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Tatiana Mendez, Esq.
Tatiana Mendez, Esq.

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Virginia Child Custody Guide

Virginia Child Custody Guide

Determining the best interest for your child

Family law frequently forces people to face many very difficult and emotionally challenging issues, such as divorce, separation, child custody, spousal support, child support, and parenting time head on. When you are in the process of legally addressing such intricate and personal events in Virginia Beach, it is important to be confident that you have an experienced child custody attorney you can trust working with you and for you.

When you are in the position of having to fight for your rights in a family law case of any type, the attorney that you hire to tell your story and represent your interests makes a very big difference. If you ever find yourself embroiled in any of the following types of family law cases in Virginia Beach, you need to speak to a child custody attorney at Tatiana Mendez, Esq. immediately:

  • Annulment
  • Parenting Time
  • Divorce
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody
  • Spousal Support

Virginia Beach Divorce Law

When it comes to divorce and the division of property, Virginia is not a community property state. It is an equitable distribution state, which looks different in every case. The family court will consider what each party has contributed to the marriage, as well as their incomes and their future earning potential. It is the judge’s responsibility to make the division as fair as possible, rather than making it equal.

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Child Custody, Divorce & Family Based
Immigration Attorney

Child Custody

The divorce attorneys at Tatiana Mendez, Esq. are experienced in handing very delicate and personal matters, like child custody and visitation rights, with compassionate and experienced care.

It is so imperative to find a child custody attorney that you can trust to handle your case professionally, effectively, and discreetly. A skilled and experienced family-based immigration attorney can protect your legal rights and those of your family members.

Family law and family-based immigration cases are too important to be left in the hands of just any attorney you come across online. If you are facing a divorce, a custody dispute, or a family-based… Read More

Family Law

The family law judge might order one party to pay temporary or long-term spousal support to the other spouse for a period of time. If one of the spouses makes more money, they may end up paying spousal support and more property may be given to the other spouse to make up the difference.

Virginia offers a no-fault divorce option only under specific circumstances. In a no-fault divorce, you do not have to prove that there was any fault on the part of the other spouse to be granted a divorce. If you are not able to meet the requirements, then there are fault-based grounds for divorce available.

Virginia is one of only a small group of states that still offer a fault-based divorce. Fault-based grounds for divorce in Virginia Beach include… Read More

Family Based Immigration

There are two different groups of family-based immigrant visa categories which are provided under the provisions of United States immigration law. These include immediate relatives and family preference categories. An experienced family-based immigration attorney can help you determine which category to apply for. Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas are not capped and are based on a close family relationship with a United States Citizen Immediate Relative. Immediate relative visa types include:

  • IR-1: Spouses of a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-2: Unmarried Children of a U.S. Citizen Under 21 Years of Age
  • IR-3: Orphans adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-4: Orphans to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-5: Parents of a U.S. Citizen who is at least… Read More


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Legal Answers

Moving kids out of state ?

Relocation cases can be very tricky! There are two main things you need to prove, per case law: 1) the move is in the child’s independent best interest and 2) the move won’t negatively affect the relationship between the non-moving parent and the child. If you can continue to maintain the visitation despite the distance, you’re off to a good start. This is the type of case, however, that requires an attorney to help you analyze the ins and outs to determine any potential pitfalls and address the weaknesses in your case. Find someone familiar with relocation cases!

If my husband is abusive and I leave him would it be abandonment?

No, it would not be abandonment and I’d love to see him try to tell the court that it was with those facts. Get out ASAP and find yourself a safe place to stay while you can find an attorney.

Relocating within Virginia?

Relocation cases are notoriously difficult to win because the relocating party has to prove two things: 1) The relocation is in the child’s best interest independent of whether it is in the moving party’s best interest, and 2) the relocation will not have a negative effect on the non-moving party. Find an attorney with experience in relocation cases who you can discuss whether the proposed places you’d like to go are likely to pass the relocation test.

How do we handle visitation with the current pandemic?

The governor of VA issued an Order asking everyone to stay at home but included an exception for parents driving to and from parenting time exchanges. I completely understand the concern of wanting to keep your child safe during these times but it would certainly be a violation of your custody order not to comply with the father’s parenting time, and the governor’s order doesn’t help your justification one bit.

When a marriage takes place, between the 2, what becomes considered as marital property?

Basically, anything that either party acquires during the marriage is considered to be marital property. This includes income, as well as anything purchased, such as homes and vehicles. There are some possible exceptions to this, such as if one party receives an inheritance and never mixes it with any other marital property (the money must be able to be traced back to the inheritance, which isn’t possible once it is put into a joint account). Obviously it isn’t always simple because there will be situations where one party owned something before the marriage, such as a house, and then both parties live in the house after the marriage. How the house is titled does not matter for purposes of whether it is considered marital property. Again, anything acquired during the marriage is marital, so the income being used to pay the mortgage after the marriage counts as marital and goes into the equity. I’ve had cases where someone put down a significant amount of money on a house before the marriage and asked to be credited that amount back from the equity because it was easily traceable to their separate property, but then the equity on the house after that amount was considered marital and subject to equitable distribution. Also, if either party made any improvements to the house through their own labor that they can prove improved the value, that improvement in value would be considered separate property of the improver. It can certainly get very complicated but that’s why a good attorney is important in a divorce with a lot of assets on the line!

How can I stop my ex wife from move my child from Virginia to North Carolina, 4 hours away?

If there is already a court order in place then your ex must give the court (and you) 30 days notice before she can relocate with the kids. This gives you the opportunity to essentially object to the move and then she would only be given permission to relocate the kids if she can prove 1) the move is in their independent best interest and 2) the move would not negatively affect visitation with you. If you are regularly seeing the kids, this standard is extremely difficult to reach. As for the meeting halfway issue - If your ex is not complying with the terms, you can file a Show Cause, which will require her to appear in court and explain why she is not complying with the order. If there is no court order in place, the first step is to get one in place so that she cannot move without permission!

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