My Legal Case Coach

My Legal Case Coach

My Legal Case Coach is a legal coaching service designed to assist individuals representing themselves in a Virginia civil court matter. We offer comprehensive DIY case form packets and one-to-one virtual coaching sessions with a licensed attorney.

If you and your spouse are filing for divorce, you may be concerned about the negative emotional impact the split will have on your child. The key to minimizing this impact is being as open and transparent with your child as possible (based on their age and maturity), and sticking to the facts of the separation.

Never speak ill of your child's other parent, and don't try to get them to choose sides. It may sound cliché, but it's important to reinforce that the divorce is not your child's fault, and that both of you will always be their loving parents, even if you're not all living together anymore.

Divorce will affect your child, but if you and your soon-to-be ex collaborate and cooperate as co-parents, it can have a net-positive impact. Your child will know they are truly loved when they see you and your spouse putting aside your differences to do what's best for them.

P.S. – Getting divorced in Virginia? My Legal Case Coach can help. Visit mylegalcasecoach.com or DM us to learn how.

Spousal support, or alimony, is often awarded when there is a significant income gap between the spouses. However, just because one spouse earns more does not automatically mean the other is entitled to spousal support payments.

The Court takes many different circumstances into consideration when determining whether alimony payments are warranted, and if it is, there may be limit on how long the higher-earning spouse must provide support.

If you’re filing for divorce in the Commonwealth of Virginia and have questions about whether you will be able to obtain a spousal support order, contact My Legal Case Coach. During your free, 15-minute consultation, we'll walk through the specifics of your case and determine whether our legal coaching services are right for you.

Happy families can still exist after a divorce. In fact, if you've remarried and your new spouse has played a significant role in your child's life, you may want to consider petitioning for a step-parent adoption.

By becoming your child's legally recognized parent, your spouse can make a public commitment to your family and show that he or she is here to stay in your child's life. Step-parent adoption also secures certain legal rights for your new family unit in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

If your new spouse is ready to legally adopt your child(ren), we can help. Visit mylegalcasecoach.com/quiz to find out which of our DIY case form packets is right for your circumstances.

Co-parenting can be difficult, especially when it comes to hammering out a fair custody and visitation schedule. However, if you're committed to an uncontested divorce and you both want to resolve your issues out of court, you and your soon-to-be ex can come to a mutually-beneficial arrangement that serves your child's best interests.

Some questions to ask yourself as you're deciding how to split up custody:

1. Who is in the best position to provide a stable home for the child(ren)?
2. What arrangement will cause the least disruption to the child’s life?
3. Is the child old enough to express their preference?
4. What kind of relationship do you want your child to have with their other parent?

Need help drafting the proper legal forms to file a Virginia custody case with your local Circuit or J&DR Court? Contact My Legal Case Coach to learn more about our DIY case form packets and 1:1 legal coaching services.

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When to Seek a Legal Guardian for a Minor Child in Virginia

For most parents, naming a legal guardian for their minor child is simply a precaution, in the unlikely event of their premature death or incapacity. However, there may come a time during your life where you need to give someone else legal authority over your child's care and well-being.

In our latest blog, we explore some circumstances that may warrant you and your family to seek a legal guardian for your child outside of your home.

Need help with a legal guardianship case in Virginia? My Legal Case Coach offers comprehensive case form packets for both domestic and international cases. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation at mylegalcasecoach.com/15 to discuss your situation.

mylegalcasecoach.com In certain circumstances, a parent may need to seek a legal guardian for a minor child during their lifetime. Here are a few scenarios where this may apply.

