This course is no longer available for credit on our site. Here are some similar courses you might be interested in:

On Demand

Custody & Child Support Under Virginia Law

(287 reviews)

Produced on October 31, 2016

$ 59 Family & Matrimonial Law and Public Interest Law In Stock

Course Information

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Litigating child custody cases and child support cases in Virginia requires a detailed knowledge of the court system as well as the statutory authority and case law governing both issues. Virginia’s court system has two distinct courts in which you can seek an adjudication of child custody: Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and Circuit Court. While the facts of each individual case may govern where you prefer to litigate so as to achieve the desired outcome, the statutes governing jurisdiction provide significant limitations on where you are permitted to litigate and when.

Once jurisdiction and venue are decided, the facts of each case are crucial in the court’s determination of the child’s best interest, which is the standard by which all custody case determinations are governed. Learn which case facts are most often persuasive to the court in making that crucial determination and why, as well as why legal custody and physical custody are not always identical outcomes and how to use that knowledge to your client’s benefit.

Child support cannot be calculated until physical custody is determined, but must the court adhere to the mandatory child support guidelines? This course discusses what factors impact that decision by the court and what case facts most strikingly demand that you pursue a deviation from the guidelines. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand what factors to consider in selecting the best jurisdiction and venue for custody adjudication
  2. Understand what types of evidence are most persuasive to the court in making custody adjudications
  3. Understand the difference between legal and physical custody and why those outcomes need not necessarily mirror one another
  4. Understand how to present custody factor evidence under the requisite Code of Virginia provisions
  5. Understand what laws govern child support cases in Virginia and what guidelines are applicable in different scenarios, as well as which deviation factors are often persuasive to increase or decrease the guideline application
  6. Understand when and how custody and child support may be modified

Credit Information

This course is pre-approved for CLE credit in the following states. If your state is not listed, contact support for more information on how to receive credit

Lawline reports attorney attendance in select states. View more about CLE reporting .


Leslie Weber Hoffman

Family Law & Mediation Center, PLC

Leslie Weber Hoffman is the senior attorney at the Family Law & Mediation Center. Prior to opening her own law firm, she was a principal with The Lewis Law Firm, P.C. (formerly Lewis, Dack, Paradiso, O'Connor & Good). Ms. Hoffman also worked as an associate attorney at Duvall, Blackburn, Hale & Downey and was a research assistant to Justice Arthur Goldberg (U.S. Supreme Court, retired). Ms. Hoffman is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Bar Association, the Fairfax Bar Association, the U.S. District Court of Virginia, and the U.S. District Court of D.C.

Ms. Hoffman is currently a member of the Virginia State Bar Family Law Section and the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board and Professionalism Committee. She is a past member of the Virginia Bar Council and the Virginia State Bar Board of Governors (YLC). Ms. Hoffman is a past-president of the Northern Virginia Young Lawyers Association and has chaired various committees for the Fairfax Bar Association, including the Judicial Screening Committee, the Public Relations Committee, and the Election Committee. She also served as a member of the Judicial Screening Task Force, the Domestic Relations Subcommittee, and the Judicial Evaluation Task Force. Ms. Hoffman is a past member of the Family Law Sections of both the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and the District of Columbia Bar. She has lectured over the years to members of the DC Bar, the Fairfax Bar and to the Virginia State Bar members of the judiciary.

Ms. Hoffman has been the recipient of various awards presented by the Fairfax Bar Association, including two Presidential Merit Awards and Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year (2002). She has been named by Virginia Lawyer Magazine, SuperLawyers, Washingtonian Magazine and Northern Virginia Magazine as a top domestic relations lawyer. She was named as an Outstanding Woman in America in 1988. Ms. Hoffman is listed in Who's Who in American Lawyers.

Leslie Weber Hoffman received her B.A. in 1978 from Rutgers University and her J.D. in 1982 from Nova Southeastern University, and mediates and litigates all aspects of custody, property division, support and divorce cases.

Amy Mirabile

Family Law & Mediation Center, PLC

Amy L. Mirabile is a staff attorney at the Family Law & Mediation Center. Prior to joining Ms. Hoffman in 2011, she worked at Keisler Lee, PLLC, for over six years focusing exclusively on family law. Ms. Mirabile also previously served as a law clerk to the four judges of the Arlington County Circuit Court. Ms. Mirabile is a member of the Virginia State Bar, the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar and the Fairfax Bar Association. Ms. Mirabile received the 2009 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award from the Prince William County Bar Association for her work bringing the Wills for Heroes Program to the County's first responders.

Ms. Mirabile received her B.A., magna cum laude, in 1995 from William Smith College and her J.D. in 2002 from George Mason Univeristy School of Law, and has litigated custody, support, protective order matters, equitable distribution (divorce property cases), fault ground divorces and other family law court cases.

Lorraine Nordlund

Judicial Circuit Court: 19th

Judge Nordlund began her legal career as a law clerk to the Fairfax Circuit Court, before serving as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney from 1982 to 1986. In private practice for ten years, she was elected to the General District Court in 1996.

Active in bar association activities throughout her career, she’s a past Chair of the Criminal Sub-Committee to the Circuit Court and the General District Court Committee. An avid participant in Moot Court activities and the George Mason Inns of Court, she is also a member of several Judicial Associations, serving for nearly ten years on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of District Court Judges.

Judge Nordlund has lectured for local civics groups, school activities, Bar Associations, and the Northern Virginia and Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academies. She has taught at several Mandatory Judicial Conferences for District Court Judges, as well as the Educational Conferences for both Newly-Elected and Substitute Judges for the Commonwealth.


Mary Anne M.

excellent presentation on a very broad subject

david m.

Tremendous presentation. Thank-you!

Robert N.


Charles S.

Judge Nordlund’s tips at the end were excellent!

Robert C.

Comments by the guest judge at the end were spectacular.

Jenniffer D.

This is the best CLE I have ever taken. I highly recommend it.

Paul M.

Best part was the judge's tips.

Robertah C.

I appreciated the judge's comments.

Herbert L.

custody evidence charts were good

Michelle H.

Great presentation. Very informative.

Maria M.

Very informative. Probably had enough information to make this a longer CLE as I would have loved to have specific examples.

Load More