The Ultimate Guide to Divorce and Custody in Virginia: Quickly Get Back to Fully Living Your Life

The Ultimate Guide to Divorce and Custody in Virginia

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Before You Move Out or Begin Separation, Request Van's FREE Book on Divorce & Custody


Want a solid action plan, but feeling overwhelmed about separating or starting a divorce or custody action?  Please request my book, for free, and when you’re ready—let’s get started, together.

This book is designed to empower you with answers, so when we meet, we can design a comprehensive plan to move you through this transition with dignity and financial security.  It’s so hard to trust, when those who you’ve given the most to and trusted the most are now against you.  You turn to friends but get generally the wrong ideas and opinions on what to do next.

Our firm meets with individuals just like you each day to develop a plan of action to see them through the most difficult transition of their lives. 

And that’s why you need my free book The Ultimate Guide to Divorce & Custody in Virginia:  Quickly Get Back to Fully Living Your Life.  Once you’ve read my book, I believe our meeting together will be an empowering time where we craft the right plan of action to get you through the next days and weeks ahead—providing true peace of mind.

You’ll be surprised at what you might learn about the process and how to avoid common mistakes, including:

  • What are the 7 essential steps in divorce and separation planning?
  • What are my out of court options, such as mediation or collaborative divorce?
  • What if I believe my spouse is having an affair?
  • What should you expect in terms of alimony/spousal support or child support in Virginia courts?
  • What information should I bring to that first appointment with an attorney to get the most out of that first meeting?
  • How to manage the division of your retirement—and how to avoid it.
  • Creative strategies for dealing with your home.
  • How Guardian ad litem attorneys dramatically impact custody cases.

Benefit from Virginia Attorney Van Smith’s FREE Divorce & Custody Guide

If you are contemplating separation or beginning a divorce or custody matter you need to get my book to benefit from my firm's in the trenches experience.  I will also explain how approximately 79% of our firm’s clients avoid court entirely—saving money and controlling outcomes.  This is the first legal guide of its kind written from an actual Richmond-to-Williamsburg-area attorney—and available for a limited time for free.   Of course, there is no obligation to use my law firm’s services, but this guide also shares with you Smith Strong’s philosophy and actual client experience with our firm.

About Smith Strong, PLC

Smith Strong offers exceptional family law services to individuals from our offices in the West End of Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia. You will love our team approach, keeping your family law solution cost-effective and goal-oriented.  We will surround you with an attorney, associate attorney, paralegal, and client services specialist, each carefully selected to maintain our commitment to service, delivering a complete solution. We realize this may be your first time in a law office; therefore, we will make every effort to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible.  Our SMARTSTART comprehensive new client meeting will establish your goals for the future and allow us to customize a plan of action to approach those goals.  This will include candid analysis of the strengths—and weaknesses—of your case. 


I want you to read The Ultimate Guide to Divorce & Custody in Virginia to have true peace of mind in the midst of all of the anxiety you must be feeling.  This book was written for my clients facing life’s greatest transition point—a divorce or custody case—to help them visualize a more secure future and to impart the internal confidence that comes from knowing what to expect—to put you in control at a time when so much is in disarray around you.  We look forward to meeting with you.


-Founding Attorney, Smith Strong, PLC

-Richmond Times-Dispatch, Reader's Choice Lawyer

-Recipient, Avvo’s 2013 & 2014 Client Satisfaction Award in Family Law

-2014 Virginia SuperLawyers’ Rising Star recipient

-The National Advocates’ Top 100 Matrimonial and Family Law Attorney

Download your FREE copy today!  We will email you an e-version of this book suitable for reading on your computer or tablet reader.  All clients receive a free hard copy of this book during their first meeting with an attorney.  And we will not share or sell your contact information to anyone.  Ever.

We simply want to empower you as you prepare for your divorce or custody matter in Virginia.  This book can truly help you "quickly get back to fully living your life," so download your no-cost copy today.  Enjoy.

And when you're ready, give us a call to schedule a SMARTSTART comprehensive case preparation meeting, we look forward to helping you. That first meeting will be more productive with us if you review this book first.


Excerpt from William & Mary President W. Taylor Reveley III's foreword in attorney Van Smith's new book on Divorce & Custody in Virginia:

I dealt with Van most closely when he was studying to become a lawyer, because I was then dean of William & Mary Law School.   He was an able student and a very constructive citizen of our close-knit academic community.  Van was also a constant source of good cheer.  Law students—and lawyers—who brighten a room when they enter, rather than shrouding it in gloom or acrimony—are treasures.
Family law in all its dimensions, from a sharp focus on child welfare through the most hostile divorce, requires lawyers who know the relevant legal rules and apply them skillfully in dogged pursuit of their clients’ goals.  But family law also benefits enormously from lawyers who care more deeply about the welfare of other people than the size of their fees, who are experienced peace-makers as well as experienced warriors, and who understand that compromise and settlement often beat “tooth and claw” litigation when it comes to the best interests of the failed family.
I believe Van Smith meets the criteria just sketched.   It follows, in my judgment, that his views on family law are well worth attention.


