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Best Family Lawyers in Newport News

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Ehrenworth Law PLLC logo
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Ehrenworth Law PLLC

11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606
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Business Description

Ehrenworth Law PLLC provides legal assistance to the residents of Newport News and the surrounding areas. It provides legal solutions to various family law matters, such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. The firm also defends the legal rights of individuals facing criminal charges and helps clients create estate plans that include drafting wills, advance healthcare directives, and powers of attorney. As a former prosecutor, founding attorney Scott Ehrenworth knows the other side's legal strategies.

Professionalism:

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Goldstein, Edgar & Reagan Attorneys and Counselors at Law logo
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Goldstein, Edgar & Reagan Attorneys and Counselors at Law

741 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Goldstein, Edgar & Reagan, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, is a private practice serving the residents of the Newport News metro and the surrounding areas for more than two decades. It provides legal assistance for divorces and custody matters, including grandparents' and third-party rights. It also handles family law cases involving complex immigration, mental health, and financial and property issues. The firm's family law attorney, Christopher P. Reagan, is a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.

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Harmonie Law logo
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Harmonie Law

1 Enterprise Pkwy, Suite 330, Hampton, VA 23666
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Harmonie Law offers representation and consultation to individuals and families in the Newport News area. It helps clients deal with issues concerning family law, such as divorce, child custody, child support, prenuptial agreements, and separation agreements. It assists individuals in resolving disagreements with contested and uncontested divorce cases, including property division, debt assignment, and alimony payments. Harmonie Mason, the owner of Harmonie Law, has over a decade of legal experience and has served as a Magistrate Judge in the City of Hampton.

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Jennifer J. Sherwood Attorney at Law logo
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Jennifer J. Sherwood Attorney at Law

809 Main Street, Newport News, VA 23605
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  • Alimony
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Jennifer J. Sherwood, Attorney at Law, offers services to clients facing legal issues in Newport News and the neighboring communities. The firm resolves family law matters, including child custody and visitation, adoption, spousal support, and divorce. It also guides clients in helping enforce and modify their child support agreements to protect the rights and needs of their children. In addition to family law, the firm represents individuals facing other legal disputes involving auto fraud, landlord-tenant, and construction law matters.

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Melone Hatley, P.C. logo
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Melone Hatley, P.C.

448 Viking Drive, Suite 170, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
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  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Melone Hatkey, P.C., is a woman-owned and woman-operated office that caters to the legal needs of families in Newport News. Since 2014, it has been representing those who are facing various family law issues, such as child support and custody, divorce with special needs children, visitation rights, spousal support, and post-and pre-nuptial agreements. Its attorneys guide clients throughout the legal process, which involves negotiating settlements, assisting in setting the valuation and division of their marital homes and military pensions, and dealing with Guardians ad litem.

Professionalism:

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Montgomery, Kelley & Dennett logo
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Montgomery, Kelley & Dennett

5520 Foundation Street, Williamsburg, VA 23188
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  • Alimony
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Montgomery, Kelley & Dennett is a law firm that serves residents of Newport News. For over seven decades of combined experience, its attorneys have been providing legal assistance to those who are facing family law issues, such as divorce, alimony, child custody and support, and property settlement. The firm also handles criminal, bankruptcy, personal injury, and estate planning cases. One of the attorneys, Stephanie A. Montgomery, has been in practice for over two decades. She is a fellow of the Virginia State Bar Association.

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Pedersen Law PLLC logo
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Pedersen Law PLLC

4266 Casey Boulevard, Williamsburg, VA 23188
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Pedersen Law PLLC works with residents in and around Newport News. It offers legal assistance in different areas of family law. The full-service firm guides and represents clients dealing with divorce cases. It provides zealous support during mediation or litigation proceedings and helps parents settle different issues involving visitation rights, alimony, and child custody and support enforcement and modification. It also deals with adoption law matters. Pedersen Law has been in operation for over a decade.

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Woodmere Law, P.L.L.C. logo
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Woodmere Law, P.L.L.C.

4311 New Town Avenue, Williamsburg, VA 23188
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Business Description

Woodmere Law, P.L.L.C., offers legal assistance to the people of Newport News and the surrounding areas. It advises its clients on a variety of family law matters, such as property and asset split, debt division, spousal alimony, and modifications to child support orders. The firm also represents individuals in no-fault and fault-based divorce cases. Managing attorney Paul E. Freeman has been practicing law for over nine years. He deals with both family and criminal law.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of cases do family lawyers handle?

