2022 Family Law/Domestic Relations Q&A
Luis A. Abreu
Luis A. Abreu PLLC, Danville
Other legal specialties: Creditors’ rights, small business advice, general civil litigation
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Davidson College; law degree, University of Florida
Family: Married to Sallie S. Abreu; daughters Sarah Abreu Shoof and Maria Abreu Chima; two granddaughters, Lillie and Sallie
Career mentors: The Hon. W. Carrington Thompson, former Virginia Supreme Court justice. Carrington had the best legal mind and skills of any person I have met. I benefited greatly from the years we practiced together after his retirement from the Supreme Court. Jerome S. Reisman, a Miami attorney. Jerry gave me my first job in a law office while in college, and I continued to work and learn from him through law school.
First legal job: The Office of Jerome S. Reisman, summer of 1978, doing everything possible in the law office. I worked there during college and law school.
The pandemic postponed a lot of legal activity — have things gotten back to normal? The pandemic did not slow down family law work like it did work in other areas. Unfortunately, being confined at home for extended periods exacerbated many marital problems.
You’ve practiced law for more than 40 years. How have custody and divorce cases changed over that time? With the advent of no-fault divorce in the 1980s, punishment of the wrongdoer gave way to equitable distribution and a more business-focused division of assets. The best development, though, was the increased recognition that both parents are supposed to have equal rights in custody and visitation cases. While it is not yet an equal world in reality, the involvement of both parents in the lives of their children is a positive social development.