Divorce and Custody Case on Social Media

Social media is never a good idea when there is litigation involved. You shouldn’t get on social media after a car accident, and the same certainly applies to child custody and divorce. Keeping off social media extends far beyond talking about your legal case, as other posts can hurt you as well. Imagine that you are deep in a custody battle and suddenly there are photos posted on social media that depict you exercising poor judgment at a bar.

Not Hiring an Attorney

Independently, a divorce and a custody battle are complex processes, and you shouldn’t attempt to go at either of them alone, let alone both. There is a ton of paperwork involved, plus court dates and visitation schedules to figure out. If you make a mistake or miss one detail, you could find yourself putting your right to custody in jeopardy. To ensure you don’t make any errors, it’s imperative to retain the services of an experienced Virginia family law attorney who can help.

Disobey a Court Order

If the court issues a temporary order or schedule and you do not obey it, the court may consider that you are disrespecting their authority. This could definitely lead to problems when it comes time for the judge to make a decision about custody. This doesn’t mean that you need to agree to a visitation schedule that won’t work with your schedule, which is why you shouldn’t sign an agreement without first talking with your attorney.

Withholding Your Children from Your Ex

Unless there is an urgent matter, you should never withhold your ex’s right to see his or her children. If you cut your ex off from seeing their children, it could jeopardize the overall custody case. If there is an issue like domestic violence or child abuse, you may have grounds to refuse your ex to see your children. You should speak with your attorney before violating a visitation schedule.

Contact a Leesburg Family Law Attorney

If you are going through a Virginia child custody battle, contact Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC today to schedule an initial 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!