Hanover Law, PC

Hanover Law, PC a full service law firm specializing in Immigration Law, Family Law, Business and Contracts, Tax Law, and Criminal Defense. We provide services in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC areas.

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Firm Overview

Main Office

Main Office
888 16th Street, NW
Suite 800
Washington  DC  20006

Phone
  • (703) 402-2723
Fax
  • 360-294-2165
Child Custody
Managing visitations, child support, and custody arrangements.
For matters that deal with divorce, or changing custody arrangements, there are a few "rules of thumb" that will make the meeting go much more easily. First, never be afraid to call an attorney at Hanover Law. We are a friendly lot, and we are here to help you. We welcome your call, and one of us, or our paralegal staff members will be happy to answer your questions.

Secondly, always, always, be honest with us. I know this can be really tough. However, over the time we have been doing this, we have learned that more often than not, the worst adversary we have is not the opposing side, but our own client who has held information back from us. Usually leads to very bad things in court and negotiations. What are examples of things we like to know about:


Arrests

Adultery or sexual promoscuity

Involvement with online dating sites

Girlfriends/boyfriends or significant others that influence the case

Protective orders (restraining orders and peace orders fall into this category, too!)

Prior judgments against you

Prior marriages, or other relationships that are known to the other side

Anything else that the opposing side might make a point of bringing up in court



As surprising as this may sound, we have heard just about everything. Our goal is to protect YOUR interest, not in condeming or harassing you. We can't protect you if we don't know...so be honest with us.

Thirdly, when we ask for documents, please bring them and be ready to discuss them. Common requests (and you should come to your first meeting with these) include (for both husband and wife):
* Pay stubs for the last 90 days.
* Bank statements for the last 90 days (all accounts).
* Credit card statements for the last 90 days.
* Proof of ownership for any property.
* Proof of ownership for any vehicles.
* Information on any stocks or mutual funds owned.
* Information on life insurance policies.
* Information on retirement plans owned.

During your first meeting, the attorney will craft a plan that encompasses working with your ex-spouse, custody arrangements, pendent lite support, and general litigation strategy (as appropriate for each situation). If you have questions -- ask!

Ready start resolving your family law matters? Then contact us! We're only a call away.
Divorce
Court representation including mensa & thoro (legal separation) and vinculo matrimonii (finale divorce).
Folks -- we get a lot of phone calls on divorce. Most people come very angry and often confused as to what steps are required to get a divorce. That is not altogether a bad thing -- divorce should only be undertaken if there is no chance of reconciliation or there is danger to one or both parties. That having been said, I wanted to provide a brief overview on divorce, what you can expect to discuss with your attorney.


There are three areas to divorce, and one special cavaet. The three areas are:

1. Separation Agreement: Covers property and marital assets obtained during the course of the marriage. This includes things purchased separately, but during the marriage (i.e. the car is only in husband's name, but it was purchased during the marriage -- it is still joint property in a joint property state (MD, VA, DC). Ditto on the house only in the wife's name...still joint). Things to remember here are retirement plans, stocks, and insurance plans. Be careful here...you only get one bite at the apple to get it right! Once entered, this cannot be easily changed. The separation agreement also covers spousal support. Spousal support is not automatic and is controlled by two factors: the length of the marriage, and the income of the respective spouses.


2. Custody: When there are children involved, an arrangement for where the child(-ren) will reside must be made. This includes primary custody, and physical custody. "Primary Custody" is called different things in different jurisdictions, but mainly applies to who is repsonsible for the child on an ongoing basis. Where does the child live for purposes of school determination, state care etc. Physical custody deals with the actual division of the which days are spent with which parent. The courts in all three VA, MD, DC jurisdictions seek a 50/50 split by default. The burden of modifying that custody arrangement rests with the party seeking the change, and is often the number one cause of litigation. Custody issues also determine payment of child support. Determination of child support is a matter of state posted payment schedules, and is based on (a) amount of custody each parent has, (b) the income of each parent, and (c) the best interest of the child.


3. Divorce Decree: The decree is actually the end of a multi-step process that begins with a motion for...you got it! Divorce. It is called a motion for divorce "mensa et thoro" -- this is the type of divorce that is predicated on a separation starting once the court filing is made. This divorce pleading prevents the spouse who is "leaving" the marital home from being blamed for abandonment. It also starts the "clock" on the divorce proceeding. If the "time apart" requirement is complete before this filing (i.e. filing after the separation period), or after the separation the filing is amended to a complaint for divorce "vinculo matrimonii" - or the final divorce. You can only file for this once the separation period is complete. Without children, the separation period is typically six months. With children, the separation period is one year.



I mentioned a cavaet -- where there is danger to one spouse or to children, the threatened spouse may file for a "protective order" -- this is often a hotly constested area of divorce litgation, as a protective order gives rise to a claim of bad acting on the part of one spouse, which in turn causes significant problems in the determination of separation, spousal support, custody and child support.