Do you and your ex-spouse need to modify your existing child support order in Virginia? Here's a brief overview of the forms you'll need to file with your local Circuit Court:

➡ Motion to Reopen and Reinstate Your Divorce Case: Contains your original divorce case number and allows you to request that the Court reopen and reinstate the case to review/modify your existing child support arrangements.
➡Order to Reopen Your Divorce Case: Restates the information in your Motion.
➡ Motion for Review and Modification of Child Support: Presents the facts of your case, including the existing child support provisions, an explanation of the material change of circumstance, and the modification that you and your ex have agreed to.
➡ Consent Child Support Order: Contains more details of your modified child support provisions, along with certain legal Notices and Information as required by law. You and your ex must both sign this form in the presence of a Notary Public before filing with the Court.
➡ Virginia Civil Cover Sheet (Form CC-1416): A standard PDF form that must be filed with every civil court case in the Commonwealth.

If you've overwhelmed by the legal process of modifying your child support order, contact My Legal Case Coach to find out whether our DIY case form packet and ongoing coaching services are right for you. We also offer a separate, comprehensive packet specific to J&DR District Court matters involving child support.

You never want to think that you might not be there for your child when they need you most. However, if unforeseen circumstances do occur, it's important to ensure your minor child has an appointed legal guardian should you ever be unable to care for him or her yourself.

Whether you are petitioning for legal guardianship of a minor child or are a parent who needs to appoint someone as your child's legal guardian, we can provide the Virginia court forms and 1:1 coaching you'll need to prepare and present your case. My Legal Case Coach can also help you establish a guardianship/conservatorship arrangement for a disabled adult child or relative.

Have questions? Schedule a free, 15-minute consultation on our website to discuss your circumstances and determine if our services are right for you: mylegalcasecoach.com/15

Some civil cases, like divorce or probate matters, can drag on for months. It can be incredibly expensive to retain an attorney to represent you for the duration of your case, but going it alone could lead to errors and mistakes that only extend the time to resolution.

That's where My Legal Case Coach (MLCC) can help. Each of our easy-to-use, templatized legal case form packets comes with one free hour of 1:1 virtual legal coaching with a licensed Virginia attorney, but we also offer ongoing DIY case coaching services if you need a little more help.

With My Legal Case Coach, you will work 1:1 with an experienced Virginia attorney who can provide you with invaluable input on your case prior to filing anything with a court, drafting pointers and document review, assistance with how to prepare custom documents not offered in a Forms Packet, case strategy sessions, guidance in handling your own discovery, trial preparation, and more.

Coaching options are available for as little as $100 per hour and can be purchased in prepaid time blocks of 3, 5, or 10 hours, or added a la carte by the hour. The more time you buy, the more you'll save on your Coach's hourly rate. DM us with questions or book a free, 15-minute consultation at mylegalcasecoach.com/15.

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How to Obtain Child Support in Virginia: DCSE vs. Court Order?

To obtain child support in Virginia, you can either apply through the Commonwealth’s Department of Social Services, Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE), or by opening up a case directly with your local court. The right path for you depends on your family circumstances and whether your support order is part of a divorce case.

Our latest blog explores the differences between obtaining child support through the DCSE versus a court order.

mylegalcasecoach.com To obtain child support in Virginia, you can either go through the DCSE or petition your local court directly as a pro se plaintiff.

You're not happy and you know you haven't been for a long time. Nothing is truly "wrong," but it doesn't feel right, either. You keep waiting for things to get better, but they never do.

If you're feeling this way in your marriage, it may be time to consider a separation or divorce. Although an uncontested divorce may be "simpler" than a contested divorce from a legal standpoint, it can be harder emotionally, because it often involves admitting to yourself and to your spouse that you simply aren't happy anymore.

One thing is certain: If you don't start this conversation, nothing will ever change. Things won't magically improve, and may only get worse. Only you have the power to enact change, even if it's painful.

Contemplating separation or divorce in Virginia? My Legal Case Coach can help you prepare the necessary legal forms to get the process started. Visit mylegalcasecoach.com to get started.

Navigating the legal system on your own can be intimidating. If you're representing yourself in a family law or probate case in Virginia, My Legal Case Coach can help.

