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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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Children of Divorce


Beginning a new school year can be a stressful experience for any student. Throw in a divorce (and all the changes that go along with it), and your child may be feeling overwhelmed. In this post, we write about some of the changes your children may experience after your divorce and how to help them through this period of adjustment.

Major Transitions for Children After Their Parents’ Divorce 

In addition to grieving their parents’ separation and divorce, the major life changes that often go hand in hand with divorce can also affect your children emotionally, psychologically, and behaviorally. Some of these transitions include: 

  • A single-parent household. When children go from living in a two-parent home to a household run by only one person, they often have difficulty adjusting to this new way of life. Single parents often find themselves pulled in a million different directions, and your child may express feelings of loneliness and/or resist taking on new responsibilities.
  • Moving to a new house (or two). During a divorce, at least one parent (and many times, both parents) must leave the family home and find a new place to live. Feeling comfortable in a new house and new neighborhood takes time. Children may have mixed feelings about this transition: excited about a “new adventure,” but still angry and sad to move away from neighborhood friends.
  • Switching schools. Often a divorce means the family will have to move to a different school zone. Attending a new school can make any child feel fearful, anxious, and lonely.

Helping Your Children Return to School with Confidence 

The good news is that children are incredibly resilient, and by preparing for these events, you can help your children adapt to these new changes with confidence and ease. Here are the ways you and your former spouse can support your children as they head back to school:

  • Talk to your child about what to expect. We are often most afraid of the unknown, so discussing expectations and variables for each new situation can help your child feel calm and ready for anything. Help your child emotionally prepare for (and hopefully get excited about) new experiences by letting him pick out cool new school supplies or essentials for his new room.
  • Keep teachers and school staff updated. Let pertinent school officials know about your child’s home life, and keep them up to date as visitation schedules, significant others, and other family situations change. If your child shows signs of trouble in school (behaviorally or academically), set up a meeting with your child’s teacher, the school guidance counselor, and both parents whenever possible.
  • Co-parent with class. The best way to help your child adjust to your divorce is to maintain a united front when it comes to parenting. Your child’s education will provide many opportunities for classy co-parenting. Some divorced parents recommend using a shared Google calendar to coordinate school events, after school activities, and social invitations. Try to attend parent-teacher conferences, awards ceremonies, and other school functions together as a team. As always, never bad-mouth your ex to your child’s teachers.

Reach Out to Our Leesburg and Loudoun County VA Divorce Lawyers Today

Divorce isn’t easy on anyone, but for many families, it is for the best. Leesburg family law attorneys Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC can help you with divorce, child custody, child support, and other family law issues. For legal advice or assistance, contact us today.




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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!