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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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Importance of Protecting Your Privacy in a Virginia Divorce


Even though a number of divorces are fraught with bitterness and anger, many divorces will still settle rather than go through the full litigation process. One of the potential reasons for this is due to concerns about both parties’ privacy. For parties who proceed with litigation to resolve their divorce, their lives pretty much become an open book, as every detail will be entered into the court records, which are public records.

It’s highly doubtful that anyone would want their personal information and dirty laundry available for the entire world to see. If you can’t resolve your outstanding issues in the divorce, that is exactly what will happen. Since it’s inexpensive and easy to obtain court records, if someone wants to rifle through the details of your divorce, it will be a pretty simple process.

Protecting your privacy throughout your divorce is imperative. When you retain a Leesburg divorce attorney, he or she will work to help you resolve any outstanding issues so your divorce doesn’t need to proceed through formal litigation.

First Step is with Your Spouse

Once your divorce starts, you and your spouse should be in agreement on maintaining confidentiality. If your spouse is not immediately on board, you may want to stress the importance of privacy to ensure that random people do not have access to your financial situation and personal information. Do you want your co-workers, friends, or the media seeing what is going on in your life? For couples who are high-profile, business owners, or celebrities, you can expect the media will be digging for any dirt that could provide a sensational story.

In these situations, you should consider other alternatives to litigation. Two potential options are collaborative divorce and mediation. These options can help you maintain more privacy than a court trial.

Speak to Friends and Family Members about Privacy

Speak with your friends and other family members about the importance of maintaining your privacy throughout the divorce process. It is not unusual for extended family members to get involved or for divorcing spouses to involve their extended family by sharing with them details of the marriage or problems that you are dealing with during the separation.  Avoid oversharing with family and friends, and talk to them ahead of time about your family’s need for privacy.  It may be helpful to provide your children with a therapist or encourage them to speak with a school counselor so that they can have someone to share their feelings with in a safe and confidential setting.

Be Prepared

You may find yourself startled by a colleague at work who stops you on your way to the copier to trade divorce stories, or by an acquaintance at the grocery store who asks you “is your husband is still seeing that woman” while you are trying to get to the bread aisle.  It may be helpful to imagine some of these scenarios ahead of time and come up with some responses that signal to the person, without offending them – since you still have to pass by them at work and you do not want to start shopping across town – that your divorce is not open for conversation.  Whatever you choose, it should be simple and generalized.  Run through them in your head a few times or practice in front of the mirror at home.. Wanting to keep your private life private is understandable.

Retain a Virginia Divorce Attorney

If you are going through a divorce, or are getting ready to go through one, having an effective but compassionate advocate on your side can help you navigate through the complexities of the divorce process and provide you with other resources to. Contact Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC today 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!