Family lawyers handle all types of family-related issues, including divorce, child support and spousal support, custody, adoption, paternity and guardianship. Family attorneys can also handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divide marital assets based on the policies outlined in these documents. Domestic violence cases are also within the purview of family law attorneys.

Is family court different from district court?

In most states, family court is a division of the district court rather than a separate court system. Family law judges primarily preside over family disputes, such as divorce and custody hearings. Most states require family law judges to receive special training on how to best address family law matters.

How long do custody cases last in family court?

The duration of custody cases can differ based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. A case in which parents agree to split custody can be quick, while lawsuits in which both parents or guardians are fighting for full custody can take much longer. Most child custody cases last three to 10 days, but this can vary under more challenging circumstances.

Why is there no jury in family court?

There are no juries in family court cases because the concept of innocence or guilt does not apply. While there may be some cases in which additional opinions could be helpful, most cases are based on the letter of the law versus individual circumstances. Some states, including Texas, permit jury trials for family court cases, but this is uncommon.

What are the most common cases in family court?

Family law covers a variety of different cases pertaining to familial relations. The most common cases in family court include:

  • Divorce cases, including settling issues of alimony, property distribution, and child care
  • Child custody and the determination of paternity
  • Domestic violence protection orders
  • Name changes, including modifications due to adoption or personal preference
  • Guardianship, including who will handle the care of a child or adult should current caretakers be unable to do so
  • Adoptions and the termination of parental rights
  • Juvenile matters, including child abuse and neglect, foster placements, and criminal conduct
  • Emancipation, which is the process of declaring a minor as independent from their parents
  • Approval of underage marriages

Do family lawyers handle mediation?

Mediation can be a valuable part of a divorce case, counseling spouses to work through areas of disagreement in a fair, calm, and unbiased manner. Most, but not all, family lawyers handle mediation. Anyone who believes they may need intervention services is encouraged to ask about an attorney’s experience with resolving disputes, to ensure that support is available if necessary.

What is family law?

Family law is an area of legal practice that places a special focus on issues concerning families. Common areas of family law include separation of assets and potential alimony arrangements during a divorce, child custody and child support mediation between estranged or divorced parents, paternity cases, and matters of adoption. Family lawyers not only oversee mediation during disputes over things like child support and custody arrangements, but they also represent parties' interests when family matters are dealt with in court.

What is a custodial parent?

When two parents do not live together with a child, one will be named as the custodial parent. The designated parent—or other guardian if both biological parents are deemed unfit—will have precedence in any legal decisions made concerning the child's life, including education and other matters of the child's welfare. The other parent is referred to as the noncustodial parent.

What is sole custody?

When a child lives with one parent full time after a divorce or a legal separation, that parent has sole custody. This parent will be fully responsible for providing basic necessities for the child's well-being, including food, shelter, and clothing. The alternative is joint custody, in which both parents share physical custody of the child, based on a predetermined legal arrangement.

While they may sound the same, sole custody is not identical to full custody. In full custody, the noncustodial parent may have visitation rights, while in sole custody, they do not. A court would rule that a parent has sole custody rather than full custody when only one parent is deemed fit to act in the best interests of the child.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is a preset arrangement that occurs after a marriage is dissolved. In joint custody, a child lives with their custodial parent for certain days or weeks and their noncustodial parent for the remainder. The custody arrangement may be decided in a hearing, but if two parents come up with a suitable agreement on their own, the court will likely accept it.

What makes a good family lawyer?

There are a number of characteristics to look for in a good family lawyer. The first is experience. An experienced family law attorney will understand the right steps to take to come to an equitable resolution that reflects the best interests of the family, often without going to court. The ability to communicate and act as an intermediary between parties in a dispute is important, whether it concerns a divorce, custody, paternity, or something else. Family legal disputes can be stressful to manage, especially when mediation and finding a common ground is involved. A good family lawyer is also available as a resource to help their client navigate a difficult situation in a way that won't harm their chances for a positive resolution.

How can a mother lose custody of her child?

A mother could lose custody of her child if she's deemed unfit to provide or take proper care of them. This decision often comes as a result of the mother being unable to provide a safe home or take care of a child's basic needs. It can also come from a mother abusing the child or neglecting them, abusing drugs and alcohol, or frequently being arrested.

In any of these cases, the state can revoke custody from the mother, citing details learned through home visits, interviews, court records, and a variety of other sources as the reasons. In this case, sole custody would be given to the other parent, if he/she is able.

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