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Questions Answered by Thomas H. Roberts Esq
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I would like to add my child’s father to birth certificate. At the time I was legally separated from my husband. Then

I got back with husband. After doing legal paternity test it is not my husbands. I would like the baby to have his fathers last name. We have a legal paternity test. How can I add the name ? I want my sons father to have rights.

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Oct 29, 2021

You may want to look at https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title8.01/chapter3/section8.01-217/

No attorney-client is created by this response. This is not intended as legal advice but is general legal information. You should engage an attorney if you wish to obtain legal advice for your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Legally, can a HOA have DRC guidelines prohibiting homeowners from taking down trees they believe diseased and a threat?

In our case, we felt certain trees were diseased and a threat to our home and took them down. Although the DRC rule does state that diseased and dead trees can be cut down without prior approval, they fined us anyway because they said the trees were alive (the DRC had no published definition of... Read more »

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Oct 29, 2021

You may want to look at the Virginia Code - including https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title55.1/chapter18/section55.1-1819/ which governs the administration of home owner's associations. But be careful, the fine is much less than litigation costs where the looser pay not only their own... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I just realized that I put the wrong year on a signed lease. Is the lease voided. What are the terms for the lease?

Tenants signed the lease and have been living in the rental for 3 months. What's my recourse?

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Oct 29, 2021

Not really a big deal --- where it is clear that both parties meant and understood the correct year, the court will enforce the lease with the corrected year --- The correction of a scrivener's error is a court-sanctioned action reforming a contract or other document. We note, however, that a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: I recently applied for a name change and was denied due to the fact that my birth certificate only identifies my mother.

In the section for father, my birth certificate merely states “deceased”. I do not have any other knowledge of his identity. Is there any other route or action I can take?

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Oct 29, 2021

Petitions for name changes are governed by Va. Code 8.01-271. Your dilemma seems to be related to the seemly poorly written statute paragraph B --- "B. Every application shall be under oath and shall include the place of residence of the applicant, the names of both parents, including the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: My kids Grandmother passed away and my kids should get money what can I do uncle won’t give them any?

Grandma passed away earlier this month and kids dad passed same time last year.Now kids dad was taking care of her before she passed when he passed his brother took over.She only had 2 kids now I know my kids should get money from her death but uncle won’t give them anything even when dad died... Read more »

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Oct 29, 2021

If the Will is valid, then the provision of the will should control. If the Commission of Accounts does not assist you, then one or more of the adult children can file suit as a beneficiary seeking an (1) accounting; (2) an action for breach of fiduciary duties against the executor; and (3) ask... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: My husband abandoned me won't tell me where he is and I only have his email address. How can I get support money?

He left me needing surgery, I can't work, he keeps saying he has no job and caused me to be evicted in July. He won't give me a mailing address where he is, he has mine.

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Sep 12, 2017

You should contact an attorney, and file a petition for support. Attorneys should be able to locate your husband to get him before the court.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: If my tenant breaks lease, can I keep the security deposit?
Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Sep 12, 2017

You should consult an attorney. The contract and/or the Virginia Landlord Tennant Act should be referenced. https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacodepopularnames/virginia-residential-landlord-and-tenant-act/. You should consider § 55-248.15:1. Security deposits if the act applies.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: Is our notarized marital agreement still valid even if my husband crossed out his signature after completing it?

Hello. I would like to ask a question regarding marital agreement. Me and my soon-to-be ex-husband had signed on a marital agreement that I created this summer. We both notarized our signatures. He was going to file the agreement to the court with the divorce paper. However he crossed out his... Read more »

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Sep 12, 2017

If he signed before a notary but never delivered the proposed agreement to you then the acceptance of the offer may not be complete. Not "signed, sealed and delivered.". Otherwise, if there was a meeting of the minds supported by consideration then you probably have an enforceable... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for Virginia on
Q: I was in a car accident and don't have insurance - but it wasn't my fault. Will I still get money to help pay my bills?
Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Sep 12, 2017

It is best that you contact an attorney. There may be a number of insurance policies that provide benefits. You may be covered by a policy of another in your household. Additionally, if the other driver was at fault, and you were not contributorily negligent then the other driver may be liable... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If an engagement is broken due to the man's actions, does the woman keep the engagement ring?

The man would make himself not available due to drugs. He would go days without contact and the female was paying for cellular service for both parties. This was to be divided not her paying all of it.

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Feb 6, 2016

Probably yes. The issue is controlled by the law of contract. Based upon your contention, the man breached the agreement based upon his actions choosing drugs over you.

In Virginia, in order to maintain an action of detinue, a plaintiff must prove: (1) a right of property in the property...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: My sister-in-law died August 30, 2015. She had no will and lived with my wife and me for the past 9 years.

