Divorce, Custody, and Child Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs (Part I)

By: Demian J. McGarry, Esq., and Nicole Grejda, Esq.

This is the first in a series of blogs Curran Moher Weis attorneys will be publishing on divorce and child support involving children with special needs. We invite you to bookmark our blog and check back regularly for further input on this important topic.

If you have a child with special needs, you already face a great deal of unique challenges. Those challenges become increasingly complex if you are also navigating a divorce and/or a child custody, visitation, or child support determination in Virginia.

At Curran Moher Weis, we believe that when a marriage or partnership involving children dissolves, it is of the utmost importance to consider solutions that benefit the child(ren) – especially those with special needs. That starts with ensuring you have an experienced family law attorney who understands the complexities of these issues and can help you understand them as well. This blog series will shed light on this special area of focus for our firm.

Custody and Visitation of Children with Special Needs 

In divorce cases in Virginia, the court is asked to determine a custody and visitation schedule that is in the best interests of the child.  When a child has special needs, several points of consideration factor into the court’s decision.

One factor the court must consider is “the age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s change developmental needs.” This means the court will consider how experienced and knowledgeable a parent is regarding the administration of medication to the child, how involved a parent is in the child’s necessary services, such as individualized educational programs (IEPs) and occupational, physical, or mental health therapy, and how much time a parent can devote to the daily care of the child.  If parents are conflicted about how to care for a child, the court may consider which parent has acted in the child’s best interests to that point, and which parent articulates the best plan for the child going forward.  The court will also consider how prepared and able each parent is to have the child with him or her.

Child Support Involving Children with Special Needs 

The court is commonly asked to determine the appropriate amount of child support payable by one parent to the other for the benefit of the child, under “guidelines” set forth in Virginia Code Section 20-108.2.

The amount of support calculated with those guidelines is presumed correct unless there is relevant evidence that a deviation would be in the best interest of the child based on factors set forth in Section 20-108.1(B). One factor that must be considered pursuant to Section 20-108.1(B)(8) is “any special needs of a child resulting from any physical, emotional, or medical condition.” A court may consider, for example, the cost of medication, medical equipment, nursing services in the home, medical transportation, and the cost associated with treatment plans.

Although child support typically terminates when a child reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates, for a special need child, child support can be extended for significantly longer.  For example, pursuant to Virginia Code Section 20-124.2(C), the court may order that child support continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is: (a) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, and such disability existed prior to the child reaching the age of 18 or the age of 19 […]; (b) unable to live independently and support himself; and (c) residing in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support.

While we’re sharing these codes of Virginia law as information to know about these issues, don’t worry about remembering them.  That’s our job.

Special Needs Trust/ABLE Account 

The court may also order that child support payments be paid to a Special Needs Trust or an ABLE account.

Special Needs Trusts are often created to address the unique needs of the child and to ensure that child support payments or other funds are used to meet those unique needs. Special Needs Trusts also provide an additional benefit: if money is held in a Special Needs Trust for the benefit of the child instead of being paid directly to the child to meet his or her living expenses, then the child is not deemed ineligible to qualify for government benefits such as social security income and/or Medicaid. A child will therefore be able to receive support from the Special Needs Trust in addition to any applicable government benefits.

An ABLE account is a tax-advantaged savings account for a person who becomes disabled prior to the age of 26. As long as the funds held in the ABLE account are used for “qualifying expenses,” then the earnings on the account investments are not taxed. Similar to a Special Needs Trust, funds in an ABLE account do not risk the child being deemed ineligible to qualify for government benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 

Divorcing parents of children with special needs, or those navigating a child support matter, also need to be aware of the numerous public resources that may be available to them.  Parents may receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on behalf of their physically and/or intellectually challenged child.  SSI:

  • Is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and
  • Provides financial assistance to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Parents also need to be aware that in Virginia, a custodial parent’s receipt of SSI benefits for a special needs child does not entitle the non-custodial parent to a credit or reduction in their child support. SSI benefits received for a child are designed to supplement other income, not substitute for it.

Medicaid Waivers 

Medicaid waivers can be a critical element in the care plan for a physically and/or intellectually challenged child. A Medicaid waiver is a provision in Medicaid law which allows the federal government to waive rules that usually apply to the Medicaid program. The intention is to allow individual states to accomplish certain goals, such as reducing costs, expanding coverage or improving care for certain target groups. Thanks to these waivers, states can provide services to their residents that wouldn’t usually be covered by Medicaid. For instance, in-home care for people who would otherwise have to go into long-term institutional care.

