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Decades of experience in family law, divorce and mediation.

Professional Profiles


Nan Joseph is a native of Virginia and has practiced law for 36 years.

Education: Ms. Joseph completed her bachelor’s degree in three years at Hollins College (now Hollins University), graduating in 1973, cum laude. Ms. Joseph earned her Juris Doctor degree at T. C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond, in 1976.

Bar memberships: Ms. Joseph was admitted to practice law in Virginia in 1976 and in the District of Columbia shortly thereafter. She is a member of the bars in the Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Memberships and peer recognition: Nan M. Joseph is a certified fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Ms. Joseph has for many years received an AV ® Preeminent Peer Review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating for legal ability and integrity. She has been listed in the Top Attorneys in the DC Metro Area, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America.

She served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar Senior Lawyers Conference, 2007-2011; President of the Loudoun Bar Association, 1998-1999; Chair of the Family Law Section, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, 1988-1999; and on the Board of Governors of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, 2007-2011. She served on the Board of Governors of the Family Law Section, Virginia State Bar, 2010-2014. She served a Special Justice in the Loudoun County General District Court from 2000-2017.

Ms. Joseph has served as a member of the Loudoun County Board of Zoning Appeals since 1986 and has served as chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Zoning Appeals since 2007. She is serving on the Purcellville Planning Commission 2018-2022.

Practice history: Ms. Joseph was an associate in the office of Betty A. Thompson in Arlington, Virginia from 1976-1982. She practiced law in McLean from 1983-1984. She had a practice in Arlington and Leesburg from 1984-1992. She was a partner in Byrd Mische PC from 1992-2006. Commencing in 2006, Ms. Joseph and Ms. Ann W. Mische have been partners in Joseph & Mische, PC.

As a trial lawyer in Northern Virginia since 1976, Ms. Joseph’s practice focuses on domestic relations and family law. Her practice areas include divorce, alimony (spousal support), child support, child custody, property distributions, negotiating and drafting separation agreements, property settlement agreements, prenuptial agreements and mid-marriage contracts. She also handles matters in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court including paternity, protective orders, custody, and spousal and child support.

She appears in courts in Loudoun County, Fauquier County, Fairfax County, Arlington County, City of Alexandria, Clarke County, Frederick County and the City of Winchester.

Ms. Joseph represents clients in cases that involve very complex custody, property and support issues. She also handles cases with less complex issues and cases in which the parties wish to reach agreement and not incur extensive costs for litigation.

Ms. Joseph is sensitive to the emotional and financial stress caused by separation and divorce. She is well regarded by her clients for being sensitive to the needs of children who are often caught in the middle of domestic disputes. She is a strong advocate for her clients in negotiations and in litigation.

Not all cases are suitable for mediation for various reasons. Ms. Joseph represents many clients whose cases require advocacy and representation in negotiations and litigation.

Divorce mediation: For many years, Ms. Joseph has been a strong advocate of alternative dispute resolution and mediation. Over the years, she has made regular referrals to mediators in an effort to see cases resolved gently and with less emotional and financial costs to clients. Ms. Joseph took mediation training in 1995 and has retaken the training to upgrade her mediation skills and to qualify for the certification as a mediator by the Virginia Supreme Court. She made the decision to expand her divorce practice to offer mediation in 2013. The positive results of mediation for clients and families makes mediation a process for problem-solving that Ms. Joseph wishes to emphasize.

Personal: Ms. Joseph is married to her husband, Philip, who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Marine Corps after 28 years of service. She has two adult children.

Don Carruthers

Don Caruthers is also a native of Northern Virginia and has practiced law for 45 years. Mr. Caruthers began mediating divorces in 1992, and has mediated hundreds of divorces. He founded Divorce Mediation Plus TM as part of his law practice, and in 2002, elected to devote his practice entirely to divorce mediation. Realizing that many of his client’s problems are financial as well as legal, he became a certified financial planner to assist divorcing couples in this area. In 2011, Mr. Caruthers “semi-retired,” and moved to North Carolina. He now serves as a consultant to Divorce Mediation Plus, participating in many sessions by video conference.

Education: Mr. Caruthers has two law degrees. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1965 and received his Master of Laws in Taxation from The George Washington University Law School in 1976, with highest honors. Portions of his Masters’ Thesis were nationally published in two issues of the Journal of Real Estate Taxation. He was an instructor in real estate investments at the University of Virginia (Northern Virginia extension), 1978-79. In 2002 he received a Certificate in Financial Planning from Florida State University and became a certified financial planner in 2003.

Bar memberships: Mr. Caruthers was admitted to practice law in Virginia in 1965, in the District of Columbia in 1966, and in Maryland in 1984. He is currently a member of the Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia bars. His status with the Virginia State Bar is retired.

Practice history: In his early years of practice, he was a prosecuting attorney in Arlington, acquiring extensive courtroom experience. He practiced law in Arlington until 1974, in Fairfax from 1974-1987, and in Loudoun from 1987-2011.

Divorce mediation: Over the years, he became dissatisfied with the way the adversary legal process often treated divorcing couples, and in 1992, he decided to explore the relatively new field of divorce mediation as an alternative. After completing the training at Northern Virginia Mediation Service, he became impressed with the superiority of this method, and began to emphasize it in his practice. He is certified by the Virginia Supreme Court as a family law mediator at both the circuit court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court levels, and is also certified as a mentor, to teach family law mediation to others.

Financial planning: Many of the problems faced by divorcing couples are financial rather than legal. Most lawyers are unequipped to provide financial analysis and planning assistance. To fill this need, Mr. Caruthers started taking the necessary courses in 2000, graduated in 2002, and became a certified financial planner in 2003. He now incorporates financial analysis and planning into divorce mediation and uses the latest sophisticated software in this process.

Tax analysis is also an area that is emphasized in the process. Mr. Caruthers’ second law degree in taxation, and the tax courses necessary to qualify for the certified financial planner examination, enable him to assist clients in avoiding the many tax pitfalls in the divorce process.

Martindale-Hubbell Rating: Martindale-Hubbell is a service which rates attorneys nationwide for legal skill and ethical standards. Like Ms. Joseph, Mr. Caruthers has the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards that an attorney can achieve (AV).

Personal: Mr. Caruthers lives with his wife, Terry, near Charlotte, North Carolina. He participates in mediations by video conference. He has two children and six grandchildren.


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AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.