She didn't own any property, no jewelry, no car. All she had was a bank savings account with about 9k and a retirement account we found going through her stuff from a job she had years ago worth around 19k. We just wanted to close the bank account to pay for her funeral expenses and whatever... Read more »

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Feb 6, 2016

There are two groups of people that have an interest in the estate. Her creditors and her heirs. The law explains how such an estate may be handled.

Small estates (less than $50,000) may be handled in accordance with Va. Code §64.2-600 & 601...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My question is about real estate investing in Virginia. Specifically loaning money for the purpose of flipping houses.

If interest payments and repayments of loans, as stated on promissory note and deed of trust, are to be made jointly, for example all payments are to be made to Mr and Mrs at their home address, can the payments for interest and repayments of loans, legally be made to one of the parties ( excluding... Read more »

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Feb 6, 2016

1st - you should make the check payable to both. Assuming you failed to do so, what is the consequence? You would have to contend that making the check payable to only one was still compliant because the one was acting as an agent for the other as well. 2nd - hand delivery instead of mailing is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: Trying to sell my father's home, his will now probated left home to 9 children. One died within 60 days of my father.

Title company is telling us we can't proceed with sale until brothers estate is probated in Florida. Brother was a Nevada resident, never lived in Florida. Is this true? Brothers share, one ninth would go to his estate, his heirs.

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Feb 6, 2016

Not necessarily. The house belongs to 9 children. One of those children died (you don't say whether before or after your father's death). If the son died before your father, assuming that your father's will provided that any share to a predeceased child goes to his children... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I own my house. I married last year and did not put my husband's name on the deed. I now want to get some equity out.

My husband is willing to be on the loan. Can he be a co-borrower with me?

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Feb 6, 2016

Yes. But if I am correct, there is more to your question. In the event that your current marriage ends by divorce how will the house be treated? The equity in your house at the time of your marriage will be considered your sole and separate property. Taking that equity out and using it will of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Virginia on
Q: I was transported to a hospital by ambulance in 2008 i received a bill last month. I wanted to find out the virginia

I wanted to find out what the virginia statue of limitation is for medical debit collection

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Feb 6, 2016

3 years for an oral contract and 5 years for a written contract. Exception: The English maxim, nullum tempus occurr it regi, has been adopted in Virginia in relation to the commonwealth, on which principle it has been held, that the acts of limitation do not extend to the commonwealth in civil... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: How I amend my separation agreement? Can I file in a different Virginia county? Must I have a lawyer?

I finalized divorce in 2013 in Bath County VA. My circumstances have changed and I must amend this agreement. Doubtful my ex wife will go along willingly. I live in Bedford, VA now. Where would I file? Can I file by myself?

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Feb 6, 2016

A: Bath County, and Yes. Explanation: First - issues related to child support remain subject to the jurisdiction of the court irrespective of any agreement between the parties. To obtain a change in such a order, you must show a "material change of circumstances." And the court will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a property listing be taken off the market, then put back on a few days later?

I am caught between two agents who want to list my property for sale. One claims she routinely removes a listing from the market to save Days on Market (say, during snowy weather), or takes it off after a month or two on the market then relists it to show it as "newly listed." The other... Read more »

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Feb 6, 2016

You are most likely referring to the Multiple Listing Service ("MLS"), which is a private organization with its own set of rules. For example the Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing Service states that such conduct is prohibited. Section 5.26 Manipulation of Days on Market... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: Does the court pay tthe plantiff after suing and winning their case. How does the defendant pay.
Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Feb 6, 2016

Unless the opposing party posted a bond, winning a case in court gives a party only a piece of paper called a judgment. That piece of paper may not be worth anything - it only give the winning party the right to collect on the judgment. The judgment should be recorded in the clerk's office... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Is the absence of sex grounds for divorce?

There is no sexual intercourse between me and my wife for many years, as my wife refuses to have sex. We live in the same house in separate bedrooms. Can I apply for divorce based on deferred sex from wife?

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Jan 7, 2015

Mere coolness at times and periodical refusal of sexual intercourse alone, with the marital relationship otherwise unimpaired, does not constitute desertion. Ringgold v. Ringgold, 128 Va. 485, 104 S.E. 836, 12 A.L.R. 1383; Wills v. Wills, 74 W.Va. 709, 82 S.E. 1092, L.R.A. 1915B, 770; McKinney v.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: boyfriend and I stay together for 2 years we have a baby together and I want to break up whats the law?i live in VA

I want to know if I can get half of what ever he has plus how much my child support would be if we separate after 2 years and we have a 4months old baby, I never work with the baby I'm not planing to do it either

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Jan 7, 2015

The parties are free to separate---there is no marital property to divide, there is no spousal support. If the parents do not agree on physical custody of the infant, a court will make that determination upon a petition. There is no guarantee that the mother will be awarded physical custody of... Read more »

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