Law Office of Li-Shann Durst, PLLC

The Law Office of Li-Shann Durst, PLLC is a family law firm located in Ashburn, Virginia with a focu Additionally, Ms. Having been a litigator, Ms. Ms.

Li-Shann Durst has a passion for families and has worked with individuals from diverse backgrounds and economic circumstances. She has advised clients on various family law issues pertaining to divorce, custody, parenting time, child and spousal support, property distribution, negotiated settlements, drafted marital and settlement agreements, and represented clients in court hearings. Durst brings


Collaborative Law offers a creative and considerate approach to divorce to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Visit our website to learn more about the Collaborative Law process:



The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for its international efforts in transforming the way families resolve conflict by promoting Collaborative Practice!

Collaborative Practice is a unique and voluntary dispute resolution model which provides families the opportunity to reduce the negative impacts of separation by working cooperatively with teams of specially trained Collaborative legal, financial, and mental health professionals who educate, support, and guide couples to make their own lasting and respectful resolutions, without resorting to litigation or the intervention of judges, magistrates, or court personnel.

To get connected to Collaborative Practice and services please visit: or call Law Office of Li-Shann Durst, PLLC at 703.443.4762



Attend a Divorce Options Workshop to get informed. The next workshop is December 13, 2022, at 5:30pm - 7:30pm.

Divorce Options™ of Northern Virginia, sponsored by Collaborative Professionals of Northern Virginia, is a low-cost public education program about separation and divorce. This program is presented each month by an attorney, a financial specialist, and a licensed mental health professional. The mission of Divorce Options™ of Northern Virginia is to educate individuals and couples about the issues in a divorce and the methods available to handle their divorce. The workshops cover the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of divorce and are for married couples, unmarried individuals, or couples who are considering separation and/or divorce.

Sign Up Here:


Divorce and the Holidays

The holidays are here again, and plans for family gatherings fill the air. Except, you are dreading it! You have both decided to divorce but would very much like to present a “everything is alright” atmosphere for the children. Afterall, you will need to coparent with your ex for 10 more years! How is this possible, when you can’t even tolerate being in the same room with him or her?

This conundrum is faced by many families going through divorce. The ex you once loved is now someone you loathe. How did you marry this person, you asked? What was I thinking? I cannot answer those question for you, but what I can do is offer some advice on how to get along during the holiday season.

The way you communicate with your ex is crucial in navigating the holidays. Here are a few pointers I have learned over the years that will go a long way in maintaining respect and cordiality with your ex, even if it’s just for the sake of the children.

Below are 10 communication pointers for navigating the holidays with your ex:

1. Speak calmly.

2. Respond positively.

3. Be kind in your actions and words.

4. Smile whenever you can.

5. Remind yourself of something positive about your ex (Tip: There must be something; think back to when you first met).

6. Speak in terms of solutions.

7. Raise issues as concerns not criticism.

8. Show respect. (Tip: Ask yourself if you would like someone to talk with you that way)

9. Be open to trying “something” new yourself. (Tip: Try smiling more)

10. Lead by example.

Call Law Office of Li-Shann Durst at 703.443.4762 to learn how you can divorce respectfully.





Are you facing divorce? Consider attending a Divorce Options Workshop to learn about the methods available in Virginia to handle your divorce. Register at for the November 8, 2022 at 5:30 - 7:30 pm workshop or visit for more information.


COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE: Reasons you may benefit from using this approach to divorce.

• Avoid long, difficult, and often expensive court battles.
• Focus on problem-solving and finding respectful resolution.
• Create personal, cost-effective solutions that are right for your family.
• Protect the well-being and needs of your children.
• Maintain decision-making with you and your spouse or partner.
• Receive the support and information you need from your specially trained team of collaborative professionals.
• Preserve your dignity and your privacy.

(The above information was taken from the website of

For more information, visit the website of the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst at



Collaborative Practice is for couples who are wanting a more respectful and dignified way to divorce.