When you visit mylegalcasecoach.com/quiz, you'll be able to answer a series of brief questions that will direct you to the appropriate MLCC case form packet for your needs. Designed for the DIY legal client, our packets include properly-drafted, templatized legal documents developed from our coaches' 20+ years of legal experience. You'll also receive step-by-step instructions for completing the forms, plus one free hour of 1:1 coaching with a licensed Virginia attorney.

Don't try to find and draft the documents for your legal case on your own. Take our quiz, find your packet, and get the help you need from an experienced legal coach.

As a step-parent, your spouse's children may already view you as a mother or father figure in their lives. Perhaps you've even considered making it official by legally adopting your stepchildren, but are afraid of how the children or their other parent may react.

If you and your spouse have discussed step-parent adoption, don't let fear stand in the way of beginning the process. Petitioning to become your stepchildren's legal parent ensures certain guardianship rights if something were to happen to your spouse, and offers them the same inheritance rights as any natural children you may have.

Ready to file your adoption petition in Virginia? Visit mylegalcasecoach.com and complete our 30-second quiz to find out which of our step-parent adoption case form packets is right for your circumstances.

Did you know that 40% of engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day – and that 6 of the 10 most popular days of the year to get engaged fall in December, according to Wedding Wire?

If you're recently engaged (or think your sweetheart will pop the question soon), you're probably dreaming about your wedding plans. Before the big day arrives, it's important to sit down and have an honest, open discussion about both of your assets – and what you might do with them if you ever split up in the future.

While it's certainly not the most romantic topic, it's an essential one to bring up if you want to protect the individual assets that you each brought into the marriage. Once you've had this conversation, you'll want to memorialize your terms in a premarital or prenuptial agreement.

Not sure where to begin? My Legal Case Coach offers help to couples who are drafting their own marital agreements, whether it's before or after the wedding. Visit our website to learn more, or schedule a free, 15-minute call with us to discuss your circumstances.

Great insights here from Hello Divorce. After your separation or divorce, the people you choose to associate with can make all the difference in your future happiness and healing. Seek out people who bring their authentic, unguarded selves to your relationship, and do the same for them.

I was listening to @buddywakefield on @theangrytherapist’s podcast and 🤯 — ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ are the antithesis to defensiveness and they are truly the key to vulnerability. #relationshipgoals

While divorce is painful when you're going through it, divorcees often experience a sense of gratitude, peace, and relief when it's all over.

Walking away from a marriage that wasn't working gives you the opportunity to find your inner strength and become more confident in who you are and what you want in life. You have a chance to pursue old goals, dream up new ones, and rediscover the things that make you who you are.

Remember, we often grow most from the things that are most painful and difficult in our lives; divorce is only the end of one chapter in your life – but it is not the end of your story. Find the courage to begin again and start fresh.

mylegalcasecoach.com

Is a Partial Settlement Agreement Right for You? | Family Law

You're filing for a no-fault divorce, but you and your spouse don't agree on certain issues right now. Instead of waiting until you can figure out all your issues in a full marital settlement agreement, you may be able to draft a partial settlement agreement to move the process along.

In your agreement, you can document any areas where you do agree up front, to secure stability for yourself and any minor children you have with your spouse. This approach can allow you to eventually reach a full agreement on all issues, either in court before a judge, or with a third-party such as a mediator.

Learn more about partial settlement agreements in our latest blog post, or schedule a free 15-minute consultation with us to find out how MLCC can help with your divorce process.

mylegalcasecoach.com If you're filing for a no-fault divorce but don't agree on certain issues, you may be able to move the process along with a partial settlement agreement.

Have you been named as a loved one's estate executor? In addition to family law, My Legal Case Coach also assists Virginia residents in handling probate matters.

The probate process can be lengthy and complicated, depending on the size of your loved one's estate. Additionally, some Virginia counties have their own unique set of probate forms, so you may not be sure which ones apply to your case.

