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Questions Answered by James H. Wilson Jr.
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: My wife wants to separate an take the kids 1100 miles away for a month and keeps demanding I agree to what she wants

What should I do ?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 12, 2021

Unless there is a court order in place addressing custody, visitation and support, both parents have equal rights to, and responsibilities for, their minor children. After the parties have separated, a parent may file petitions for the determinations of child custody, visitation and child support... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: I have a revocable trust naming my daughter as successor trustee. She is sole beneficiary. I recently discovered that

The sole trustee cannot be the sole beneficiary. Can my designated trustee also be the sole beneficiary?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 4, 2021

This is question requires a complex answer that should be discussed thoroughly with an experienced Virginia estate planning attorney, with particular reference to Virginia Code Section 64.2-776, part of the Uniform Trust Code, dealing with the discretionary powers of a trustee. The short answer is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: In Virginia, are sons of deceased sister valid heirs to her brother's estate-no will, no kids, no parents, and unmarried

My mom passed away a few months before my uncle, but we have been advised that my brother and I are valid heirs. I read about the 120 hour rule, but that does not seem to apply here, because my mom has living sons. He had three sisters, including my mom. One of the two living sisters is... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 30, 2021

The course of descents in Virginia is set forth in Virginia Code Section 64.2-200 as follows:

"1. To the surviving spouse of the decedent, unless the decedent is survived by children or their descendants, one or more of whom are not children or their descendants of the surviving...
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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Virginia on
Q: How can I get a subpoena without a lawyer? May I object to questions on interrogatories due to dress?

How can I get a subpoena without a lawyer?

May I object to questions on interrogatories due to dress? The questions are absolutely placing me under duress and giving him all of the criminal evidence used against him

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 29, 2021

Virginia allows both attorney-issued subpoenas and clerk-issued subpoenas. A party or his or her counsel can file a request for a subpoena to the clerk with any service of process fees.

A party can object to discovery requests in accordance with the Rules of Court, the Rules of Evidence,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: Is it illegal to hold someone else's property against his or her will if they ask for it back?
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 24, 2021

A Virginia resident can file a Warrant in Detinue for the return of specific personal property or its fair market value. A person who converts another's property to his or her own use has committed the tort of conversion. If someone takes someone else's property with the specific intent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: How do I change my last name as an adult?

I grew up with my dad but with my mom's last name, but we are in America and I've lived with my dad the most of my life. I am now 18 and is willing to change my last name to his.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 17, 2021

A name change petition is an easy, routine legal matter. Many Virginia circuit courts have fill-in-the-blank form packets for residents, as the requests for assistance would otherwise take up their valuable time. Anyone considering a name change should visit the local city or county circuit court... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: I have been done wrong by two lawyers that i have paid. Is there a lawyer who would help contingent on payment after?

Pay after settlement We have been separated for two years now

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 16, 2021

Fees are negotiable between client and lawyer. Although there are often substitutions of counsel in family law matters, which tend to be more emotional than other practice areas, many lawyers would be concerned about a client who has had unsatisfactory working relationships with two lawyers. You... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If my kids live in Virginia, can their father who lives in NC take them from me during a summer visit?

I moved from NC to VA almost 2 yrs ago with my kids. My ex and I are divorced b/c of his drug addiction and there is no custody agreement. He lives with his mom and they want to get the kids for the entire summer in NC. I'm afraid they might not return the kids to me here in Virginia. Can they... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 11, 2021

In the absence of a court order addressing custody and visitation, both parents have equal rights to, and responsibility for, their minor children. Normally, a divorce case would address custody and visitation, so it is strange that there is no court order in effect. The solution is to file... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: What happens if someone refuses to give your your belongings after you ask them to do so?
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 10, 2021

In Virginia, a personal property owner can file a Warrant in Detinue in General District Court for the return of personal property or an award of its fair market value. The Warrant in Detinue is a fill-in-the-blanks form. In Circuit Court, a Complaint for Detinue would have to be drafted by the... Read more »

6 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Immigration Law, Admiralty / Maritime and Health Care Law for Virginia on
Q: Would it be accurate to say that any attorney who passes the bar exam know about client confidentiality?
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 1, 2021

Law students take classes in professional responsibility, and the issues are discussed in connection with other subject matters. The bar exams include ethics in questions or in a separate examination on professional responsibility.

