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Questions Answered by James H. Wilson Jr.
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 »

5 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: simple question. if you get a divorce and one partner files for banruptcy can they touch the house you still both own?

bankruptcy would include credit cards and medical bills only

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Jun 4, 2020

It depends on the type of bankruptcy and the title to the real property. For the most part, a bankruptcy trustee steps into the shoes of the debtor, a creditor of the debtor, or a good faith buyer of property, and can exercise those rights. The strong-arm powers of a trustee allows a trustee to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized for Virginia on
Q: I stored my lawnmower in a family friends shed. He won’t let me get my equipment out . By law what can I do to get it

My equipment is stored in a family friends shed his grandfather will not let him get it out it is locked, his grandfather just went into a retirement home. Legally how can I get my personal property from this friends grandfathers shed

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 27, 2020

Specific personal property or its fair market value can be recovered in Virginia by a Warrant in Detinue filed in the General District Court or Circuit Court, depending on the value of the property.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: What can i do? Can i go get my daughters will it bring in legal trouble?

I have full legal custody of my two daughters. I moved on to Texas and signed a six-month long power of attorney over to my sister who lives in Virginia Beach so my girls can finish school. My sister is now telling me I am not allowed to get my daughters that she is going to keep them. Shes... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 26, 2020

Certain powers are non-delegable - they cannot be given to someone else because of the personal nature of the power. You cannot effectively give parenting power by a power of attorney to someone. I am surprised anyone accepted your sister's power of attorney for you. Even parents, with... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: With VA slayer statute, who pays slayers debts ?

This was a murder suicide. I understand slayer deemed to have died first in these cases and victims family becomes heirs to everything. What happens to skaters debt, and who pays slayers funeral expenses?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 24, 2020

The Virginia slayer statute does not address the slayer's debts or funeral expenses.

When a person dies, the debts become debts of the estate. Funeral expenses are normally paid by the next of kin.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Who pays utilities bills?I'm delayed for qualification of Executor due to Covid.Courts not open. I'm beneficiary of home

I am the executor. But I have to wait to be qualified. Courts have been closed since March. Everything is delayed due to Supreme Court ruling in Virginia. My parent passed in early May. Bills need to be payed. I am willing to pay from my own money to keep power, water etc going as I already lived... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 22, 2020

The courts are not closed. I have a client who qualified locally by videoconference. You just need to get in touch with the probate clerk and schedule an appointment.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: I have a question about jurisdiction/where to seek child support, in Virginia.

My divorce was finalized in the Circuit Court, and I later was awarded sole custody in a suit in JDR, but support was not addressed. Should I also seek child support in JDR? Is support automatically remanded to JDR after a divorce is final?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 19, 2020

Most of the final decrees I have seen now remand all matters concerning child custody, visitation and support to the appropriate Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. A parent should check the final decrees and orders in their cases to determine the appropriate court in which to file any... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: My mom willed my brother her home. He lives there. It houses antique items she wanted me to have and did vocalize to him

There are also items from my childhood and property I am interested to divide up such as china, old coins, etc. My brother is hostile , we do not speak to one another. Though his is girlfriend, I am told he is stating "off limits "to his home and contents. What recourse do I have? If he... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 18, 2020

A will typically might contain specific bequests of personal property, or reference to a list that may or may not be binding on the executor, specific devises of real property, and a residuary clause, which transfers all the rest of the estate to particular beneficiaries. Your question does not... Read more »

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