Who we are:
In brief, you should know the following about us: our firm was established in 1977 and has been responsible for providing outstanding legal representation and services ever since. In 2011 and again in 2012, we were nominated for "Best Legal Services" in the "Best in Tri-Cities" promotion of The Progress-Index newspaper. Our focus is in the area of domestic relations or family law, including not only separation and divorce and related areas of custody, support and property division, but annulment, adoption, name changes, preparation of pre-nuptial agreements, preparation of cohabitation agreements, simple wills, durable powers of attorney, and advance medical directives, and representation of family owned businesses, as well. Our regular customers particularly value our straight talk; we say what we do and we do what we say. To see what our clients have to say about us, click here. We don't promise more than we can deliver but we try to deliver more than we promise. Our office is conveniently located at 3660 Boulevard, Suite E, Colonial Heights, VA 23834. Just 20 minutes South of Richmond.
Attorney Virginia Dante Perry
grew up in Richmond, Virginia as an only child in a single parent family. Her extended family was complicated as a result of her father's many marriages; she has five half siblings and two step siblings. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond, VA with a college bound diploma. Ms. Perry has always enjoyed history, and the natural and applied sciences, as well as reading, writing and communicating. Early on she was convinced that she wanted to become a medical doctor, but elected to pursue a degree in English at James Madison University, where she also studied education and drama. She graduated from JMU with high honors and was elected to membership in Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Although she had obtained her teaching certificate and was qualified to teach high school English and Dramatic Arts, after completing her student teaching in Northern Virginia she did not want to spend her lifetime teaching high school students. Instead, she elected to take the Law School Entrance Exam (LSAT). She applied to only one law school, the Marshall-Wythe School of Law of the College of William and Mary, where she was accepted. She sat for and passed the Virginia Bar Exam in February (1977) of her last year of law school. She received her law degree in May of 1977, whereupon she immediately began the private practice of law, renting her first office in Petersburg from another lawyer before moving out on her own.
She has pursued the adventure and challenge of the general practice of law with an emphasis on family law and trials for 30 years. Over those years she has tried to represent herself and her clients with honesty and integrity. Atty. Perry takes a "no nonsense" approach. She does not promise what she cannot deliver, but tries to deliver more than she promises. She says what she will do and she does what she says. Part of her vision is to educate people as to their rights, duties and responsibilities under the law. Atty. Perry is a people person. She enjoys meeting and talking with people, advising them, informing them and helping them to resolve their problems. She has clients who have been with her since the 1970's. She has a reputation for being thorough and methodical in handling family law matters and for being a "straight shooter."
In addition to her private practice, Attorney Perry has served as a part time Assistant Public Defender of the City of Petersburg where she handled exclusively DUI and serious traffic defense, as well as juvenile offenders and crimes against children. She was also appointed as and served for many years as an Administrative Hearing Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia adjudicating licensing cases, special education cases and state employee grievances. Atty. Perry has also served the courts in the past on an ad hoc basis as a guardian ad litem for children. She has also served on Boards of Directors of Southside Legal Services and the Christian Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Richmond and has been an officer of the Colonial Heights Bar Association. She is a life member of the National Registry of Who's Who. She is a member of her local bar association, the Virginia State Bar Section of Family Law and the Virginia Trial Lawyer's Association. Attorney Perry is a past member of the Virginia State Bar Section of Bankruptcy Law, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Ms. Perry has written a series of articles on multi-state military divorce, which were published in the Fall 2007 and the Spring 2008 Issues of The Family Law News, a peer review publication of the Virginia State Bar, Section of Family Law. More recently, she wrote another article on military divorce entitled "Federal Preemption and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act" which was published in the Winter 2011 issue of The Family Law News. Atty. Perry has written a new book, currently in limited release entitled "What You Need to Know Before Filing VA Divorce." She has also written a new booklet entitled "How to Handle the Emotional Side of Separation and Divorce." She has been accepted as an expert and is listed as an expert author on http://EzineArticles.com. Click the link to access her articles electronically. For a list of the articles available by Atty. Perry, click here. Ms. Perry has also written the content of this website, including the library resources, a series of special reports available through this website, including Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer, How to Choose a Good Divorce Lawyer, How to Lose Custody, Helping Your Child Adjust to Separation/Divorce, and What You Should Know About Durable General Powers of Attorney, and numerous brochures and pamphlets on legal subjects as part of the firm mission to educate people as to their legal rights, duties and responsibilities. Some of the articles are available in pdf as well as hard copies.
Attorney Perry is married to Bill Bray, who is also an attorney. She and her husband are active in their church and have one child, a daughter who graduated in May 2008 from law school at the University of Richmond. Ms. Perry knows what it is to be a working wife and mother. One of the reasons she is able to advocate passionately in family law cases is that she also knows what it is like to be a child of divorce.
Atty. Perry and her husband have been active in the tri-cities community and in their local church. Over the years they have participated in various charitable enterprises including outreaches to the poor and disadvantaged of the area. They have served as mentors for high school students with an interest in the legal profession, as well as college, business college and law school students.
For some time now, she has sought to combine her creative talents with her desire to serve others in crocheting and knitting "prayer shawls," as well as hats for chemotherapy patients. These lovely shawls and hats are soft and represent hours spent in prayer as the garment is crocheted, knitted and finished. Recently, she began to design and create hand knit neck ties.
Attorney William B. ("Bill") Bray
is no longer with the firm; he left to assume full time duties as Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Colonial Heights. As a duly elected Constitutional officer, he is not allowed to engage in the private practice of law. Bill enjoys his duties as Commonwealth's Attorney. Currently, among his other duties, Bill is working on a new improved and much revised website for the Commonwealth's Attorney for Colonial Heights. You can click on the link to go directly to his web site. Eventually, he hopes to provide useful information on the site and a means for the people of Colonial Heights to keep up to date and in touch with his office.
Paralegal Jannis A.H. Chambliss
provides legal support services to Attorney Perry and office management and oversight. A CERTIFIED PARALEGAL, she received her BS degree in Political Science with a certificate in paralegal studies from James Madison University in 1986. She keeps current by attending continuing legal education seminars for paralegals produced by professional associations, such as the Virginia Trial Lawyer's Association and the Virginia Association of Legal Secretaries. She also teaches tax preparation for a local tax service. She is a single mother with a special child for whom she advocates in the public school system. She has been through separation and divorce as a working wife and mother. She is not only competent at her job, but understands what you are going through. She deals with our clients with discretion, understanding, compassion and empathy born from experience.
Paralegal Susan Coggins
works part time for the firm on an ad hoc basis. She oversees accounts and collections. She has worked as a legal secretary, a bankruptcy paralegal and an assistant clerk of court. She is married with grown children and brings a wealth of experience, insight, compassion and understanding to the practice.