About Abby McNelis

Abby McNelis is an associate attorney at Livesay & Myers, P.C., practicing exclusively family law. She works in the firm’s office in Fairfax, and represents client all across Fairfax County and Northern Virginia.

Here are the most recent posts by this author:


Marriage Story: Four Lessons for Your Virginia Divorce

Posted on March 23rd, 2020, by Abby McNelis in Custody, Divorce, Family Law. No Comments

Marriage Story was released on Netflix in late 2019 to tremendous critical acclaim. The beautifully heartfelt film depicts the devastating unraveling of the marriage of two people, portrayed by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. Marriage Story artfully captures the emotional turmoil faced by many people after they make the decision to pursue a divorce.

If you are a Virginia resident facing a divorce, not everything you see in Marriage Story will apply to your own case. The film gets some details right, but other things that happen in the film are legally questionable, or at least would not apply to a case in Virginia. But, we can identify four lessons from Marriage Story that you can apply to your Virginia divorce.

Interstate Custody Jurisdiction

One legal detail that Marriage Story seems to get wrong relates to interstate custody jurisdiction. The child custody battle in … Read More »


Adultery and the Fifth Amendment in Virginia Divorce Cases

Posted on September 13th, 2019, by Abby McNelis in Divorce, Family Law. No Comments

Under Virginia law, cheating on a spouse is illegal. In Virginia, any married person who voluntarily has sexual intercourse with a person who is not his or her spouse is guilty of adultery, which is punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor. The maximum criminal penalty for adultery is a $250 fine, but the ramifications in a divorce action may be much more severe. Adultery can be used as a fault ground to obtain a divorce, may be a bar to spousal support and can be considered regarding child custody and equitable distribution of marital property.

Even so, what happens when a cheating spouse invokes his or her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination? In Virginia, a party can exercise his or her constitutional privilege against self-incrimination in both criminal and civil actions. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a cheating spouse’s … Read More »


I
Our Locations
Fairfax Office
3975 University Drive #325
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-865-4746
Arlington Office
4250 Fairfax Drive #600
Arlington, VA 22203
703-865-8242
Leesburg Office
113 E Market St #110
Leesburg, VA 20176
571-291-3190
Manassas Office
9408 Grant Avenue #402
Manassas, VA 20110
571-208-1267
Fredericksburg Office
303 Charlotte Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
540-370-4140

We are still OPEN. We use email, phone and video conferencing to serve our clients remotely!

Learn More
X myStickymenu