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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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Mistakes to Avoid if You Think You’re Headed Toward a Virginia Divorce


When the realization sets in that your marriage is falling apart and you may be headed towards a divorce, it can be a painful moment. Even if you’ve only been married a short time, it can be difficult to accept. In many cases, there were warning signs that your spouse was unhappy and the divorce papers were coming. In other cases, you may be caught completely off guard and devastated when the papers arrive.

There are some signs to watch out for, although nothing is guaranteed. In these situations, you can help protect your rights and try to avoid making mistakes that could cost you during the divorce process. Here are some mistakes to try and avoid if you think you are headed towards a divorce in Virginia.

Do Not Start Hiding Assets

If you think you might be getting divorced, it can be a natural knee-jerk reaction to wonder if your spouse is going to abscond with your favorite assets. What you don’t want to do is to start hiding money or other tangible assets as a way to protect yourself. This is a huge mistake some couples make, and it can cost you dearly during the asset distribution phase of your Virginia divorce.

Don’t Lead with Your Emotions

Avoid the temptation to let your emotions do all the talking. Find a healthy outlet for your pain and sadness — just don’t let it out on your spouse of one of his/her close friends. It’s also not the time to enact a revenge plan against your soon-to-be ex. Always be the “bigger person,” even if you have to fake being cordial. The courts will look more favorably on you if you do not appear vindictive and rash.

Don’t Forget to Update Your Beneficiaries

One of the biggest makes people can make is forgetting to update their beneficiary information on various accounts. You should speak with a skilled Leesburg divorce attorney before making any changes, as some accounts may require that your spouse remain the beneficiary until the divorce is final. Don’t forget to change your will as well. It would be devastating for your intended beneficiaries to find out that your estate is going to your ex despite the fact that you’ve been divorced for five years.

Don’t Forget About Your Children

This might seem like an obvious one, but some people are so consumed about the potential of a divorce, they forget about their children. Remember that any Virginia family law court judge is going to look at what is in the best interests of the children, and not what is more convenient for you. Start now by keeping them out of your disputes. Resist the urge to badmouth your ex in front of, or to, your children.

Contact a Leesburg Divorce Attorney

If you have questions about divorce in Virginia and what to expect during the process, it’s important to speak with a skilled Leesburg divorce attorney. At Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC, we can help you understand what to expect and advise you on ways you can prepare yourself before filing or being served divorce papers. Contact our office today 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!