Nicholas Solan

About Nicholas Solan

Nicholas Jon Solan is a founding partner at Solan Alzamora, PLLC in Fairfax, Virginia. He specializes in family law matters throughout Northern Virginia. He can be reached at (703) 359-0088, nsolan@SAlawfirm.com, or www.SAlawfirm.com.

Virginia Custody: Modification of Non-Parent Custody and Visitation

A non-parent seeking an initial award of custody to a child has to meet certain difficult standards to override the presumption that the child’s best interest will be served when in the custody of his or her parents, as stated in Bailes v. Sours, 231 Va. 96 (1986) and as reflected in Va. Code § 20-124.2(B).  If this presumption is overcome, the court must simply consider the best interests of the child in determining custody.  Id.   Continue reading

Virginia Divorce: Can I Use GPS to Track My Spouse? How About My Kid? How About Both?

Let’s say you want to prove that your spouse is having an affair.  But you don’t want to pay a registered private investigator to do the legwork.  And you don’t want to do all of the legwork on your own.  So you place an electronic tracking device on your spouse’s car to help do most of the work for you.  Can you do this in Virginia? Continue reading

Virginia Spousal Support: The Final Meanings of Cohabitation and Relationship Analogous to a Marriage?

Virginia Code § 20-109(A) was amended in 1997 to include language terminating spousal support upon “clear and convincing evidence that the spouse receiving support has been habitually cohabiting with another person in a relationship analogous to a marriage for one year or more commencing on or after July 1, 1997, the court shall terminate spousal support and maintenance unless (i) otherwise provided by stipulation or contract or (ii) the spouse receiving support proves by a preponderance of the evidence that termination of such support would be unconscionable.” Continue reading

Virginia Custody: The Perils of Trial Illustrated

I usually don’t think much about custody decisions by our Virginia Court of Appeals.  The appellants almost always lose.  They usually lose because trial courts rarely commit a legal error like failing to consider the relevant custody factors under Va. Code Sec. 20-124.3.  And they usually lose because the trial courts rarely abuse their discretion, which is a standard that our appellate courts have interpreted as “was the judge drunk?”  So I rarely understand why custody appellants waste their money on an almost surefire loss.  Yet, there’s a recent appellate custody decision that made me think “I get it.”  I get why the appellant couldn’t help but call out the trial court for its questionable decision despite knowing it’d be a sure loss. Continue reading

Virginia Spousal Support – The Evolving Meanings of Cohabitation and Relationship Analogous to a Marriage

Virginia Code § 20-109(A) was amended in 1997 to include language terminating spousal support upon “clear and convincing evidence that the spouse receiving support has been habitually cohabiting with another person in a relationship analogous to a marriage for one year or more commencing on or after July 1, 1997, the court shall terminate spousal support and maintenance unless (i) otherwise provided by stipulation or contract or (ii) the spouse receiving support proves by a preponderance of the evidence that termination of such support would be unconscionable.”

So what’s “cohabiting”?  And what is a “relationship analogous to a marriage”?  Can two members of the same sex “cohabitate” in Virginia?  Can they be in a “relationship analogous to a marriage”? Continue reading