Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Michael Christopher Miller
1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: A friend of mine just passed away and in her will she stated that she wanted me to take guardianship of her son.

A friend of mine just passed away and in her will she stated that she wanted me to take guardianship of her son. His dad passed away 2 months after he was born. I was wondering if her sons grandparents can fight for custody or if a judge will honor the will

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Mar 26, 2020

At the end of the day, the court decides matters on the best interests of the child. The will would guide the court, but not determine the outcome.

The grandparents could contest the provision and seek custody. A judge would then decide between you and the grandparents.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: What happens if I’m on child support and have no job
Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Mar 23, 2020

The short answer is that your obligation of support continues unchanged.

The prudent course of action is to immediately file a motion/petition to modify support. A court can only retroactively modify support back to the date of filing.

It may take awhile to be heard, but the court...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on
Q: My husband was charged w/ a class 1 misdemeanor for domestic violence. It’s his first offense. Can the charges be drop?
Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Mar 16, 2020

As a criminal charge, the commonwealth's attorney has control of the disposition of the charges. You can ask, but they decide. This is unlike a protective order, which is a civil matter that you would control.

He is probably charged under Va. Code § 18.2-57.2. Assault and battery against a...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Can my ex reduce child support payment based on the months he paid the old amount without court filings for new amount?

My husband lawyer contacted me in Feb. about modifying child support because my oldest age out. I sent my financial docs, didn’t hear until today. I was sent a new order with the calculation sheet but no documentation of his financial.

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Mar 13, 2020

"Except as provided by § 20-110, no support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified with respect to any period during which there is a pending petition for modification in any court, but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given to the responding party." Va.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: owned the property before marrying.Wife insisted I add her to deed. What happens when we divorce?Loan/mortgage my name?

Had property before marriage, added wife to deed but she’s not on the mortgage loan . I pay all the bills, gas , lights, water, HOA FEES, cellphone etc etc. what happens when we get divorced????

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Mar 11, 2020

"f. When separate property is retitled in the joint names of the parties, the retitled property shall be deemed transmuted to marital property. However, to the extent the property is retraceable by a preponderance of the evidence and was not a gift, the retitled property shall retain its original... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: How do I file or know what to file under for a divorce

We have no children or property or joint debt, we arrived in July 16 and she left me in oct 16. She left Va some time later in early 17. I have no real idea of her current location

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Mar 9, 2020

You file a complaint for divorce to seek a divorce. If you separated in October 2016, you have been separated for more than a one year, so you can file on that basis.

If her whereabouts are truly unknown, and you have exhausted reasonable efforts to locate her, you can serve her by...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: My husband and I separated 9years and I was awarded custodial parent and he was suppose to pay $800 monthly for our 3

Children. It was taken from his check for 1yr and he hasnt paid any since. 2 of our children are over 18now but he doesn't think he should owe me anything because I didn't take him back to court. Is he right? If I'm owed anything how do I go about collecting?

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Feb 21, 2020

No, he is not right.

If you have a recent Virginia order, there should be notices required by Va. Code 20-60.3.

"14. Notice that in determination of a support obligation, the support obligation as it becomes due and unpaid creates a judgment by operation of law. The order shall...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Virginia on
Q: VA stepparent adoption: child 14 never knew bio dad. No support no visitation no contact 14yrs can stepparent adopt?

Bio dad not on birth certificate. No paternity, not on father registry. How can prove abandonment and not need bio signature? Don't want to contact

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Feb 20, 2020

Va. Code § 63.2-1241. Adoption of child by spouse of birth or adoptive parent.

Stepparent petitions for adoption. The bio parent/spouse joins the petition to indicate their consent.

Va. Code § 63.2-1202. Parental, or agency, consent required; exceptions.

Consent is...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Can a judge require me to pay child support while my child is in college

Child turns 18 in may and graduates high school in June

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Jan 6, 2020

Not in Virginia. Child support ends in Virginia at age 18, unless the child is in high school. Then, it goes to age 19 or graduation, which first occurs.

Child support can also extend if the child has a disability, or the parents agree to extend child support.

You would still have...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: What steps do I need to take to change my daughter’s last name to my husbands?

Child’s father lives in another state. Has two other kids he flaunts and takes care of but does not do anything for our daughter even when we were living in the same city. His name is not on her birth certificate. Husband has been taking care of my daughter for almost her whole life.