Most divorces these days are due to irreconcilable differences. When this form of divorce is pursued, both spouses are considered neutral, and neither is given any particular preference in the handling of property, support, etc. Each is equal. However, if one spouse is a bad actor -- for example, committed adultery, or stole money, had a gambling problem, was a habitual drunkard, etc. -- then the court will skew the property, support, and custody issues more in favor of the innocent spouse. This is another area of hotly contested divorce litigation (see last paragraph).

Ready start resolving your family law matters? Then contact us! We're only a call away.
Family
Assistance on a full spectrum of matters relating to family law in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland.

Family Law Category
Description

Child Custody and Support
Visitation, agreements, and custody disputes. Modification of custody orders and vigorous prosecution of parental rights.

Separation Agreements and Spousal Support
Asset review and validation. Ferreting out hidden resources. Good faith negotiations and defense against unfair practices.


Divorce Proceedings
Court representation in both mensa et thoro (legal separation) and vinculo matrimonii (final divorce) hearings.


Protective Orders and Emergency Injunctions
When safety is a factor, we can assist in obtaining protection and immediate intervention.


Allegations of Child Abuse and Neglect
Don't lose your child to bogus or misrepresented charges. We will thoroughly research your case and defend in both administrative and criminal courts.


Family/Spousal Immigration Issues
We are experienced in all forms of Immigration proceedings, including family based immigration petitions. Illegal? Out of status? We can help!



And other family law services!
Ready start resolving your family law matters? Then contact us! We're only a call away.


Child Support
We offer comprehensive support on child support determinations and enforcement.
Q: If we have joint legal custody, do we have to agree on every decision?

A: No. With joint legal custody both parents have the right to make decisions and either parent can make a decision alone. But to avoid having problems and ending up back in court, both parents should communicate with each other and cooperate in making decisions together.

Q: If we have joint physical custody, do our children have to spend exactly half the time with each of the parents?

A: No. If there is joint physical custody, usually the children spend a little more time with 1 parent than the other because it is too hard to split the time exactly in half. When 1 parent has the child more than half of the time, then that parent is sometimes called the "primary custodial parent."

Q: I do not want my child to change houses every day. But I want to see my child as much as possible. What is the best schedule?

A: We do not know how long young children can go without seeing either parent, how many transitions children can handle, or how long children should stay in each household. We do know that children can get attached to caregivers when they have good relationships that are consistent over time.
In many instances, it may make sense for infants and toddlers to be able to see each parent regularly, especially if a child is safe with either parent. Younger children's concept of time is different from that of older children, and they often need more consistency. It is generally a good idea to have a regular schedule and stick to it. Most children benefit from having a routine they can count on.
When you make a schedule, think about the quality of the relationships. Not just the relationship between the children and each parent, but also between the parents and between the children and any other caregivers.

Q: What if the child is not feeling well when it is time to change homes?

A: It is hard when a child is not feeling well. If it is time for the child to go from 1 home to another, should the change be put off? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to this question. Clearly, the age of the child and the seriousness of the illness need to be taken into account. Also, the distance between the 2 homes will be a major factor in decision making. Some parents use the standard that if the child is well enough to go to school, he or she is well enough to move from 1 home to another. However, deciding whether the child should go to school or not is often difficult, so that standard is not too helpful.
Here are some considerations:

Both parents have not just the right, but an obligation to care for a child while the child is ill. It is unreasonable to expect the primary custodial parent to take over all care of a sick child, just as it is unreasonable to deny parenting time due to minor illnesses. The child's feelings count. It is typical for a sick child to be cranky and unhappy; moving him or her to the other home may only intensify these feelings. On the other hand, children are prone to "cabin fever" just like adults. A change of environment may very well make a child feel better and help take his or her mind off their illness. When parents share care of an ill child, clear communication is crucial. If the child is on any kind of medication, knowing when the child took his or her last dose or when the next dose should be given is important information that parents should convey when exchanging the child. Both parents may want to keep a simple log of what medication the child is taking and what the medication schedule is.



If parenting time is missed due to sickness, the noncustodial parent probably may want to make the time up. Reasonable "illness contingencies" may be written into every parenting plan to provide guidance for these situations. When adding these contingencies to your parenting plan, you need to take into account that each parent's situation (travel, work schedules, etc.) is different.

Q: Is child support related to custody and visitation?

A: A child support order is separate from a child custody and visitation order. So you cannot refuse to let the other parent see the children just because he or she is not paying the child support he or she owes. And you cannot refuse to pay child support just because the other parent is not letting you see your children.

But child support and custody are related because the amount of time each parent spends with the children will affect the amount of child support. Click for more information about child support.

