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Michael Christopher Miller

Michael Christopher Miller

Cole Miller PLLC
  • Family Law, Divorce, Domestic Violence
  • Ohio, Virginia
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Michael Miller is a partner at Cole Miller PLLC, located in Vienna, Virginia. Providing representation to clients in the northern part of the state, in particular the area adjacent to the District of Columbia, he focuses his practice entirely on family law matters, including divorce and such related issues as property division, child custody and visitation, alimony and child support. Mr. Miller also has experience with the preparation of wills and other estate planning documents.

Mr. Miller is especially well-positioned to represent armed forces personnel who are going through a divorce after serving for seven years as a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps. His duties in that position often involved acting as defense counsel at court martial trials that concerned child or spousal abuse. When managing the legal assistance office at Camp Lejeune, he oversaw many family law cases involving divorce or support. In his position as the staff judge advocate of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, he continued to counsel service members grappling with family law problems. During another assignment at the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island, he trained judge advocates and paralegals on family law and estate planning subjects.

As an undergraduate, Mr. Miller attended The University of Utah and received a Bachelor of Science in accounting in 1988. He then pursued his legal education at the University of Akron School of Law and was awarded his Juris Doctor in 1991. Admitted to practice before all Virginia state courts, he has been in private practice since 1999. Mr. Miller is a member of the Domestic Relations Section of The Virginia Bar Association.

Practice Areas
  • Family Law
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Violence
  • Free Consultation
    I provide a free 20 minute telephone consultation to address urgent matters.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Initial consultation in office is $350; Hourly rate thereafter varies by the nature of the case
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Founding member
Cole Miller PLLC
- Current
Maddox, Cole and Miller, P.C.
Judge Advocate
United States Marine Corps
University of Akron
J.D. | law
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University of Utah
B.S. | Accounting
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Super Lawyer
Professional Associations
Virginia Bar Association
Chair, Domestic Relations Section
- Current
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Articles & Publications
Top Mistakes in Military Divorce
National Business Institute
Speaking Engagements
Top Mistakes in Military Divorce, webcast
National Business Institute
Judge Advocate
United States Marine Corps
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
172 Questions Answered

Q. My husband and I separated 9years and I was awarded custodial parent and he was suppose to pay $800 monthly for our 3
A: No, he is not right. If you have a recent Virginia order, there should be notices required by Va. Code 20-60.3. "14. Notice that in determination of a support obligation, the support obligation as it becomes due and unpaid creates a judgment by operation of law. The order shall also provide, pursuant to § 20-78.2, for interest on the arrearage at the judgment rate as established by § 6.2-302 unless the obligee, in a writing submitted to the court, waives the collection of interest;" Each unpaid child support is a judgment that also earns the judgment rate of interest.
Q. VA stepparent adoption: child 14 never knew bio dad. No support no visitation no contact 14yrs can stepparent adopt?
A: Va. Code § 63.2-1241. Adoption of child by spouse of birth or adoptive parent. Stepparent petitions for adoption. The bio parent/spouse joins the petition to indicate their consent. Va. Code § 63.2-1202. Parental, or agency, consent required; exceptions. Consent is required "3. By the child if he is 14 years of age or older, unless the circuit court finds that the best interests of the child will be served by not requiring such consent." "H. No consent shall be required of a birth parent who, without just cause, has neither visited nor contacted the child for a period of six months immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption or the filing of a petition to accept consent to an adoption. The prospective adoptive parent(s) shall establish by clear and convincing evidence that the birth parent(s), without just cause, has neither visited nor contacted the child for a period of six months immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption or the filing of a petition to accept consent to an adoption. This provision shall not infringe upon the birth parent's right to be noticed and heard on the allegation of abandonment. For purposes of this section, the payment of child support, in the absence of other contact with the child, shall not be considered contact."
Q. Can a judge require me to pay child support while my child is in college
A: Not in Virginia. Child support ends in Virginia at age 18, unless the child is in high school. Then, it goes to age 19 or graduation, which first occurs. Child support can also extend if the child has a disability, or the parents agree to extend child support. You would still have to continue to pay child support if there were any arrearages when support otherwise stops.
Q. What steps do I need to take to change my daughter’s last name to my husbands?
A: Va. Code § 8.01-217. How name of person may be changed. A. Any person desiring to change his own name, or that of his child or ward, may apply therefor to the circuit court of the county or city in which the person whose name is to be changed resides, or if no place of abode exists, such person may apply to any circuit court which shall consider such application if it finds that good cause exists therefor under the circumstances alleged. . . . In case of a minor who has no living parent or guardian, the application may be made by his next friend. In case of a minor who has both parents living, the parent who does not join in the application shall be served with reasonable notice of the application pursuant to § 8.01-296 and, should such parent object to the change of name, a hearing shall be held to determine whether the change of name is in the best interest of the minor. It shall not be necessary to effect service upon any parent who files an answer to the application. If, after application is made on behalf of a minor and an ex parte hearing is held thereon, the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that such notice would present a serious threat to the health and safety of the applicant, the court may waive such notice.
Q. Title 26 IRS code Pub. 525 states my veterans disability shall be excluded as income.Why are the courts not honoring it?
A: Va. Code § 20-108.2. Guideline for determination of child support * * * C. For purposes of this section, "gross income" means all income from all sources, and shall include, but not be limited to, income from salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits except as listed below, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, veterans' benefits, spousal support, rental income, gifts, prizes or awards. IRS Code is federal and says disability is not taxable. For child support purposes, it is not being taxed. It is being included for purposes of the calculation, which state law allows.
Q. Can a judge increase my child support if I filed to decrease the amount?
A: One files to modify child support, not to only increase or decrease. Upon showing a material change of circumstances since the last order, the judge then determines the guideline amount of support under Va. Code 20-108.2. That amount is presumed correct regardless whether it is an increase or decrease. If warranted by the circumstances, i.e., unjust or inappropriate, the judge can deviate from the guideline amount pursuant to Va. Code 20-108.1.
Q. If a custody order was only notarized do I still have custody
A: An order would only need to be signed by a judge, and they are not typically notarized. Agreements between parents are usually notarized, though they need not be as long as it is a signed writing, and enforceable as provided in the agreement.
Q. In va can I sign over my parental rights
A: You can relinquish your custodial rights, physical and legal. You cannot sign over the obligation of support.
Q. I filed for a motion to amend support (down). When is it effective? When I filed or when we got our subpoena for court
A: Va. Code § 20-112. Notice when proceedings reopened. When the proceedings are reopened to increase, decrease or terminate maintenance and support for a spouse or for a child, or to request additional orders to effectuate previous orders entered pursuant to § 20-107.3, the petitioning party shall give such notice to the other party by service of process or by order of publication as is required by law. Except as provided by § 20-110, no support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified with respect to any period during which there is a pending petition for modification in any court, but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given to the responding party.
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Contact & Map
1945 Old Gallows Road
Suite 205
Vienna, VA 22182
Telephone: (703) 883-3707