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Questions Answered by Gary D. Godman
1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
Q: How should I request a dismissal through driving school or a deferral for a traffic ticket in Virginia?

I got a speeding citation for driving 37 in a 25 MPH zone in Virginia. My only other ticket was in April 2019 and it was out of state (84 in 65 MPH zone). I did take a defensive driving class in June 2018 for a ticket dismissal.

In my circumstance, should I request the court/judge for a... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Mar 25, 2021

If you took a driving class for a dismissal less than 5 years ago, many judges will not give you the option again. Speak with a traffic attorney in your specific jurisdiction to see if there is any extra info you can give that might help your chances of a reduction or dismissal.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If I don't show up for a cps hearing which I have been accused of child abuse and neglect can I get put in jail
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Mar 25, 2021

If you don't attend a court hearing to which you have been summonsed, you risk being held in contempt for failing to appear, which can include jail time. Failing to appear could also mean that the court finds that you have abused the child if you are not there to defend your case. Speak with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
Q: 46.2-835 but the described charge is 52/35 is the ticket invalid?

The described charge is speeding 52 in 35, or is it just a speeding ticket then with the wrong Law section?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Mar 25, 2021

Sounds like the officer may have accidentally filled in the wrong code section. As you likely noticed, 46.2-835 references turning right on a red light. Keep your court date as the judge is likely to allow the officer to verbally amend the error in open court. Contact a traffic attorney to look... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: In VA, what are the consequences of violating a court order regarding overnight contact with paramour? See more info.

The paperwork states, “Neither party shall expose the child to a paramour on an overnight basis..” Overnight is defined as of 8pm-8am. Would violating this order, with the support of evidence/proof be grounds to overturn a existing custody agreement?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Mar 25, 2021

If someone is violating a court order, the remedy is to file a "motion for a rule to show cause" - basically, a request for the other side to be held in contempt of court. Some violations may give rise to grounds to amend a custody order. Consult with a family law attorney in your area... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: I have joint custody and pay child support. The mother is withholding the kids. Can I put child support in escrow?

On 1/25/2021, the court ruled on joint custody and child support. The mother found out I am in a new relationship and now refuses to adhere to the legal agreement and is demanding I bring her everything in my home I bought our kids. She never fully complied with the order; I do not know where she... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Mar 25, 2021

It's a good theory but ultimately not allowed - support and visitation are two separate issues in the eyes of the court. Support should still be paid as ordered, and a show-cause may be appropriate for the violation of the visitation order. Speak with a local family law attorney about how to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Q: I live in Va and will be getting married in Las Vegas soon. Will my income still be part of my fiancé child support?
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jan 3, 2018

Virginia does not include a new spouse's income in child support calculations. If the order is from another state, the answer may be different.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: custodial father moved without notifying court or mother and says mother abandoned child, is father in contempt?
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jan 3, 2018

Impossible to say without knowing if there is a current court order in effect and what it might say. Have an attorney review the order and give you possible options.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: The 11 yo child I am supporting was born in VA, I lived in PA. Child is not mine after 11 yrs what can I do?

I find out he is not mine what right do I have even though I signed the paternity acknowledgement in the hospital after not sleeping for a day and coming down from PA to see the child who was born early.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jan 3, 2018

If a father finds out he is not, in fact, the father, in Virginia he can file a motion to disestablish paternity, which can allow for a DNA test. Unfortunately, there is not much to be done about the money that is already paid. That is why if you believe you aren't the father, you should... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Need Info On a Petition/Custody. Was Not Informed About Thing.. What type of Edvidence Do I Need To Bring?

What kinds of documentation Will I Need To Present If The Judge May Ask ? Recieved something in the mail about it , Kind Of Stuck Not Sure What To Expect.. Court Date Will Be In Richmond Va

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jan 3, 2018

I can't say what type of documents you might need as each case is different and depends on the facts surrounding the children. You can review the broad factors the judge considers in any Virginia custody hearing here: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title20/chapter6.1/section20-124.3/... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
Q: Sentenced to driving school in va for #2 ticket, had #1 in TN. Got #3 after court sen. and before class. Can still take?

The 1st ticket in Tn was a failure to obey road sign. #2 was a reckless driving ticket in VA because my wheel axel snapped while turning sharp and lost control and crashed the car. This is when I was sentenced to driving school. #3 was a red light in VA that i got after I was sentenced to driving... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jan 3, 2018

You can probably still take the class, but one of the requirements to having the court reduce/dismiss the charge is that you obtain no new tickets for a certain amount of time after you are sent to driving school. Call or meet with a traffic attorney, if you don't already have one, to review... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Hi For ignorance I signed my ex the sole custody and then now she removed my surname from my daughter at the oddest cou

Trial ever. Now she doesn’t let me speak to her on Skype FaceTime what’s app .. nothing . Saying that is on her best interest ( she decided that ) I know it’s all out of revenge and hate but is there something I can do?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jan 3, 2018

Unfortunately, it's impossible to give a general online answer to what is clearly a complicated issue that has already been heard in court. You need to take as much paperwork as possible to a local family law attorney to see what, if anything, can be salvaged at this point.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
Q: Do you have to stop for a bus on a divided highway that had a break for an intersection in Virginia?
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jan 3, 2018

I think it depends on the size of the break, and what type of intersection - major crossing street, or simple turnoff into a neighborhood. If you've been charged under these circumstances, it would be worth consulting with a traffic attorney in your area to look a little closer at the law as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on
Q: Two year protective order against spouse showing signs of dementia. He is contacting me via text. He needa help not jail

I have a 2 year protection order against my spouse of 28 years. It has come to my attention that he is more than likely in the 1st or 2nd stages of dementia. He has started texting me nonstop, calling and crying. He also recently came to my home and flipped his vehicle into a ditch totalling it. He... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jan 3, 2018

Without knowing all the details, it appears there is not much you can do. It is unfortunately up to him to decide to get treatment. If you don't want to drop the protective order, you shouldn't. Perhaps you or your children should research mental health options in your area to see if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
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
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Virginia on
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

My father is a diplomat and mights be going back to work in native country.My visa expired the end of next year. What can I do to stay in the US. or at least obtain a green card.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Immigration Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a green card holder have their own business in the US?

I am a Canadian citizen married to a US citizen, but in the process of getting divorced now. I started my own business and I don't want to have to wrap it up and go back to Canada. Does my green card allow me to continue living in the US and continue my business?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: If I don't receive a subpoena for court, do I have to go?

My ex petitioned for child support increase and didn't tell me. She didn't give them my address correctly so I was never served. She just texted me and told me and the court date is in 7 days.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
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.

he has been in out of her life. can he get visitstion rights??

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: Is my separation agreement enough to evict? What can I expect?

We have a legal separation agreement in place, which gave my ex a lump sum of money and time to secure housing. This agreement states that she must leave the home I own by November 18. She moved intonto my home and I was forced to leave. She moved in on July 1 and has until November to get a job... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Virginia on
Q: Am married to a usa citizen, how can I get my green card
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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... Read more »

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