In the Age of the Internet, the first thing to do when you have a question usually is to “Google it.” Google will provide you with pages of information. Some of it may be true. Some of it may be false. Some of it may be true in California, but is not true in Virginia. This is especially the case in divorce matters.
Divorce law is created by the specific laws of each individual state. This causes procedures and outcomes to vary from state to state. For example, while some states are “community property” states, Virginia is an “equitable distribution” state. Some states have income percentages to calculate child support. Virginia has child support guidelines.
Case law, which interprets the statutes, also forms a legal basis for future court decisions. Cases from other states usually are of very little influence with Virginia judges.
Even if what you find is 100% absolutely true and complies with Virginia law, you still must know how to apply this information to your case. More importantly, even if you have the ability to do something, that does not mean that it is in your best interests to actually do it. These reasons are why you need a lawyer to help you make the correct decision.
Also, remember the old rule that we were taught in law school. “There is the majority rule. There is the minority rule. And there is the Virginia rule.” Virginia is just different and proud of it!