In the collaborative process, the parties pledge not to go to court and to be transparent in the exchange of information. The solutions considers in the process are geared toward the highest priorities of both spouses and their children.

In the collaborative process, mutual respect is emphasized. The couple may cease being spouses, but they do not cease being worthy human beings. The collaborative lawyer's approach is to facilitate respectful discussions which are likely to be more productive and encourage agreements.

Contact the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst, PLLC at 703.443.4762 to learn more about a collaborative divorce and why it may be the right method for your divorce.



One of the key differences between a collaborative divorce and a litigated divorce is the pledge to reach an agreement without going to court. You and your spouse keep control of the decisions yourselves, rather than allowing a judge to decide. In order to accomplish this, you must consent in writing to be part of a respectful process that allows for the sharing of interest, goals, and needs which facilitates an out-of-court resolution.

Under normal circumstances, a couple should know what is best for their family. A judge does not have the insight into your family's needs the way you both do. When collaborative law or mediation is used to handle your divorce, your ability to communicate what you both think is right for your family will be one of the major factors that allows you to settle your differences out of court.

Find out more about how Collaborative Law may be beneficial to you and your family by visiting the website of the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst, PLLC.



Even under the best of circumstances communication can be strained as a relationship ends. Yet, keeping the lines of communication open is essential for reaching an agreement. Couples who are able to communicate, despite their differences, will be in a better position to resolve their divorce issues in a respectful manner, and more often than not, their divorce will be less costly.

Litigation is the most common method for handling a divorce, but it is not conducive to open communication. In fact, the lawyers will be doing most of the communicating, which usually becomes quite combative.

Using alternative dispute resolution methods to handle a divorce allow for face-to-face meetings with the parties, lawyers and other professionals when necessary. The sessions are intended to produce open exchange of information where issues are discussed, and the focus is solutions-oriented and on problem solving. Using methods such as collaborative law, mediation, or negotiation to handle a divorce often results in better outcomes due to the degree of communication amongst all the parties involved.

Call the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst, PLLC at 703.443.4762 to find out more about alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve your divorce.


From John Nazarin:



In an article titled "An Ode to Organization" found in the Family Advocate, Vol. 45, No. 1, Summer 2022, Maggie Anderson lays out some tips for staying organized during your divorce. The biggest takeaway from this article is that staying organized allows you peace of mind. Divorce is hard and emotional, but organizing the documents needed to understand your finances and other important matters will relieve some stress and anxiety in the divorce process.

Below are some helpful tips Ms. Anderson laid out in her article:

• Organize Your Thoughts – know your goals, and be prepared to define them
• Don’t be afraid to lean on mental health professionals
• Organize Your Documents
• Organize Your Future – prepare for future litigation
• Protect your privacy

Visit the website of the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst PLLC to find more information on divorce. Or call us at 703.443.4762.



Here are some guidelines to keep in mind regarding time with your kids and custody arrangements:

• A court cannot solve all your problems. It is better to communicate and cooperate with the other parent regarding custody and parenting time.
• Always do what is best for your child, not what is best for you.
• Do not “bad mouth” the other parent to the child while he/she is in your care.
• Remember it is natural for a child to want to stay where the child is accustomed. Talk with your child about this and prepare the child for any changes in where they will be staying.
• Keep exchanges of the child brief and refrain from arguing with the other parent in front of the child.
• Do not involve the child in any conflicts with the other parent.
• Get agreements with the other parent or custodian in writing whenever possible.
• Do not abuse alcohol or prescription drugs. Do not have people around who abuse alcohol or prescription drugs.
• Do not use illegal drugs or commit other crimes. Do not have people around who use illegal drugs or commit crimes.

Call our office at 703.443.4762 for more information about possible custody issues that you may have.



Ms. Durst is a graduate of the Antonin Scalia Law School, formerly known as George Mason University School of Law, and she became a member of the Virginia State Bar in 2001. Li-Shann practices family law with a focus on alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve divorce issues.

