Questions Answered by Gary D. Godman

Q: How old does a child have to be to make a decision of his own on who. He wants to live with mother or father

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 26, 2017

The rule of thumb is that the court starts to consider the child's opinion around age 12. However, the child's preference is only one of many factors the court takes into consideration. In other words, just because the child wants something doesn't mean the court is going to do that.
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Q: I have an A1 Student Visa. I’ve been in the US since I was 8 years old. Can i apply for green card or citizenship

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 26, 2017

It is possible, though perhaps a bit more complicated than some other situations. You would need to qualify or be eligible for some other type of visa or a green card, such as by marriage to a US citizen. Consider consulting with an immigration attorney to review your situation and options. Good luck to you!
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Q: Can a green card holder have their own business in the US?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Immigration Law for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 26, 2017

The short answer is yes, a green card allows you to continue living and working in the US. The warning, however, is that a green card obtained by marriage could be "conditional" and require you to renew and submit certain documents after two years. Review your documents to see if you are a conditional permanent resident, and consult with an attorney about what steps to take next if you are.
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Q: If I don't receive a subpoena for court, do I have to go?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 16, 2017

Best to contact the court and find out if there is indeed a hearing. Wouldn't want to risk finding out you were served in a permissible, substitute manner (i.e. not by personal service) and then be stuck with trying to overturn an order that was entered without you present.
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Q: i have full custody of my daughter. the father is not in her life but he pays child support for the last 3 months.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 16, 2017

It is possible if shown to be in the child's best interests. Speak with an attorney in your area if a petition for visitation is filed.
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Q: Is my separation agreement enough to evict? What can I expect?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 16, 2017

The best advice is to listen to the attorney you already have. That person is going to know the specifics of the case better than any attorney online answering questions. It's possible that you may have a case for an unlawful detainer, but your attorney is in the best place to answer that. If you are unsatisfied, get a second opinion in person from another local attorney. Good luck to you.
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Q: Am married to a usa citizen, how can I get my green card

2 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 6, 2017

It depends on your situation. It will require filing a couple applications, and it could require to you to briefly return to your country in some cases. Consult with an immigration attorney. May can work with you remotely, or there are several qualified immigration attorneys in the Newport News area.
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Q: Is there an established definition of a Divided Highway in Virginia?

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 6, 2017

From the motor vehicle section of the Virginia Code, section 46.2-100:

"A highway may include two or more roadways if divided by a physical barrier or barriers or an unpaved area."

The division for the school bus stops includes a physical barrier (i.e. short concrete wall) or an unpaved area (i.e. grass/dirt). As a practical matter, stop for the bus if you have any doubt - better safe for the kids' sake.
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Q: My son will be 17 in October. His girlfriend is 19. They just had a baby 2 months ago. They have been together 2 years.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Domestic Violence for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 6, 2017

A parent can file for a protective order on behalf of their minor child. An eyewitness to a recent crime, such as an assault and battery, can contact the police or sheriff's department. Consult with a local family law attorney or with the local domestic violence advocates (for Fredericksburg, it's "Empowerhouse").
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Q: If child support is dropped in court than do they file all the paper work or do I? DCSE says he still has an open case?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 5, 2017

Either one of the parents should provide a copy of the order to DCSE so that they can take appropriate action. They might not close the case if there are unpaid arrears.
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Q: Please, I have a question about USCIS bulletin for October 2017

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 5, 2017

While you have filed the I-130, it doesn't sound like you've received an approval. You will have to wait for the approval, then match it to the dates in the second chart of the visa bulletin to see when she is eligible to file the forms to adjust status to that of a permanent resident.

Please consider consulting with an immigration attorney to prepare the adjustment packet, as you want to be certain that it is done correctly.

Good luck!
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Q: What paperwork do I need to get done to send my 2 year old to Tennessee with his great aunt for a year?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 5, 2017

It depends on the facts of the case, such as whether both parents agree to the placement. It may be as simple as executing a special power of attorney, or the relative may need to file a custody petition in an appropriate court. You may want to consult with a family law attorney in your area.
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Q: My neighbor owes $10k in child support arrears/interest. Her child is now 30 and her ex dead. Is there relief available?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 3, 2017

That is an interesting question. I would guess that the arrears are a debt owed to the ex's estate and must be paid unless there is some agreement otherwise. Help your neighbor arrange to speak with a family law attorney who can do a little research and review the underlying documents to find a more solid answer.
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Q: Am I able to cross examine the petitioner their Witness and the mother of the child? During a motion for visitation?

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 3, 2017

Parties have a right to cross-examine witnesses if they are called to testify. You may want to seek an attorney's assistance as a lawyer will know the appropriate ways to conduct cross-examination and help defend your case.
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Q: Are we able to get my sisters back?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 3, 2017

You'll have to ask a Pennsylvania attorney as the case and jurisdiction appear to be in that state. Post your question on the PA section of this website or seek out an attorney in the area where the PA case was heard.
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Q: I got pulled over for doing 74 in a 45 mph in Va. Now have court on oct 2 it's my 1st offense should I be worried

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 1, 2017

You may want to speak to a traffic attorney that practices in the area where you received the ticket. If you were given a reckless driving ticket, which is possible at this speed, that is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a fine and/or jail time. Call a few ticket attorneys - most will do a free consultation. Often there is a way to lower the charge on a first offense.
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Q: n virginia can my 37 year old daughter file for child support if she was raised by her step father?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 1, 2017

Is your question whether the adult daughter can file to receive money her biological father should have been paying to support her when she was a child? No, she cannot.
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Q: If I have child already then someone file child support against me for another child what document do I need to present

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 1, 2017

Any document showing you have custody of the child in your care (court order, birth certificate, lease, etc.) could be sufficient to allow you a credit in the child support calculation in the case against you. Just because you have a child in your care does not exempt you from paying to support your other children. Talk to a local family law attorney.
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Q: Can I get an annulment after 11 yrs of marriage and separation

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 1, 2017

It's highly unlikely unless one of you was married in the first place (bigamy). Consult with a local family law attorney - you're probably looking at divorce options instead of annulment.
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Q: my sons grandmother wants visitation of my son but refuses to come see him at my home do i have to make him go with her?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 27, 2017

It is always possible that a court could order visitation to a relative. It is up to the judge to determine if that happens and under what parameters. Speak with a family law attorney, and perhaps the court will appoint an attorney (guardian ad litem) to represent the child's interests.

Generally, you can't stop people from filing suits in court. Just because they can file doesn't mean they can win.
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