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Dec 18, 2019

Va. Code § 8.01-217. How name of person may be changed.

A. Any person desiring to change his own name, or that of his child or ward, may apply therefor to the circuit court of the county or city in which the person whose name is to be changed resides, or if no place of abode exists, such...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Title 26 IRS code Pub. 525 states my veterans disability shall be excluded as income.Why are the courts not honoring it?

They are using that as income to calculate child support. How is that legal? Or should i get a lawyer?

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Dec 12, 2019

Va. Code § 20-108.2. Guideline for determination of child support

* * *

C. For purposes of this section, "gross income" means all income from all sources, and shall include, but not be limited to, income from salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends, severance...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Can a judge increase my child support if I filed to decrease the amount?

The child is no longer In daycare

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Dec 6, 2019

One files to modify child support, not to only increase or decrease.

Upon showing a material change of circumstances since the last order, the judge then determines the guideline amount of support under Va. Code 20-108.2. That amount is presumed correct regardless whether it is an increase...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: If a custody order was only notarized do I still have custody
Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Dec 5, 2019

An order would only need to be signed by a judge, and they are not typically notarized.

Agreements between parents are usually notarized, though they need not be as long as it is a signed writing, and enforceable as provided in the agreement.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: I filed for a motion to amend support (down). When is it effective? When I filed or when we got our subpoena for court

I am not clear when the clock started. From what period am I eligible for a possible retroactive credit?

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Dec 2, 2019

Va. Code § 20-112. Notice when proceedings reopened.

When the proceedings are reopened to increase, decrease or terminate maintenance and support for a spouse or for a child, or to request additional orders to effectuate previous orders entered pursuant to § 20-107.3, the petitioning...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: In va can I sign over my parental rights
Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Dec 2, 2019

You can relinquish your custodial rights, physical and legal. You cannot sign over the obligation of support.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: My stepdaughter will turn 18 on 2/2020. Husband divorce decree specifically states the child support will cease at 18

Or whenever she graduates - whichever occurs first. She will be 18 in February but does not graduate until June 2020. Is this actually correct? We have be receiving conflicting information. The way the decree reads the child support and alimony would end when she turns 18 or graduates, whichever... Read more »

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Nov 8, 2019

Va. Code § 20-124.2. Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements.

. . .

C. The court may order that support be paid for any child of the parties. Upon request of either party, the court may order that such support payments be made to a special needs trust or an ABLE savings...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Can interest on child support arrearages be forgiven?

Currently, the interest alone is $15,000, the arrearage amount is $18,000 and is being paid down monthly. Also, I am disabled and wheelchair bound, unable to work do to my injuries and collecting SSD benefits.

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Nov 1, 2019

Your support order should have the disclosures required by Va. Code 20-60.3.

There should be a paragraph that says something along the following: "14. Notice that in determination of a support obligation, the support obligation as it becomes due and unpaid creates a judgment by operation of...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Can father get emergency custody?

Can father get emergency custody after mother has had child for 13years and been to court twice and remains custodial parent

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Oct 30, 2019

The court views "emergency" as a life or death situation, not someone not wanting to wait their turn.

File a petition to modify custody, and file an emergency motion. The court clerk and/or judge will review them to see if an emergency exists. If so, the court will docket a hearing to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: How do you change venue?

Custody juvenile court?

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Oct 30, 2019

Are you changing venue as in moving from one county in Va. to another county? Or, are you changing to a new state?

If moving county to county, then Va. Code § 16.1-243(B) applies. "2. Custody and visitation: In custody and visitation cases, if venue lies in one of several cities or...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: My wife and I are from NC. She is the bio parent of our son, bio fathers rights were terminated. can we apply in va?

My wife does not pay any bills and has not gotten a new license. Therefore has no proof of residence tho we’ve been here for over a year(just never got around to dmv). So would we be able to apply for a name change for our son who is 3? Or would we need to do it in NC?

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Oct 29, 2019

Va. Code § 8.01-217. How name of person may be changed.

A. Any person desiring to change his own name, or that of his child or ward, may apply therefor to the circuit court of the county or city in which the person whose name is to be changed resides, or if no place of abode exists, such...
Read more »

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.