In Virginia, there are six different Medicaid waiver programs, three of which are relevant to minors:

  • the CCC Plus Waiver;
  • the Intellectual Disability Waiver; and
  • the Individual and Family Support Waiver.

Coverage under these waivers may provide for in-home attendant care, respite care and nursing care at various levels.  Attendant care is direct support in the home and community with personal assistance, activities of daily living, using the community, taking medication and care of other health needs. They can either be provided by an agency or by consumer-directed services. Consumer-Directed Services offer the individual/family the option of hiring workers directly, rather than using traditional agency staff.  Respite care services provided for unpaid caregivers (e.g. parent) of eligible individuals who are unable to care for themselves that are provided on an episodic or routine basis because of the absence of or need for relief of those unpaid persons who routinely provide the care.  To put it simply, respite care provides the much needed physical and mental health breaks for the caregiving parent so they can leave the home.

Parents should maximize benefits available to them under the waiver as coverage can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket unreimbursed medical expenses that they may otherwise be obligated to pay under a child support order. The scope of the unreimbursed medical expenses statute contained in Virginia Code §20-108.2(D) is broad enough to cover attendant and respite care.

Make Sure Your Attorney Has Expertise in Special Needs Cases

Special needs issues in divorce, custody and child support situations continue to increase. Often, these issues create a mine field for families trying to navigate this very complicated and niche area. Consultation with a family law attorney who is familiar with special needs issues can ensure that your interests are protected and objectives maximized.

Curran Moher Weis attorneys are dedicated to supporting parents of children with special needs, and have decades of experience successfully guiding them through these complex matters. Contact us to set up a consultation, and stay tuned for future posts, as we help you learn more about this important topic.


DOES CHILD SUPPORT COVER PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION?

By Demian J. McGarry, Esq.

 

Around the country, children – and their parents – are settling back into school routines for the year, whether at public, private, charter or other schools. For parents who have, or want, their child(ren) in private schools, but are also considering or undergoing a divorce or child support case at this same time, they often want to know whether and how those costs would be covered by child support.

At Curran Moher Weis, I and my fellow attorneys regularly help parents navigate school choice in child support cases. Here is what you need to know:

There are typically two situations to consider – either you have a child or several children already in private schools, or you want your child to attend private school in the future, such as upon graduation from elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school.  You and the other parent may or may not agree on the choice of private school or whether your child should go to private school at all. Faced with the many other costs of separation, as existing and new financial obligations are divided out, how do you continue to pay for private school or ask for coverage of the costs in the future? And can a parent be required by court order to pay for or contribute towards private school tuition?

As is the case with many aspects of divorce and child support cases, there is no straightforward answer. There are a host of factors a court considers for deciding whether a noncustodial parent should be ordered to contribute to a child’s private school expenses.

Primarily, those factors include:

  • The availability of satisfactory public schools;
  • The child’s prior attendance at private school;
  • The financial circumstances of the parties;
  • The child’s special emotional or physical needs, religious training and family tradition.

These also do not factor to the same degree, nor in isolation, in the court’s decision. Prior or current enrollment in a private school at the time the request for contribution is sought, weighs heavily on the court’s decision. A court does not want to disrupt the continuity of a child’s education and educational environment that includes the child’s peers and school-related extracurricular activities. However, that has to be weighed against the financial circumstances of the parties and the other factors listed.

If your child is not yet enrolled in private school, but you want him/her to be, it is a tougher road to haul to convince a court to add private school tuition on top of a child support obligation.  In this scenario, the other factors come into play as well, such as the quality of the public schools in the area and any special emotional or physical need of the child. The court does not take the degradation of public schools lightly. In these situations, it is often useful to secure an educational consultant to serve as an expert who can provide an objective comparison of the schools to explain what unique need the proposed private school can meet for the child(ren) that their public school cannot. Those unique needs could be related to academics, safety or mental well-being, such as in the case where a public school had repeatedly failed to rectify a bullying situation for the child.

When private school is considered in litigation, it is often the case that the parent desiring private school over a hesitant parent will have to compromise in some way, either by accepting a reduced monthly child support or spousal support award in exchange for the other parent’s contribution to private school, or taking a reduced interest in marital property they would otherwise be entitled to in exchange for the other parent paying for or contributing to private school. To avoid the uncertainty and additional strain that comes with litigating private school cost, it behooves parents to try and reach an agreement on their own.