In our 1:1 virtual coaching sessions with a licensed attorney, you can discuss all your questions and concerns about your role in this process, including which forms to file, when you will need to meet with a probate clerk, and how to ensure the estate's debts are settled and the beneficiaries receive their inheritance.

Visit mylegalcasecoach.com/15 to book a free consultation with us and find out if our probate case form packet is right for you.

An attorney's insights can be crucial to correctly preparing and filing a family law case. However, steep hourly rates and rigid office hours may make it difficult for some individuals to justify hiring an attorney for their legal matter.

My Legal Case Coach aims to make getting legal help more affordable and accessible to families with limited means and hectic schedules. When you purchase one of our case form packets for your divorce, child/spousal support, custody/visitation, step-parent adoption, guardianship, or other family law matter, you'll receive one free hour of 1:1, personalized legal coaching with a licensed Virginia attorney.

If you need additional guidance, you may purchase additional pre-paid blocks of time starting at just $100 an hour – a quarter of the cost of the average Virginia attorney's $400 hourly rate.

Want to learn more? Visit our website or message us to schedule your free 15-minute consultation today.

Being a single parent can be especially difficult during the holiday season. If you're recently divorced or separated, you may experience some painful emotions as you prepare to spend your first holiday away from your ex or your children.

Remember that you are not alone in your struggles. Reach out to trusted friends and family members. Talk to them about what you're going through, and try to focus on the love and support you're receiving from them, rather than what's missing. You might even consider speaking with a counselor or therapist to arm yourself with the tools to work through your feelings.

Most importantly, take time to rediscover yourself and do things that bring you joy. Self-care may be the most important gift you can give yourself this holiday season.

P.S. – If you're preparing for a divorce, child support, or custody/visitation case in Virginia, My Legal Case Coach can help you. DM us for details on our case form packets or to schedule a free consultation.

DIY Legal No Longer Means Doing It Alone

My name is Patricia E. Tichenor, founder and principal attorney with My Legal Case Coach. I've spent most of my career working with Northern Virginia families on a variety of family law and estate planning matters, including divorce, settlement and prenuptial agreements, child custody and support matters, step-parent adoption, guardianship and conservatorship, probate and estate administration, and more. I earned my law degree from American University, Washington College of Law, where I graduated cm laude in 1996. After five years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of the General Counsel, I opened my own law practice in Leesburg, Virginia in 2001. My primary focus was providing strong personal advocacy and compassionate legal advice to clients in various legal matters.

In my nearly two decades of practice, I met many individuals who simply did not have the financial means to hire an attorney to fully represent them in their civil court matter. I found it very difficult to turn away these individuals, and, at times, I would try to provide "advisory only services" to assist them in representing themselves. In 2018, I decided to take the forms and documents I developed over my many years of legal practice, along with my prior case coaching experience, and launch a first of its kind, online DIY legal case coaching platform: My Legal Case Coach (MLCC). Many people filing civil cases choose to represent themselves to save on attorney fees, but it can be confusing and intimidating to navigate the court system all on your own. The key to success for any DIY legal matter is having someone in your corner to hold your hand through the process; specifically, an experienced attorney who has been there, prepared the kinds of documents you might need to prepare, and understands what you will need to do to properly prepare your own case in a logical, step-by-step manner. Let's face it, handling your own legal case comes with extraordinary stress and anxiety. The key to your preparation is not just having the right packet of forms but, also, having the right mindset to get through what may be one of the most difficult times in your life. MLCC is here to help you keep proper mental focus by offering the kind of hands-on coaching you may genuinely need to get through the challenges of handling your own DIY legal case. With MLCC, you will get more than just a packet of forms. You will also receive one hour of complimentary coaching services with me or another experienced attorney with any packet purchased from MLCC. In addition, you will have the option to purchase reasonably priced blocks of additional pre-paid coaching time, should you have a legal case that you feel requires more hand-holding or customized assistance from us. Lastly, you will have access to complimentary webinars intended to provide further guidance and support.

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