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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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Potential Changes to Family Law in Virginia


Every year the Virginia legislature considers a number of bills that would amend, repeal, or create new family-related laws. Many bills never make it far while others get through committees but do not get to a vote or are not approved by a House or Senate vote. Here are a few of the bills proposed right now relating that could potentially change Virginia law:

  • SB 859: Spousal support would end upon the payor reaching full retirement age or at a later date, if good cause is shown.
  • SB 868: Child protective services will be required to investigate all valid allegations of child abuse or neglect toward children younger than 2 within 24 hours.
  • SB 876: This law would create the Kinship Guardianship Assistance program to provide financial assistance to relatives and other adults who become kinship guardians for children, and to encourage permanent placements when adoption or going home is not an option for the children.
  • SB 1299: Any person over the age of 21 who is not prohibited from buying, possessing, or transporting a gun and who is protected by a currently valid protective order is allowed to carry a concealed handgun without a permit for 45 days after the protective order was issued. If that individual applies for a concealed carry permit within that time period, he or she can then carry a concealed gun for another 45 days.
  • SB 1344: This would amend § 20-124.2:1, which controls children meeting with judges in custody cases. A court may conduct an in camera interview with a minor child with or without the parents or their counsel present.
  • HB 1456: The law would enable judges and parents to use the term “parenting time” as synonymous with “visitation” within a custody or visitation order, however, not in cases of neglect or abuse.
  • HB 1492: This would allow child support to be paid to a special needs trust or an ABLE savings trust account upon request from either parent.
  • HB 1604: The local board of social services would be able to take a child into custody with an emergency removal order when there is allegations of child abuse or neglect without having previously made an effort to prevent removal in certain circumstances.
  • HB 1737: This would enable civilian employees who work overseas to keep their Virginia residency for the purpose of personal jurisdiction. This would enable them to obtain annulments and divorces in Virginia still.
  • HB 1795: In regard to adoptions or foster care placements, all home studies conducted by local social services must comply with the Mutual Family Assessment home study template and any other elements developed by the Department of Social Services. The purpose is to standardize home studies across the state.
  • HB 2289: This law would enable courts to order an individual to maintain a life insurance policy with his or her ex-spouse designated as the beneficiary upon a divorce.

Contact a Leesburg Family Law Attorney

These are only a small sample of the bills currently within the Virginia legislature that could potentially affect a parent’s rights. If you have questions regarding divorce, spousal support, custody, child support, or another family matter, contact the experienced attorneys of Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC for more information.









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