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Bankruptcy – Chapter 7 only

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy a debtor asks for and, if certain eligibility standards are met, receives a court order (called a “Discharge”) stating that he or she no longer has to pay any debts that are legally dischargeable. After you get your Discharge (which takes about three months from start to finish) you are free to start living again without any obligation to pay anything on old credit card debts, repossessed cars, medical bills, judgments, etc.

After an extended, no-cost, telephone conference to determine that a bankruptcy is appropriate and that you are eligible, I provide a complete package of information to you. This package will tell you how to obtain the required pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, will answer a lot of questions that you may have about the process, and will contain a list of documents that I will need to complete your bankruptcy petition. When you are ready to proceed, I schedule an appointment at my office, usually starting at 9:30 a.m., and work with you throughout the day to finalize a bankruptcy petition, which I will file with the bankruptcy court before the end of the work-day. The extended session in my office is usually the only time that we have to meet in connection with a bankruptcy, thereby reducing the amount of time you may have to take off from work or be away from your home.

After the bankruptcy petition is filed, that puts an immediate stop to lawsuits, wage or bank garnishments or other attempts by creditors to collect any money from you, and about three months after the petition filing date your bankruptcy should be finalized, with a Discharge being issued by the bankruptcy court. In addition, if you are currently being garnished by a creditor, I may be able to get the garnishment released and have the funds returned to you.

Call me with any questions or for a no-cost telephone consultation to learn more about a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

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Couple discussing with lawyer

Divorce – uncontested only

An uncontested divorce is one where there are no disputes between the parties about division of property, child support, visitation and custody, spousal support, or any other possible disputed matters. In Virginia, if you have no minor children from the marriage and have each signed a separation agreement, then either party can ask for a divorce following six months of continuous separation; however, if there are any minor children involved, then a full year of continuous separation is required before either party can file for divorce.

After an office interview with the client, I will prepare a proposed separation agreement, if that appears to be appropriate. A separation agreement may not be needed in all cases, particularly if there are no minor children from the marriage and no property or assets to divide, or if the parties have been separated for a substantial period of time and have each moved on in their lives. The separation agreement, if needed, will ultimately be incorporated in a final divorce decree.

I start the divorce process by filing a Complaint with the Circuit Court. The Complaint and a Summons (telling the other party that he/she is now involved in a lawsuit) have to be served on the other party – I choose to do this by mailing the documents along with a Waiver of Service of Process to the other party. However, if the other party won’t sign the Waiver, then papers will have to be served by the Sheriff’s Office – this will usually add a few weeks to the process.

After the Complaint and Summons have been served and the necessary time has passed, I will prepare Affidavits for the Plaintiff (the person filing for divorce) and a witness who is familiar with the Plaintiff’s circumstances. The Affidavits and a Final Decree, along with other required documents, will then be delivered to the Circuit Court for review and entry by the Judge.

If everything goes smoothly, a divorce can usually be finalized in just a couple of weeks.


Civil litigation

I have handled multiple lawsuits over the years, both in Circuit Court and General District Court, and I will be pleased to offer a no-cost consultation to determine whether I believe your case has merit and if it is a matter that I feel qualified to handle. Please call me to discuss any litigation issues you may have.
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