Richard J. Colten

Top rated Family Law attorney in Fairfax, Virginia

Blankingship & Keith, PC
Richard J. Colten
Blankingship & Keith, PC

Practice Areas: Family Law, General Litigation, Personal Injury; view more

Licensed in Virginia since: 1972

Education: The George Washington University Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2023

Blankingship & Keith, PC

4020 University Drive
Suite 300
Fairfax, VA 22030 Visit website


An accomplished professional, Richard J. Colten is a principal attorney and partner at the law firm of Blankingship & Keith, PC. He has been helping families in Fairfax, Virginia, navigate complex legal issues in the most efficient and cost-effective way for the past 50 years.

Mr. Colten obtained his Juris Doctor, with honors, from The George Washington University Law School in 1972 after receiving his bachelor’s degree from American University in 1965. He is licensed to practice in Virginia (1972), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Virginia Supreme Court.

Along with a successful track record in and out of the court, Mr. Colten has earned the respect of his peers, former clients, opposing counsel and judges. He tries to resolve legal issues through mediation, negotiation or arbitration, but he realizes that it is not always possible and does not hesitate to push the case through every step of litigation.

Mr. Colten understands the challenges and strain a legal issue puts on an individual and offers compassionate legal services, enabling them to make a fresh start. He is, perhaps, most well-known for his work in divorce, child custody and support, alimony/spousal maintenance, complex property division, pre- and postnuptial agreements, post-divorce modifications, paternity, child abduction, same-sex issues and parental relocation. He also handles general civil litigation and personal injury matters.

As a testament to his high level of professional excellence and ethical standards, Mr. Colten was awarded an AV Preeminent* rating from Martindale-Hubbell and named to Virginia Business magazine's “Legal Elite” list. He was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America consistently since 1989 and selected for inclusion in America’s Most Honored Professionals list by the American Registry.

A long-standing member of the Virginia State Bar, Mr. Colten has served the organization in various capacities. He was appointed as a member of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board by the Virginia Supreme Court, and he served in this position for 15-plus years. Additionally, he was a part of its Public Service Committee, Judicial Nominations Committee and Grievance Committee and Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline – to name a few.

 *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 Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Family Law, General Litigation, Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff

Focus areas

Adoption, Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Law, Litigation, Marital Property, Name Change, Paternity, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Prenuptial Agreements, Same Sex Family Law

  • 80% Family Law
  • 10% General Litigation
  • 10% Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff

First Admitted: 1972, Virginia

Professional Webpage:

  • Selected for inclusion in U.S. News - Best Lawyers in America® in the field of family law in Virginia every year since 1989
  • Sections on Family Law and Law Office Management; Sections on Family Law, Economics and Law Office Management; Member, Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board by appointment of the Virginia Supreme Court (1997-2003; 2009-2018); Member, Virginia Bar Council for the Nineteenth Judicial District (1989-1995;2004-2009); Member, Judicial Nominations Committee (1996-1999); Member, Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline (1995-1997); Member, Tenth District Grievance Committee (1985-1988); Family Law Committee; Member, Board of Directors (1981-1994); Member, Judicial Nominations Committee (1996-1999); Member, Public Service Committee (1996-1998); Member, Professionalism Committee (1995); General District Courts Committee (Member 1981-1987; Secretary 1983-1987); Grievance Committee (Member 1978-1981; Chair 1978-1980), Recognized by American Registry as among the top 1% of America’s Most Honored Professionals
  • Named by to its list of Best Professional Service Providers in the U.S.
  • Listed among Virginia Business magazine’s “Legal Elite” for Family Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney for more than 30 years
  • Consistently recognized as one of the area’s top divorce lawyers in Washingtonian magazine, in both the Virginia and Washington, D.C. metropolitan area editions of Super Lawyers magazine, in Northern Virginia magazine, Arlington Magazine, and in other pri
Educational Background:
  • American University, 1965
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Virginia State Bar, 1972
  • Legal Services of Northern Virginia, 1996-2010
  • Former Director of the Fairfax County Legal Aid Society, 1976-1979
  • Circuit Court Judge Pro Tempore by judicial appointment
  • Commissioner in Chancery and a Conciliator and Neutral Case Evaluator
  • Substitute Judge of the General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts for Virginia’s Nineteenth Judicial District for twelve years
  • Eastern District of Virginia, 1972
  • Virginia Supreme Court, 1972
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1975
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 1976

Office location for Richard J. Colten

4020 University Drive
Suite 300
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-691-1235


18 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2023

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