The rules are not always as clear cut as they appear....
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: Try to ask a question to divorce lawyer in Virginia. Marriage is invalid under the United States Uniform Marriage

Marriage is invalid under the United States Uniform Marriage for these reasons: a marriage in which one party has a sexual physical defect. American law also stipulates false marriages as invalid marriages. U.S. law provides for these conditions for revocable marriage: a marriage in which one party... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Mar 27, 2021

You have been misinformed and most of your statements are incorrect or erroneous. The validity of marriage is largely a state law matter. Different states have different requirements for a valid marriage. While there are some common elements in many states, any person considering the validity of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: My child's father has asked me to not file for child support, however, he will not help financially. What do I do?

His father barely sees him, and does not want to help financially, even though he said he would. He never offers anything and doesn't even help buy him anything. I don't know what I am supposed to do anymore.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Mar 23, 2021

Both parents have a legal duty to support their children. Child support is paid to the parent with primary physical custody or the parent to him a support obligation is owed under the shared custody guidelines computations. A child support case can be initiated in the Commonwealth of Virginia in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: I would like to get a Will but not include my husband. I live in Virginia. Thanks
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Mar 20, 2021

A spouse is not required to make his or her spouse a beneficiary of a last will and testament; however, there are statutory rights for surviving spouses that limit the ability to completely disinherit a spouse in Virginia. A surviving spouse can effectively renounce a will and claim an elective... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: How do I prepare for a hearing over mutually agreed upon child support and custody in official divorce decree?

My ex spouse filed for child support before we divorced (I have made every payment) and during our divorce we renegotiated our payments VIA our LAWYERS. I filed the official divorce decree that was signed by a JUDGE with the juvenile court in Chesapeake, VA which I was told to do by my lawyers so... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Mar 16, 2021

Parents cannot effectively bargain away their children's rights to child support. While a court will consider a written agreement between the parties, it is not binding on the court, and the court can order whatever amount is deemed appropriate after calculating the presumptively correct... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: What kind of lawyer do I need to talk to about custody of children?

Grandmother has physical custody of two children, parents share joint custody. Mother is in jail, and father wants to know his rights about getting custody of his children.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Mar 2, 2021

Custody cases in Virginia are routinely handled by family law lawyers and divorce lawyers.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Can a parent and their lawyer refuse to sign the court order if they don’t agree with the judgement

Kid’s mom and lawyer refuse to sign child support order, because it didn’t go her way.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Jan 21, 2021

Most court orders are ghostwritten by one of the lawyers on behalf of the judge. The judge will typically request the lawyer for the party who substantially prevailed to draft the order. If the lawyer for the opposing party refuses to endorse the order, the proper procedure is to move the court... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: How do i remove my spouse from "my" home due to him not coming home days at a time (repeatedly)?

I've a signed prenuptial agreement indicating the ownership of my property.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Nov 29, 2020

You should consult with an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer to discuss all the circumstances and your best course of action. You may want to record the prenuptial agreement in land records. You might discuss whether you can just change the locks and notify him that he is no longer welcome... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can a certified copy of a will be probated if original is lost? In Virginia.

Mom had dementia. she had the original of her will but then lost it. My sister who is her executrix has a certified copy of the will but is told she can't use that to probate. Since the original is lost, can her certified copy be used?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Aug 21, 2020

Yes, a copy of a will can be established through a proceeding in the appropriate Circuit Court in Virginia to be the last will and testament of a decedent. A probate clerk may not accept a copy, however, for the cheaper and faster ex parte probate process available. You should consult with an... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: I live in Virginia, have 5 yr old boy & I'm pregnant by same father. I'm not married, can I legally take my son to FL?

My significant other says he will call law enforcement and say I kidnapped my own son if I take him to Florida to visit with my family. We are not married, can I leagally take my son and unborn child to florida without his permission?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Aug 20, 2020

Unless and until there is a court order, both biological parents have equal rights to and responsibilities for their child(ren). Either could travel with the child for a family visit within the U.S. If there is a court order in place, taking against the terms of the order might be considered... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Family Law and Collections for Virginia on
Q: VA law on oral agreements. My ex husband and I orally agreed to pay a loan for our son's college. After my ex paid a few

payments to me by check, he stopped paying. I continued to pay my share and his share. Can I sue him for the amount he was supposed to pay, but did not? Thanks, Cathleen

Thank you for your reply. I don't understand the cited text from the statute. If my ex and I agreed to pay for our... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Aug 17, 2020

Parents in Virginia have no legal obligation to support their capable, able-bodied adult children. However, the parents of a child may create a binding legal obligation to pay for their child's college education. Virginia Code Section 20-155 validates marital agreements provided they are in... Read more »

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