Questions Answered by Thomas H. Roberts Esq

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?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 12, 2017
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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.

Q: If my tenant breaks lease, can I keep the security deposit?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 12, 2017
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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.

Q: Is our notarized marital agreement still valid even if my husband crossed out his signature after completing it?

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 12, 2017
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 agreement as Wayne E Holcomb, Esq stated, the "form" is not important. A contract may be written on toilet paper for that matter.

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?

4 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 12, 2017
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 for all damages including all medical care, as well as pain and suffering, etc. There are time limits so do not delay.

Q: If an engagement is broken due to the man's actions, does the woman keep the engagement ring?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Family Law for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 sought to be recovered; (2) the right to the property's immediate possession; (3) the property must be capable of identification; (4) the property must be of some value, ''and (5) the defendant must...

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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

http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title64.2/chapter6/section64.2-601/

That the Designated Successor shall have a fiduciary duty to safeguard and promptly pay or deliver the small asset

as required by the laws of the...

Q: My question is about real estate investing in Virginia. Specifically loaning money for the purpose of flipping houses.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 not going to be considered a "material breach" as the party obviously received the money. The last question is not at all clear. It is advisable that a business or person retain records of loans...

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 ("per stirpes") then that son's children own 1/9 of the house. If on the other hand, the son died after the father, then his share goes according to that son's will or if without a will to the intestacy laws. This...

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 course result in the loss of the sole and separate property, unless it remains separate and traceable. Marital money (money acquired during the course of the marriage) used to pay the mortgage will be...

Q: I was transported to a hospital by ambulance in 2008 i received a bill last month. I wanted to find out the virginia

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 suits, not founded on any penal act expressly limiting the commencement of the action.

Q: How I amend my separation agreement? Can I file in a different Virginia county? Must I have a lawyer?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 only modify the order back to the date your petition was filed with the court. Now with respect to other matters, if you have a "separation agreement" then you presumably entered a legally binding contract...

Q: Can a property listing be taken off the market, then put back on a few days later?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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

Withdrawal and re-entry of a Listing as a marketing tool or in an attempt to alter or reset the days on

market information is prohibited.

Q: Does the court pay tthe plantiff after suing and winning their case. How does the defendant pay.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 6, 2016
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 of any jurisdiction in which the losing party has real estate to constitute a lien against the real estate. Collecting on a judgment may include debtor's interrogatories, garnishment or attachments. All...

Q: Is the absence of sex grounds for divorce?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 7, 2015
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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. McKinney, 77 W.Va. 58, 87 S.E. 928. In Ringgold v. Ringgold, supra, it is said at page 495:

"It is very generally held that where the marriage relation remains otherwise unimpaired, the mere...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 7, 2015
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
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 the infant. The court's decision is based upon a number of factors, which is boiled down to the "best interests" of the child. Again, if the parents do not agree, the court will decide based upon...

Q: Can i sue for mental and financial distress caused during my pregnancy?

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 17, 2014
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
If the pregnancy were the result of a traditional battery, yes you can sue the tort feasor. For pregnancy resulting from consensual relations, you will have assumed the risk and your suit against the inseminator will fail. If your complaint is against God, the courts simply don't have in personam jurisdiction and you will not be able to prevail. If you were just curious whether anybody would respond to the question, now you know.

Q: i injured my back and shoulder after only 4 months i was awarded a life time medical is that normal that fast

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 17, 2014
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
Nothing abnormal. If a person suffers a sudden mechanical or structural change in their body by accident arising out of employment then they are entitled to benefits under the Workers' Compensation Act.

The injured worker must file a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission in order to protect their right to benefits under Virginia law, even if there have been payments by the employer or claim administrator for time missed from work because of the injury or for...

Q: What is a cross-error?

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 17, 2014
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
When a matter is appealed the other side may also assert that the trial or lower court made errors - these are called cross-errors.

Rule 5:18 of the Rules of the Supreme Court describe the assignment of cross-errors as follows:

(c) Assignments of cross-error. The brief in opposition may include assignments of

cross-error. If the brief in opposition contains an assignment or assignments of cross-error,

the cover of the brief must so indicate by being styled,...

Q: If our family wants to file a wrongful death suit, how much time does it have to do it?

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 17, 2014
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
In Virginia, when a family member dies as a result of the neglect or wrongful action of another, a lawsuit for damages may be brought by the personal representative of the decedent within two years after the death of the injured person. (Va. § 8.01-50, 8.01-244).

Wrongful death actions did not exist at common law, but were authorized by legislation. They are therefore controlled by statute.

Disclaimer: The materials are prepared for information purposes only. The materials...

Q: What is the amount of time till you can file wrongful death in virginia?

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Virginia on
Answered on Dec 15, 2014
Thomas H. Roberts Esq's answer
When a family member dies as a result of the neglect or wrongful action of another, a lawsuit for damages may be brought by the personal representative of the decedent within two years after the death of the injured person. (Va. § 8.01-50, 8.01-244).

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