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Virginia Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Hello, My friend’s husband unexpectedly passed away 3 months ago. He and his mom were co-tenants on a mortgage for

an apartment where my friend lived with her husband. Now that the husband is gone, the mother is insisting that the apartment belongs to her, and is not even considering sharing any of the money from the sale. There was a will but it was not properly signed. Does my friend have any right to this... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 27, 2022

First of all, who is on the mortgage loan or the deed of trust isn't relevant. The incomplete and unsigned will is probably irrelevant, though Virginia has some holographic will law that might apply. What generally matters is the deed. If the deed was joint tenants with right of survivorship... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Virginia on
Q: Quick question regarding deferred disposition

If a defendant enters a deferred disposition but but the prosecutor does not agree with the disposition can they still bring it up to a judge and have them decide?

Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt answered on Jan 26, 2022

Usually deferred dispositions have an understood outcome so once you get it you're usually good to go. But it's possible to defer disposition and order mitigation and leave the outcome open ended... so they might be consulted for their opinion but usually that's not the case.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Virginia on
Q: What should I do after my home security cams capture 4 dog pee intrusive in a day at my front yard?

Dogs owners walk their dogs, then allow and watch their dogs intrusion on private property and pee on my lawn in my front yard. My home security cams captures 4 instances in a day. What should I do to prevent this repeatedly happen?

It is unlawful. What penalty can be? Is there any... Read more »

Ann Thayer
Ann Thayer answered on Jan 26, 2022

You should contact the animal protection officers in fairfax and tell them what is going on and show them the proof you have

They can go talk to them about stopping the behavior or charge them under the county code

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I live in Va. My ex boyfriend is living in my home and wont leave.can I evict him? How long is the process?

He does not pay rent nor is he leasing. I own the home.I served 3 day eviction notice but he doesn't believe it's real and refuse to leave. Ive called police on him for harassing me in my home. He keeps attempting to hurt himself by falling down steps, falling on furniture and breaking... Read more »

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jan 25, 2022

Yes, you can evict him. The specific process depends on what your agreement with him was. Was there a signed lease? Did he pay rent or perform some service in exchange for living there. That impacts the type of notice you give. If you decide to hire a lawyer, I'm sure anyone who responds would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I have a tenant evicted who has not paid rent for over a year ?

This tenant refused to renew there lease last year stating they were moving and this fall filed bankruptcy.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 23, 2022

When the tenant/debtor filed bankruptcy and included in the bankruptcy the landlord as a creditor, there is an automatic stay on all existing claims by creditors against the tenant/debtor. If the tenant/debtor was discharged in the bankruptcy, all unsecured creditors are discharged/eliminated from... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can you counter sue for attorney fees in a civil suit claim for eviction if you represent yourself?
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 22, 2022

In Virginia, an award of attorney's fees is only applicable if the party (plaintiff or defendant) pays their attorney who represents the party and is paid for the professional services rendered. Self-representation does not give rise to the entitlement of an award of attorney's fees.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: My spouse and I will be attempting in home separation in Virginia. He is an airline pilot. If I take a trip to visit

family or friends or just go to a hotel or an apartment while he's off work and in the home every week, is that desertion? I would make it known to our adult children and my family and friends that I'm returning on a certain date each time. He initiated the divorce. I have agreed. Update:... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 20, 2022

Temporary absences without the intent to separate permanently do not amount to desertion in Virginia. The court may view the trips to visit family and friends differently than leaving to go to an apartment or hotel when your spouse is home differently, however. Also, notifying other people that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: My parents have been seperated for 40+ years. My father has become ill and I wanted to know how to get them divorced

My mother has not been around my entire life and claimed she has remarried but I dont know how if she still is married legally to my father. I just want them divorced in case my father passes I dont want her entitled to any of my father's assets

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 20, 2022

If your father wants to file for divorce, he can do so if he has been a Virginia resident for the past six months. When he files for divorce, if he doesn't know where your mother is, he will need to file an affidavit verifying that he doesn't know her address. He can then request that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: If a minor child turns 18 at 8 months into the year-long separation period, can we file for divorce right then?

Assume asset/property division has been agreed upon. Just waiting for the year to be up.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Jan 18, 2022

The separation period for a no fault divorce in Virginia is 1 year. If the parties have no minor children born or adopted of the marriage, and have signed a written separation agreement, the required separation period is only 6 months. The intention to separate permanently must exist continuously... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a landlord discuss a commercial tenants information?

This is to include anyone such as the commercial tenants customers, friends of landlord, etc? Such information to include details of eviction, money owed to landlord or information that could potentially cause tenant to lose work.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 14, 2022

Privacy information of anyone is generally covered by the privacy laws. Public information, such as an eviction, is generally available to everyone so it probably is not covered by the privacy laws.

