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Questions Answered by Thomas Woodward Ashton
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Ex and I have joint custody, he's custodial, yet won't let me see them. I'm 5 mins away, can he keep them from me!?

Joint legal custody with communicable visitation, they live with him bc I lived out of state. I moved back and live 5 min from them, yet he wont let me see them or talk to them. They don't even know I've moved back and are 10, 8 and 6.

Thomas Woodward Ashton
Thomas Woodward Ashton answered on Aug 22, 2018

It likely depends on the exact language in your order. Lots of orders out there have standard language that allows "reasonable and liberal visitation as agreed between the parties." The issue in cases where (a) this language is included, and (b) visitation is being denied by the custodial parent,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Virginia on
Q: In VA. I have a dentist collection from maybe 2015 or 2014. The debt collector never got in contact with me until now.

Can the debt still be collected? If no one ever provided me the information to pay (who/where/how much) and didn't contact me for 3 years? Thanks!

Thomas Woodward Ashton
Thomas Woodward Ashton answered on Aug 18, 2018

It depends. Did you sign an agreement at the dentist's office to pay for treatment? If so, then the statute of limitations could be 5 years, not 3. Also, if they already have a judgment against you, it could be longer that 5 years. This is very fact-specific, and is something you should discuss... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: My question is my grandfather wants to leave me his house. But we are unsure about how to go about it. And any issues.
Thomas Woodward Ashton
Thomas Woodward Ashton answered on Aug 13, 2018

This is more of a wills/estate planning question. Depending on things like your age and whether or not your grandfather has clear title to the house, it may be a pretty straightforward answer. However, there are some important questions that need to be answered before you all take any action on his... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: My daughter's father and I had a non-legal agreement that he'd pay $500 (cash) monthly as child support.

We were never married. Last time he gave me the $500 as child support was December 2017. He last saw my daughter January 2018. Went to court in March to file for custody/visitation and child support. We've had an ongoing case and court dates since May and our trial is in October this year. It's... Read more »

Thomas Woodward Ashton
Thomas Woodward Ashton answered on Aug 13, 2018

Every case is different, of course, but typically, if you ask for it the court will order child support retroactively to the date that the petition for support was filed. You should contact an attorney immediately to confirm some important details, including that the correct petition was filed and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: I'm 17 and my grandparents have raised me. I want them to have full custody. Can I file a petition myself?

Do my parents have a right to fight me on my decision?

Thomas Woodward Ashton
Thomas Woodward Ashton answered on Aug 13, 2018

Unless you are an emancipated minor (in which case custody wouldn't be an issue), the answer is almost certainly no. Your grandparents may be able to file themselves, seeking non-parent custody. Or a sympathetic parent who agrees with your wishes may file to change custody. But yes, your parents... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: I am asking for physical custody of my daughter and we went to mediation and can't agree on custody? What do I do?
Thomas Woodward Ashton
Thomas Woodward Ashton answered on Aug 13, 2018

You should contact an experienced attorney immediately, in order to protect your rights.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: I’m 16 almost 17, how much of a say do I have to get visitation rights changed?
Thomas Woodward Ashton
Thomas Woodward Ashton answered on Aug 13, 2018

Custody cases across the board are usually extremely case-specific, meaning that no one answer is likely to be accurate in all apparently similar scenarios. The answer also often varies by jurisdiction and even by which judge within a particular jurisdiction hears your case. However, in my... Read more »

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