The field of child support and custody is complicated. Call or email today to speak to an attorney who can carefully review and discuss your case.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others

We teach immigration law classes. We are published in several legal periodicals. We treat our clients with dignity, fairness, and respect.

More importantly...we offer payment plans!

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Service - Integrity - Results
"Hanover Law provided excellent service! Your advice on my partnership and how to avoid losing control of my company was invaluable."

-- Lori Duke (Client), Partnership Dispute, 2011


Excellent Listeners
"I had no idea what I needed to do. I had no job and a ton of debt. You talked with me for 45 minutes, really helped, and charged me nothing! Thank you so much!"

-- Ndidi Emeagwali, Fall 2012


Scope of Practice
"What started as a simple divorce has spiraled into a tax disaster. You were with me through the whole thing. Your representation saved my family over $300,000 in tax liability, and ensured the smoothest possible transition from married to single life again. Well done!"

-- C.W., 2012
(contested divorce and tax court)

Sean Hanover

Attorney Hanover has been working in the legal arena since graduating with double Master Degrees in Employment Law (HR) and Union Law (Industrial Relations) in 1996.

He obtained his JD from the University of the District of Columbia in 2008 and maintains a vibrant practice focusing on immigration, bankruptcy, criminal defense, and busines s law. In a twist he never saw coming, Mr. Hanover has become accomplished at defending gang members and individuals convicted of drug offenses in immigration court.

In addition to his law practice, Mr. Hanover also owns an IT consulting company, HHC, Inc. based in Fairfax, VA. This company focuses on Drupal development, a form of open-source PHP/MySQL CMS. His experience as an IT Business owner has provided excellent and useful insight for his small to medium size business legal clients working in commercial, non-profit and government sectors.

Mr. Hanover is a member of the following bars:

*VA Bar
*DC Bar
*Federal Bar, VA
*Federal Bar, DC
*Bankruptcy Bar, VA
*Bankruptcy Bar, DC
*Tax Court Bar

Additionally Attorney Hanover is a member of the following voluntary bars:

*American Bar Association
*American Immigration Lawyers Association
*Fairfax Bar Association


For more information on his business background, visit his LinkedIN profile, and his Zoom Info profile.
License
  • Bar Number: 1002709
    District of Columbia , 2011
  • Bar Number: 83000
    Virginia , 2012
Education
  • University of the District of Columbia
    Juris Doctorate , 2008
    Law Degree with emphasis on immigration, tax, criminal and family law.
  • St. Francis College
    Dual Masters' Degrees -- Human Resources and Industrial Relations , 1996
    Graduate degrees focusing on employment law and union law.

OTHER MEMBERS OF THE LAW FIRM


Stephen Salwierak, Esquire


Attorney

Attorney Salwierak has been practicing law since 2011, providing legal services to individuals and small businesses in general civil matters. He has also contracted with major law firms on corporate litigation, federal investigations and subpoena defense.
At Hanover Law, he provides a full battery of support for clients, ranging from criminal defense in DUI, traffic, and felony cases, to immigration and bankruptcy
guidance.



Mr. Salwierak earned his law degree from the University of Oklahoma where he was president of his class, served as judicial chair of the Board of Advocates, and competed in school and national advocacy competitions.
While in law school, he spent time studying in England at Oxford University (EU Law) and the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC (immigration, bankruptcy, and general practice).



A member of the Virginia State Bar, Mr. Salwierak is also active with the American Bar Association, and a pending member of the District of Columbia Bar.



Leigh Snyder, Esquire


Attorney

Attorney Snyder has been practicing law since 2008. She and Mr. Hanover attended law school together at the Davids A Clarke School of Law (University of the District of Columbia).
In her association with Hanover Law, Ms. Snyder manages the Maryland cases for the firm. She has excellent experience in family law, criminal defense, custody, and small/mid-size business issues.



Ms. Snyder has an undergraduate degree in psychology. She served on active duty in the army (Hawaii) for three years starting in 1999 before returning to the
continental United States to continue her education and eventual legal carrier.


Charlet Herr, CPC


Practice Manager


Charlet is the administrative manager of Hanover Law, working in both our Fairfax office, and our office in DC. She brings a wealth of experience in practice
management from her over 20 years of office management in the medical field. Her understanding of client issues, ability to relate closely to the challenges
experienced by distraught family members, and her excellent managerial skills, contribute significantly to the well running of the firm.



Ms. Herr is also responsible for client relations, often conducting initial interviews and providing advanced para-legal services on behalf of the attorney working at the firm.
She is currently working towards BIA certification to represent immigration clients before the immigration court and appeals tribunals.



Ms. Herr completed school in Texas before moving to Virginia for more advanced medical and administrative management training. Her Certified Professional Coder (accounting certification) designates her
as a professional, diligent officer with uncompromising business integrity.

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

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