There are, of course, a litany of other questions to be considered and thus, issues to be navigated. In preparing an agreement, parties need to be mindful of not only the current private school attended or sought after, but any future change. There have been cases where an agreement binds a parent to pay for a particular school and then when a parent seeks to change the private school, is unsuccessful because the parties’ agreement did not anticipate or leave open that possibility. The agreement should include the scope of the obligation:  Will it be only for K-4, K-6 or K-12?  Do the parents want to put a cap on the obligation?  Do you want the parent to pay their obligation directly to the school or to you?  Does the school selection have to be mutual, and if so, can the other parent veto a choice without justifying the reasonableness of their decision?

Finally, if a parent is concerned about the future costs or their own future circumstances, it is important to include a clause that states the court has jurisdiction to modify the private school obligation in a future support proceeding. Otherwise, the parties may be bound by the black letter of their contract and a harsh result could occur with a parent being on the hook who may not be financially able to shoulder the cost.

Fortunately, there is a well- developed body of law on private school tuition contribution, and the experienced domestic relations attorneys at Curran Moher Weis can help guide you in reaching a settlement or litigating your objectives regardless of which side of the issue you may happen to ascribe. Learn more about our talented family law attorneys, and contact us here to set up a consultation.


What Is the Difference Between an Annulment and Divorce?

By Jenna Maresco, Esq.

Many might remember the famous “Friends” episode where Ross and Rachel seek an annulment after getting married in Las Vegas. Ultimately, they are denied an annulment by a judge and forced to divorce instead. It begs the question prospective clients often ask, “What’s the difference between an annulment and divorce?”

The simple answer is, in the rare situation when an annulment is granted, it is as if no marriage ever existed. Under Virginia law, there are only a few grounds for an annulment of marriage. Rarely do those apply to most couples, leaving divorce as the only legal means to end their marriage.

Now, let’s get a bit more technical. Under Virginia law, a party can file a suit for annulment under very limited circumstances. First, there may be grounds for an annulment if the parties did not follow the proper procedure for getting married, which requires obtaining a license and solemnizing the marriage. An annulment may also be granted when the marriage itself was void for one of the following reasons: (1) the marriage was entered into before an existing marriage for either party had been legally dissolved; or (2) a marriage was entered into between related individuals, including an ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, or uncle/aunt and niece/nephew.

In addition, there may be grounds for an annulment when one party to the marriage did not have the capacity to consent to the union, whether because of mental incapacity or infirmity, or because one party was under the age of 18. Finally, a party may file a suit for annulment if either party is:

  • Impotent at the time of the marriage;
  • A convicted felon
  • Pregnant by an individual other than her husband;
  • Found to have fathered a child with a woman other than his wife within 10 months after the marriage; or
  • Found to have been involved in prostitution without the knowledge of the other party.

A party cannot obtain an annulment if the party seeking an annulment has cohabitated with the other party after knowledge of the facts that party is basing his or her claim for annulment on. A suit for annulment is also unavailable when the parties have been married for at least two years.

If the few limited grounds for annulment do not apply, then a party must end his or her marriage through a divorce proceeding.  Even if a party believes he/she has grounds for annulment, it is important to note that most grounds render the marriage as voidable as opposed to outright void – meaning even then, there is no guarantee that a court would grant an annulment.

There are certainly different implications of proceeding with an annulment versus proceeding with a divorce. If there are children, a party can still seek custody and child support, just like any other unmarried parent. However, in those cases, a court has no authority to award spousal support or divide the parties’ assets and debts if it annuls the marriage. Because of the complexities involved in annulments vs. divorces, it is important to clarify the difference early on in a consultation.

If you find yourself in this situation, set up a consultation with one of Curran Moher Weis’ family law attorneys to determine whether your marriage dissolution qualifies as an annulment or divorce, and we’ll set you on a path to the most effective resolution.

Follow the latest on divorce and family law in Northern Virginia and the D.C. Metropolitan area at our blog or by following us on Twitter at twitter.com/curranmoherweis.