Excerpt of Letter from William & Mary Law School Dean Davison Douglas:

Thanks so much for sending me a copy of your book.  It looks great!  I know, too, that it will be very helpful to your clients and potential clients . . .

Don't Wait!  Get your FREE copy today, by completing the form below or above

(We take your privacy very seriously and will not share your information with anyone.)


Q & A with Attorney H. Van Smith -- By Brittany DeVries

Smith Strong PLC Founder H. Van Smith dishes on his new book, The Ultimate Guide to Divorce and Custody in Virginia: Quickly Get Back to Fully Living Your Life. Learn about the family law Gordian knot, Van’s perfect client consultation and the real meaning behind legal strength as we get the inside scoop behind the pages of Van’s brainchild.

Where did you find inspiration for your new book, The Ultimate Guide to Divorce and Custody in Virginia:  Quickly Get Back to Fully Living Your Life?

My inspiration for my new book came after meeting with 125 family law clients over the course of 2012. I began thinking that, through no fault of my clients or my own, some consultations went better than others.  This was often because the clients came in with a Gordian knot of emotion that had to be untangled and straightened out. I was simply the first person they had opened up to about the failure of their marriage or the custody of their children.

What did you find was the best approach towards handling those emotions as a family law attorney?

I found that those emotions had to be addressed before the legal questions could be answered. Those emotions ranged from deeply felt sorrow, anger, and frustration to bewilderment and feeling overwhelmed.  So, I began thinking, what if I wrote a book where I had the perfect consultation?

Okay, and how would this perfect consultation play out?

Think of it this way. What if we were able to set aside the emotion of the moment and think critically and calmly about the legal proceedings that lay before this person?  Ideally, it would be like having coffee with someone I care deeply about. That person is about to face a divorce or custody situation and wants to know from me how to get organized and sort through the process. This conversation would be honest, frank, thorough and a candid inside look at the basics of divorce and custody actions in Virginia.  In the end, that person could leave the meeting with calm assurance that the case was going to meet his or her goals. 

And, that is where your book comes in?


What was the writing process like for you?

I began writing this book in December 2012.  Many people wonder how I found time to write this book, as I was only in my tenth month of my new law firm at the time. I would take off on Friday afternoons and write in my home office.  I would write at night after I put our new baby to sleep.  I would write on Saturday mornings at first light to get as much down as I could. 

I found the experience cathartic because as I wrote, I pictured in my mind various faces of those 125 people that I had met over the course of 2012.  And so, I began talking with them again in a way that I hadn't then…in a way that I eventually did but the conversation occurred in subsequent meetings.

What are the main points introduced and discussed in the book?

The book not only introduces the basic concepts of family law in Virginia, but it also introduces these prospective clients to the unique way my firm, Smith Strong, PLC, handles these cases. 

First, we try to surround each client with a client services specialist, paralegal, and attorney. 

We then try to outline the most cost-effective way to reach the goal for their representation in that first meeting. 

Finally, we go about solving their legal problem as cost-effectively as we can by developing systems that quickly and efficiently accomplish the day's assignments. 

Collectively, this is what we mean when we say legal strength

What is your vision for those picking up and reading your book for the first time?

I want this book to get into as many potential clients' hands as possible because I want them to walk into my office with a basic understanding of the divorce and custody process, so that a first meeting can take on the more complex aspects of their case. 

I also want this to be a resource that my past clients and referral sources can give to friends and family members in the area, from Richmond to Williamsburg, who may be facing divorce or custody actions themselves.

What final words do you have for those seeking assistance in their divorce or custody case?

I would like you to tell them to please read this book and then if you have any further questions, you can reach me directly at 804.325.1245 or 757.941.4298 to schedule a meeting to sit down with me to discuss the matter further, confidentially. 

Smith Strong, PLC looks forward to assisting our clients and their prospective clients that come into our world after reading this book.  Thank you for reading!

63 Year-Old Woman Tearfully Writes, Van, Your Book was truly a Gift!

"Dear Mr. Smith,

I just read your complimentary download of your excellent book, and the closing thoughts brought me to tears.

Your bookcase analogy was so perfect for my life, as I am 63, have been with my husband for 22 years, and am now at that point where it is time for me to legally untangle my life from his addiction issues. So, I just wanted to tell you you are also a poet!!!

(I am in [omitted] County, and just this week, before I found your site, finally went through with the difficult process of initiating a separation agreement with a local family law attorney. After reading your book, I think his advice to me followed well with what you would advise: a great comfort, at this time of uncertainty.

So, thank you again for this public service, and I hope you find much satisfaction in helping families through these difficult times.

Elizabeth F."



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Trusted Virginia Family Law Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg