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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 Tips to Help You Get Through Your Virginia Divorce Hearing


If you are nervous or anxious about the divorce process and what happens at a hearing, being prepared can help relieve your nerves some. Retaining a compassionate and knowledgeable Virginia divorce attorney is important because a good divorce attorney is the one who will walk you through how the process of a divorce hearing works and what will be expected of you.

Here are five tips to help you prepare for your upcoming divorce hearing.

  1. Get to Court Early

One of the most important things you can do to decrease your anxiety is to arrive early to court. You need to allow plenty of time to get through the court’s metal detectors and find your way to the courtroom. If you haven’t been to this particular courthouse before and it’s a big one, it might take you some time to find where you need to be.

  1. Don’t be Surprised to Wait

If your case is scheduled to 8:30 a.m. you may not get called until just before lunch, or you may even be asked to come back after the break. Judges often group hearing types together, and if he or she hears those last, you could be waiting for a while or even rescheduled to come back another day. Don’t assume that if you are scheduled for 9 a.m. you will be back to work by lunchtime.

  1. Don’t Freak Out Seeing Attorneys and the Judge Making Small Talk

Remember that these people are colleagues, and sometimes they may know each other well. Just because your attorney is friendly with the other side or your ex’s attorney seems chummy with the judge, it doesn’t mean something nefarious is going on. This can actually be beneficial to your case because it can make it easier to resolve some contested issues. If you and your ex’s attorney hate each other, it’s not likely either side is going to be as willing to compromise.

  1. Follow Your Attorney’s Instructions

You may be required to testify in some hearings, and it’s important you follow your divorce attorney’s directions. If you are asked questions under oath, be truthful but don’t volunteer extra information. Your attorney will likely do some prep with you on questions that might be asked of you. You always want to be truthful and don’t lie or make something up on the stand. This can bring about a charge for perjury if it’s later determined you were untruthful.

  1. Remember Reality is Different than How Court is Portrayed on Television

The cases you see on television are not necessarily how things really operate in a courtroom. You may be confused by a lot of the language used and how fast things move along. Your attorney will explain the details you need to know but don’t be surprised by the speed and unfamiliar terms you hear used. You may not even realize whether you “won” the hearing or not until you speak with your attorney after. 

Retaining a Virginia Family Law Attorney

If you are filing for divorce or have been served with a petition for divorce, you need to speak with an experienced Virginia family law attorney. Contact the team 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!