Protecting your Children’s Health Care Coverage After a Divorce

There is hardly a subject more widely discussed and debated than health care coverage. If you are contemplating a divorce, or are currently pursuing one, and you have children, you are no doubt wondering how to protect your children’s access to health care coverage and services once a divorce were final. A Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) might just be the underutilized tool you need to ensure that your child(ren) continue to receive the coverage they deserve.

Aside from an acronym that doesn’t quite just roll off the tongue, what else is QMCSO good for? I’ll help fill you in on a few key questions: (1) what is a QMCSO, (2) what does a QMCSO do, and (3) what are the requirements of a QMCSO?

(1) What is a QMCSO?

A QMCSO is an order made pursuant to the laws of a state court that provides for child support or health benefit coverage for a child of a participant under a group health plan.  It creates or recognizes the rights of an alternate recipient (not the participant) to receive benefits for which a participant or beneficiary is eligible under a group health plan.  As indicated in its name the order must be “Qualified”, meaning it must contain certain information and meet the requirements of the QMCSO provisions, which I’ll get to later.

(2) What does a QMCSO do?

In short, a QMCSO orders a health insurance provider to comply with state laws regarding medical child support.  Each state is required by Congress under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to have in place specific state laws relating to medical child support in order to receive certain federal funds.  Each state must have laws that:

  1. a.  Require health insurers to enroll a child under his or her parent’s health insurance even if:
    1.   i. the child is born out of wedlock;
      1.   ii.  the child does not reside with the insured parent
      2.   iii.  the child does not live in the insurer’s service area;
  1.   iv. or the child is not claimed as a dependent on the parent’s federal income tax return;
  1. b. Require health insurers to enroll a child without regard to the plan’s open enrollment restrictions;
  2. c. Require employers and insurers to comply with orders requiring a parent to provide health insurance for a child; and
  3. d. Require insurers to permit a custodial parent to file claims on behalf of his or her child under the non-custodial parent’s health insurance, and to make benefit payments directly to the custodial parent or health care provider.

 

Note that a QMCSO cannot require a plan to provide any type or form of benefit not otherwise provided by the plan, except to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of the laws I just mentioned.

(3) What are the requirements of a QMCSO?

A QMCSO requires that one of the parents be ordered to provide health care coverage for a child under a group health plan.  It does not apply to government-funded health insurance plans like Medicaid because ERISA, the law which allows for the creation of a QMCSO, applies to private sector employers only.

So in short, a QMCSO can help you: if you want primary custody, but don’t want your child to lose the non-custodial parent’s health care coverage; if you want to be able to submit a claim despite not being a participant or beneficiary of the other parent’s health plan; or if you need to enroll your child outside of a provider’s open enrollment period.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this and other complexities involved in divorce, you are not alone. But that’s what we’re here for. One of our experienced family law attorneys at Curran Moher Weis can help make the difficult experience of divorce easier by helping you navigate whether you qualify for a QMCSO and whether it would be beneficial to you in your case.  Reach out to us to request a consultation here and learn more about child support in Virginia here.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FUNDING EXPENSES DURING A SEPARATION

Separation and divorce can be described by a lot of different adjectives, but “cheap” is not one of them. In a separation, a family goes from living in one household to all of a sudden, living in two households, with two mortgages or rents to pay, two sets of utility bills and a host of other doubled or more complex set of shared expenses.  A party may also find themselves having to pay spousal or child support on top of household expenses. How can this dynamic be sustained financially until a final divorce and settlement is reached?

Know What Funds are Available

A good starting point for someone going through a separation is to know what available funds you can draw from and when.  This blog will shed a bit more light on that:

When possible, expenses should be paid out of current income as opposed to savings or other types of accounts.  When that is not possible, utilizing funds from a savings account, selling off securities and investments and even taking a premature withdrawal from your retirement accounts are less ideal but viable backup options.

If there has been no court order entered yet, you may draw down on bank accounts and investment accounts provided it is for a legitimate marital purpose.  Legitimate marital expenses include rent, mortgage, utilities, childcare, groceries or personal grooming items and/or attorney’s fees.  Conversely, during a separation, one should not utilize proceeds from bank and investment accounts for purely discretionary spending such as on vacations, luxury merchandise purchases, tattoos, cars or boats.  This type of spending may be considered what is legally called “waste” or “dissipation,” which means one spouse has used marital property for his or her own benefit and a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time when the marriage is undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown. That definition means waste and dissipation can occur before or after the separation, and the party making such expenditures would have to account for lost assets in the final property distribution of a divorce. In these cases, it does not matter whether an account is separately titled or joint – only that the account contained “marital funds.”

Retirement accounts should be the account that is tapped into for marital expenses only as a last resort for many reasons.  With the exception of single annual withdrawals that are replaced within 60 days, there is the automatic premature withdrawal penalty of 10% plus tax penalties depending on your bracket for taking funds out of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401K prior to age 59.5.  As an example, someone in the 33% tax bracket who withdraws $49,500 from a retirement account prior to age 59.5 can expect to net just $31,000 from the withdrawal.  Unless absolutely necessary to stay afloat, withdrawing from your retirement account is financially imprudent.

Pendente lite Order

Another important point to know if you are considering or in the midst of a separation is that once a divorce action has been filed, a court may enter what is known as a pendente lite Order. This defines the temporary obligations of the parties when it comes to spousal support, child support and payment of household expenses.  The Virginia law on these temporary Orders was amended in 2016 to provide that unless a party can show good cause, all obligations must be paid out of post-separation income.  The restriction now severely limits a spouse’s ability to use assets to provide for support and household expense needs during a separation.

The decision to utilize marital assets to pay for household expenses must be made with careful consideration, with current income being the ideal source for obligatory spending.   Discretionary spending from what would be considered marital assets or accounts should be done with caution, and with the knowledge of how that lost money will be handled in an eventual divorce. Seeking the input of a financial advisor, accountant or attorney is highly recommended before taking any significant action that has an effect on the marital estate.

Learn more about separations in Virginia here. For more information on what to know during a separation or divorce, contact one of our highly knowledgeable and skilled attorneys at Curran Moher Weis.


5 Signs Your Spouse Might Be Cheating

5 Signs Your Spouse Might Be Cheating

By: Jason Weis, Esq.

I have seen dozens and dozens of adultery cases. I’ve been involved in so many of these cases, in fact, that I was recently asked to teach a class to other lawyers about how adultery is handled in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. divorces.  As the expert panelist at the D.C. Bar Family Law Community’s “Discovering and Dealing with Adultery” seminar, I shared my experiences litigating adultery cases all over the D.C. Metropolitan Area.

How Do You Know if Your Spouse is Cheating

How do I know if my spouse is cheating?” is perhaps the most common question I receive after disclosing that I’m a divorce lawyer. While I always caveat that there could be legitimate alternative explanations for certain behaviors, here are the top 5 signs your spouse be cheating:

  1. Increased time spent away from home – your spouse needs time to commit adultery. Therefore, if your spouse had a regular practice of coming home from work between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., but recently has begun regularly coming home much later (without a clear reason), it’s suspicious. Similarly, if your spouse begins spending nights away from the home for nebulous work or social reasons, there may be an issue.
  2. Increased attention to physical appearance and wardrobe – your spouse needs to attract a new romantic partner. Therefore, if your partner is not someone who previously focused on his/her physical appearance or wardrobe, but suddenly starts exercising more often, changing their eating habits and/or buying new or different clothes, it could be a sign they are trying to attract the interests of someone else.
  3. Increased interest in digital privacy – your spouse needs to communicate with his/her new romantic partner. Therefore, if you previously had open access to your partner’s various electronic devices, but he or she has suddenly protected those devices with new passwords, fingerprint ID, or other security measures that render it impossible for you access those devices, perhaps it was done to conceal something from you.
  4. Decreased sexual activity at home – your spouse is less likely to have sex with you if he/she is having sex with someone else. Therefore, while changes in the frequency of sexual activity is normal in any marriage, if you find your partner is unusually disinterested in sex or being intimate with you, with no alternative explanation, it could be a sign he or she is involved physically with someone else.
  5. Unusual spending habits – your spouse may spend money on or with his or her new romantic partner. Therefore, if you notice an unusual increase in spending by your spouse, such as frequent or higher than normal cash withdrawals or having higher than normal credit card bills – without explanation – it could be a sign they are spending that money on someone else or to otherwise fund an affair.

To be clear, there could be other equally plausible explanations for all of the above-referenced behaviors. Your spouse may be working late to earn extra money to purchase a gift for you and may be concealing her phone to preserve the element of surprise!  Your spouse might also be working out more and dressing nicer because it makes him feel more confident and he likes the way you look at him when he cleans up.

