What does Family Law mean, and what is covered under it?

Family Law includes issues encompassing marriage and divorce, support, custody and visitation, adoption, step-parents’ rights, grandparents’ rights, paternity, and more, as it relates to minor children. It can also entail proper estate planning.  

Does separation mean one of us has to leave the house?

No. Separation is a mental state and an action to live like a spouse’s roommate, ceasing to hold yourself out to friends or family as a “married couple,” and putting them and your spouse on notice of your intentions and that those intentions are permanent in nature. You need only move into a separate bedroom, […]

Can my spouse just move out and stop paying any of our bills?

They may think they can, but they are still responsible in most cases. Nobody can legally abandon. If this happens, there are things you can do. For example, you can go to court to ask for emergency support, depending upon your financial circumstances.

Can you represent both me and my spouse in our family law case?

In family law cases, we never represent both spouses; this would create a permanent conflict of interest. Although some States allow an attorney to obtain a written waiver of conflict, this is not permissible in Virginia and, frankly, we agree with that restriction as it is too easily the case that one spouse may later […]

How quickly can you get me a divorce?

In divorce issues you can only control your own timeline; you can’t control the other side. We also have to take into consideration the legal timelines as set forth by the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially in cases where children are involved. Unless there is a fault ground, like adultery, if you have minor children, you […]

Do you provide mediation services?

Patricia E. Tichenor can serve as a mediator; however, she is a neutral in that instance and can only help each side to work towards an agreement. Once that agreement is reached, it is up to one or both of the spouses to meet with their own, separate and independent attorney to review the mediated […]

When is the right time to create my will or trust?

Many people postpone estate planning because they assume death is far off. But you never know when your time is up, so you must plan for the worst-case scenario. By the time they enter their mid-20s, most people have begun to accumulate assets or start families. To truly protect your loved ones and your estate, […]

How do you charge your fees?

For estate planning, we use a flat fee, by the document, approach. The flat fee varies, based on the complexity of the document being prepared. For other services, we may offer an hourly rate for services, and there may be a different hourly rate depending on the level and experience of our managing and associate […]

How long does it take to complete my estate plan?

Generally, we provide a first draft of your estate plan within two to three weeks of engagement, then it is up to you to review and suggest edits. Most estate plans are completed within 30-45 days. However, the Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C. can expedite your estate plan if necessary (rush fees will […]

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

For out-of-court issues, if you need the advice and guidance of an attorney on a limited basis, we can be your go-to advisor. There are also things you can do on your own, with our guidance and legal advice, and you control your fees and costs by deciding when and how to involve us with […]

How do you ensure confidentiality?

We actively take steps to ensure our communications remain protected by attorney-client privilege, so that what we discuss is held confidential. We ask you not to have other people in the room when you meet with us or discuss matters with us by phone. The presence of a third party is a “waiver” of that […]

I cannot come to your office, can you come to me?

Yes. We are available to travel and provide home visits when necessary (advance deposit may be required for a first consultation before travel occurs to ensure payment for mileage and time). The Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C. has a 24-hour notice requirement for all consultations involving travel. If we are notified less than […]

How do you bill?

Estate Plans are paid for up front by a flat fee deposit and a bill is normally issued at the time you sign your documents. All other matters are billed on a monthly basis using itemized invoices that track fees and costs separately, with the final page tracking what remains on deposit with the office […]

Do you require a deposit up front?

A deposit, also called a retainer fee, is required up front by our Office. For Estate Plans, it’s the total flat fee quoted for the documents to be drafted.  For Family Law and other matters, the deposit is based upon the nature of the issues involved and whether the matter is in litigation or anticipated […]