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark for Virginia on
Q: Can I still use the name My Wonderpaw if there is a trademark on Wonderpaw in the same industry?
Robert Kost
Robert Kost answered on Jan 13, 2022

In theory, the answer is simple: no, you can't use the mark. However, there are other considerations. Let's assume you're referring to the mark at

* Are your goods/services in the same class as the...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: Can my s corp/llc be sued bc a former biz partner owes money from previous business? My business is named in the suit

I started an s corp with 2 other equal partners in Feb 2020. Myself and another partner bought the 3rd partners shares in March of 2021. The partner that was bought out was just sued by a vendor of his that he dealt with in his previous business. The person is alleging that my former business... Read more »

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jan 12, 2022

Possibly. It sounds like the plaintiff is trying to allege some type of tortious business interference and conspiracy with your new business and your former business partner. This scenario where a person closes down a business to avoid debts and then opens a new business does occur. While your... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for Virginia on
Q: I am going to marry my girlfriend who is an au pair. What’s the next step in getting her to be a us citizen?

I think she will finish out her au pair job until December. I would like to get married before then to start up the process. I just need to know what to do next and how much I will need to save for this. Thank you.

Alexander Ivakhnenko
Alexander Ivakhnenko answered on Jan 11, 2022

That is a very detailed discussion to address in one paragraph. Consider reaching out a professional of your choice.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can I take my previous roommate to small claims court, for failure to pay the remainder of our rent?

I lived in a previous apartment with a roommate. We both moved out to our separate place, but my roommate was behind on his half of the payment and still has not paid it. He has had numerous opportunities, payment plans, and still has made no initiative to pay the balance. There just seems to... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 11, 2022

As a co-obligor, you have the right to contribution from the other tenant/other co-obligor on the lease. You have a right to bring a claim in small claims court if the amount that you will claim is within the jurisdiction of the small claims court. Whether the matter is worth your time and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: My car was damaged beyond repair in my apartment assigned parking lot. Is the landlord liable for damages..

We had a Nor'Easter. This is the second car I have lost in my 7 years living here. The landlord refuses to fix the parking lot and is aware of the flooding issues. I was not home when it happened. Other cars were also damaged.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 10, 2022

In Virginia, if the Landlord proximately caused the damages to your vehicle, then the Landlord would be liable. Based on the facts that you stated, the weather apparently caused the damage and that is considered an Act of God for which the Landlord is not liable.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: Is this a breach of attorney client confidentiality in the state of Va?

I am getting divorced. Separated 5yrs. 3 yrs ago I dated a guy who stalked me when we broke up. My soon to be husband hired the lawyer I used for my PO. This lawyer has in writing told his client details of my po case. I’ve read it. Stuff that he only knows bc he represented me. Stuff my husband... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 10, 2022

Have you notified the attorney that you did not consent to sharing this information? If not, you should do so and ask that he cease representing your husband. Or, you can ask your attorney to make this request for you. Your husband's lawyer should then withdraw from the case.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Reference Custody and Visitation. I went to court on December 14, 2021, when does a custody order go into effect?

Our original order went into effect June 2020, and advised drop offs and pick ups are to occur at my parents place. My amendment requests a new location, among 12 other changes. The Guardian Ad Litem suggested a location, and now my ex-husband files paperwork every time I do not do exchanges at the... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 10, 2022

This type of confusion happens frequently after a hearing. Did you have an attorney? If so, please ask the attorney who has been representing you for clarity. Often someone has asked the judge when the order takes effect. If no date is specified, the usual default is that once a judge has made... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: Estate question at Mother’s request- my father died 4 year ago. All assets were held jointly or with TOD to my mother.

Assets include property, bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds and vehicles. There is no debt whatsoever. After fathers death, my mother had all assets, except vehicles, changed to her name with a TOD to my 2 siblings and me. Property deeds were also changed to include a TOD. Question 1- when she... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jan 10, 2022

All great questions, and NOT suitable for a quick internet messaging site such as this. There are a lot of variables you haven't considered and not fully understanding them can cost you thousands.

Elder Law Attorneys handle this type of matter and can give you good advice. Most of...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Virginia on
Q: Is distribution on content illegal if pictures are printed out and used in divorce court? is copyrighted and I feel like this falls in intellectual rights violation. My soon to be ex husband and his lawyers presented images of my content without knowledge or consent.

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 10, 2022

It is true that the photo/video content on the platform is the subject of copyright, and that the creators and the platform can assert their exclusive right to distribute the content. If one were to print the content and sell or redistribute it commercially, that would be an actionable... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
Q: i got a court date for driving with expired DL in herndon, VA.

Dmv Appointment is already booked before my dl expired, but dmv appointment i got is after my dl my expiration date.

Ann Thayer
Ann Thayer answered on Jan 8, 2022

You should contact clerk to continue your case until after a date you go to dmv to fix license OR when you go to court take proof of date your dmv appt is set for and ask judge to continue case until after that date.

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