There are many strategies to working through adultery matters, but when a resolution cannot be reached, my fellow attorneys at Curran Moher Weis are here to make the difficult decision to divorce more bearable and support you through every step.  If you find yourself considering divorce, request a consultation with one of our talented Northern Virginia-based attorneys here and you’ll quickly come to see the difference a quality divorce lawyer can make in your matter.


CMW’s Jason Weis to Serve as Expert Panelist on Adultery Webinar

On Thursday, April 19, Curran Moher Weis’ partner Jason Weis, Esq., will serve as a panelist on the webinar, “Discovering and Dealing with Adultery,” hosted by the D.C. Bar Family Law Community.

The webinar will address the emotional and legal implications couples face when infidelity is discovered. Mr. Weis will serve as the family law expert panelist – sharing his legal knowledge and expertise on adultery in Virginia, Maryland and D.C., and helping to educate fellow attorneys, counselors and investigators about how the different jurisdictions currently handle adultery in divorce and family law cases. Other panelists include a private investigator and mental health professional. The webinar will be broadcast live from 6-7:45 p.m. EDT.

Click here for more information on joining the webinar. Read more about Mr. Weis’ expertise in adultery and other family law matters here, or request a consultation with him. Keep up with the latest news from Curran Moher Weis through our blog, or follow us on Twitter.


Curran Moher Weis Sponsors Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice for 6th Consecutive Year

Curran Moher Weis is dedicated to the Northern Virginia community in many ways – from the core of our business in supporting clients through the challenges of divorce and important family law matters, but also by giving back to communities we serve. For the sixth year in a row, Curran Moher Weis will sponsor the Annual Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice 5K.

The event, which this year will be held Sunday, April 15, supports pro bono programs that provide legal services to Fairfax County residents who could not otherwise afford them, as well as legal education programs and interactive activities, such as mock trial experiences, for local students. Curran Moher Weis has proudly served as a major sponsor of this event every year since our founding in 2012, including serving as the headline “Superhero” level sponsor. See more about last year’s event, including input from our esteemed founder and managing partner Grant Moher, Esq., in this Fairfax Times article.

We encourage you to come join the event as a runner or as a volunteer to help ensure a safe, fun experience for the adults and children in attendance. Learn more about volunteer needs here and/or sign up as a volunteer through this form.

What: Fairfax Law Foundation Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice 5K

When: Sunday, April 15, 2018 (Kids’ Fun Run: 8:30 a.m. | 5K: 9 a.m.)

Where: Fairfax Corner (4100 Monument Corner Drive | Fairfax, VA 22030) | See the Course Map

As always, the Curran Moher Weis team will be in full force with firm members, friends, and family members volunteering and running. We hope to see you there!


Curran Moher Weis Welcomes Steven Goldman as Partner

We are proud to announce Steven Goldman, Esq. as partner at Curran Moher Weis, P.C. Steve joined our firm in 2014 and has since become one of our star attorneys and a leader both within the firm and among the legal profession as a whole.

Outside of serving as a supportive and steadfast advocate for his clients, Steve is actively involved in several organizations to support the local community and enhance and advance the family law profession. Currently, he serves as Membership Chair of the Collaborative Professionals of Northern Virginia, and a volunteer with the Fairfax County Bar Association.

Our senior partner Gerald Curran, Esq. weighed in on this exciting announcement: “Steve is by far one of the best domestic relations attorneys in the Northern Virginia area. He has quickly and effectively established himself as a successful and strident advocate for our clients, and as a leader within our firm and among the legal profession at-large. We couldn’t be more pleased to associate with him as our partner, to recognize his accomplishments and to know that he will, for years to come, continue to make significant contributions not only to our firm but to the legal community as well.”

Check out news of Steve being named partner at Curran Moher Weis in the Washington Business Journal and the Washington Post, and see the official press release here.

Follow the latest news from Curran Moher Weis through our blog, and by following us on Twitter.

 


How a Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Thousands

Over the past number of years, the family law landscape in Virginia has changed quite a bit. Before the 1990’s, there was only one true option for a couple seeking a divorce – go to court and have a judge decide the outcome. This method has obvious drawbacks: preparing for court and sitting through a trial is incredibly stressful, especially when your children are the subject of the proceedings; the process is long and arduous, often taking about one year from the date someone first files for divorce; the costs can be exorbitant. While to some this may be worthwhile and even necessary, most divorcing couples hope for exactly the opposite.