Ms. Durst does not believe families should resort to litigation to resolve their divorce issues. Having witnessed the devastation litigation has on families, Li-Shann makes it her goal to help families navigate the divorce process using alternative dispute resolution methods such as collaborative law, mediation and negotiation. She believes these methods offer alternatives to litigation that are less destructive on families.

Ms. Durst acknowledges that there are cases such as those involving domestic violence and substance abuse that are best addressed in court. However, her preferred method for dealing with divorce is using collaborative law which allows a team of professionals to support the family going through the divorce process.



Call the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst, PLLC at (703) 443-4762 for information on alternative dispute resolutions methods to handle your divorce such as Collaborative Law, Mediation or Negotiations.

Image: Law Legal Lawyer Cartoon 003 | Divorce Attorney Cartoon 09/21/2022

Image: Law Legal Lawyer Cartoon 003 | Divorce Attorney Cartoon

From Andrew Genn:

Image: Law Legal Lawyer Cartoon 003 | Divorce Attorney Cartoon Found on Google from



From the website of Law Office of Li-Shann Durst, PLLC:

Virginia is an equitable distribution state and requires courts to follow the equitable distribution model when dividing marital property. There are several factors that a Virginia court may consider when dividing property, including:

• The income and liabilities of the parties.
• Whether a party owes alimony/spousal support for a previous marriage.
• The duration of the marriage.
• The age and health of each party.
• How and when specific items of property were acquired.
• The debts and liabilities of each party.
• The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property.
• The tax consequences to each party.
• The ability of each party to support himself or herself financially; and
• Any other factor the court considers relevant.

Call the law office of Li-Shann Durst at 703.443.4762 for more information on the distribution of property.



Did you know that Virginia does not have a formal procedure for obtaining a separation? If you are considering separation, the best possible outcome would be to formalize your separation. You can do this by contacting an attorney to prepare a separation agreement.

Knowing your rights is very important when considering divorce, and a separation agreement can protects those rights. In Virginia, separation agreements are often referred to as “marital settlement agreements” or “property settlement agreements”. These agreements help you settle things like custody, support, and division of property.

Visit our website at to learn more or call us at 703.443.4762 to set up a consultation to discuss a separation agreement.



If you are facing divorce, consider attending a Divorce Options Workshop to learn about the available methods in Virginia to handle your divorce. Follow the link below to register or visit for more information.



The image of a family is a dad, a mom, and children. However, families these days are anything but this simple. Divorce causes changes within a family, which may be quite devastating. Making your way through divorce with the help of a collaboratively trained attorney limits the devastation and goes a long way in helping a family survive the divorce process.

Call the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst PLLC at 703.443.4762 to understand how obtaining a Collaborative Divorce can limit the possible negative impact upon your family. Using compassion, understanding and experience, Ms. Durst provides a better way to proceed with your divorce.



The school year has barely started and there are already problems with your custody arrangements. Your ex has not been holding up his end of the arrangements by having the kids back on the right day and time. This behavior has been going on throughout the summer, but now that school is in session it is making things much worse.

Your kids are more cranky than usual getting ready for school. You can see the anxiety your kids are feeling is directly related to the problems with the drop off/exchange with your ex. How can a new custody arrangement be made without too much argument, anxiety, and hard feelings for all involved?

Call the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst PLLC at 703.443.4762 for more information. Visit our website at for a more comprehensive look at the services we provide.


Happy Labor Day Weekend! We hope that you are enjoying this weekend. Reconnect with family and friends and unwind from work.


Contact the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst at 703.443.4762 for your divorce options. Visit our website at for more information on divorce. Let Ms. Durst help you navigate through the divorce process. Her firm’s practice areas are Child Custody and Support; Divorce and Separation; Marital Agreements, Parenting Time; Property Distribution and Spousal Support.

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21001 Sycolin Road Ste 340
Ashburn, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

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