John E. Byrnes

  • Partner


Fairfax, VA





Rated By Super Lawyers John E. Byrnes |

John E. Byrnes has exclusively practiced divorce and family law since 1996.  He appears in all of the northern Virginia circuit courts and juvenile and domestic relations district courts as well as the Virginia Court of Appeal. While most matters are amicably resolved thorough negotiation or mediation, John has extensive litigation experience. During his career, John’s practice has covered virtually every aspect of family law, from: complex equitable distribution matters involving business valuations and detailed tracing issues; forensic accounting matters; vocational assessments for determining a party’s employability and earning capacity; intricate custody disputes; non-parental rights; international legal considerations; family abuse claims; and unique family law issues such as litigating the validity of divorces obtained in foreign countries.  Over his career, John has worked directly with an array of talented expert witnesses to assist his clients on various issues. John also prepares marital settlement agreements and pre-marital agreements tailored to meet the client’s goals.  John provides his clients with candid advice - be it favorable or unfavorable - and he explains the benefits and negatives that are associated with litigation, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution alternatives.

John authors the Annual Supplement for the Virginia Domestic Relations Handbook.  John is the former Chairperson of the 5th District Disciplinary Committee of the Virginia State Bar, and previously served on the VSB Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee, and the Virginia State bar Mid-Year Seminar Committee.  He has also lectured for the Virginia CLE, attended the Bar Leadership Institute, was previously recognized by Legal Services of Northern Virginia for providing pro bono legal services, and is a past Chair of the Fairfax Bar Association's Membership Committee.  Lastly, John is a member of the Virginia State Bar, the Fairfax Bar Association, and the Loudoun County Bar Association.

John graduated from the George Mason University School of Law, where he was selected to be in the Dean's Scholar Program and was also chosen to be the Lead Articles Editor for the George Mason University Independent Law Review. Since his completion of a one-year clerkship for the Honorable J. Howe Brown of the Fairfax County Circuit Court in August of 1996, John's law practice has concentrated solely on the area of family law and divorce.

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law
  • Divorce

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 1995


  • George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Virginia
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1995
    • Honors: Dean's Scholar Program
  • University of California (Berkeley), Berkeley, California
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 05/1989
    • Major: English

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyers 2021 - 2022
  • December 2018 Northern Virginia Magazine as a Top Divorce and Family Lawyer in the Northern Virginia area

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • 5th District Disciplinary Committee, Virginia State Bar, Chairperson
  • Virginia State Bar Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee
  • Virginia State Bar Mid-Year Seminar Committee
  • Fairfax Bar Association's Membership Committee, Past Chair
  • Virginia State Bar, Member
  • Fairfax Bar Association, Member
  • Loudoun Bar Association, Member
  • National Advocates Top 30 Matrimonial and Family Law Attorney

Past Employment Positions

  • Honorable J. Howe Brown of the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Clerk, August of 1996