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Avoid a Messy Divorce by Confronting the Factors That Can Cause Problems With an Experienced Attorney

Divorce is never easy or free of complications, but certain situations can make one divorce messier than another. If you have been married for more than a decade, it’s likely that you have several complications that will need to be handled by a skilled lawyer in order to protect your interests in a divorce. These complicating factors do not mean that you can’t get a fair divorce, but they do mean that you will have to be proactive in protecting yourself, your assets, and your children. We take a look at some potentially complicated situations here.

If These Situations Apply to You, Do Not Attempt a DIY Divorce!

Your split with your spouse might be amicable, and you might think you’re both on the same page regarding the terms of the divorce. However, if your marriage involved any of the following complicating factors, you should seriously consider consulting your own lawyer. If several of these factors apply to you, you should not proceed with a divorce until you have found a divorce lawyer you trust to represent your interests. Potentially complicating factors include the following:


Yes, issues of child custody and support are common in divorces, but that doesn’t mean that they are easy to resolve amicably, even if you start out with the intent to do so. Whether you are the parent who is seeking primary custody or the parent who will be paying child support, it is important that you have a lawyer from day one to represent your—and your children’s—best interests.

High Net Worth

The more money and assets you have as a married couple, the more complicated your divorce is going to be. There can be complex tax issues, contentious questions of marital property, trust funds, investments, and multiple real estate properties to sort out. At MacDowell Law Group, we have a deep understanding of complex asset division.

Family Business

Whether you and your spouse co-own a business or only one of you is the owner, valuing and dividing the assets is a complicated process. If other family members are also involved, it becomes even more difficult to get your share and get out. The court has the power to liquidate the business and divide the assets, so it’s essential that you can negotiate for what you want before it comes to that.


Marital debt is especially hard to handle if it was mostly accrued by one party, either before or during the marriage. Debt is divided much like assets are, and you will have to fight to avoid being saddled with more than your fair share. An experienced lawyer will identify the source of the debts and make sure the division is legal and fair.

Spousal Support

If you or your spouse will be seeking spousal support, you will need a lawyer on your side—whether you are on the paying or receiving end. In these days of dual-income couples, spousal support is more unusual than it used to be, but it can be a hot-button issue, especially if young children are involved and the parent with primary custody wants to stay home and care for them.

Spouse’s Lawyer

You might be surprised to find out that your spouse has hired their own lawyer after you have talked about an amicable divorce. They might have been influenced by family members or friends to hire a particular “shark” to protect their interests. Don’t wait for this surprise. Hire your own lawyer from the start and be transparent about it with your spouse if you wish.

Every marriage is different and presents unique challenges in a divorce. Protect yourself from potential complications and surprises by scheduling a meeting with MacDowell Law Group to discuss your situation.

Do You Need to Speak to a Virginia Divorce Attorney?

If you are considering divorce you need to speak with an experienced Virginia divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Fairfax, Virginia law office at 703.277.2811 to schedule your free consultation. We help clients throughout Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia and look forward to helping you.

Related Links:

  • The Dangers of a Do-It-Yourself Virginia Divorce

  • Challenges of a Second Divorce in Virginia

  • Virginia Divorces Do Not Require Legal Separations First