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Questions Answered by Gary D. Godman
1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: My neighbor owes $10k in child support arrears/interest. Her child is now 30 and her ex dead. Is there relief available?

Trying to help out a neighbor. Her passport was denied on this basis. She is single, earns minimum wage, and this debt is crushing. What options does she have?

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

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Am I able to cross examine the petitioner their Witness and the mother of the child? During a motion for visitation?

I have a protective order against the mother and the petitioner. My court date is this Wednesday and I need to know if I am ready for this hearing. It's my motion for visitation that I believe that I've been alienized by the mother and the grandmother. For my child.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Are we able to get my sisters back?

My mother was taken to court in pa for her girls and the judge in pa took his favor so we fled and went to va went to court here and he won the girls yesterday. They did no home visit to see if my mother was an unfit parent and both the girls said they did not want to go with there father with a... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
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

I recently got my provisionals license and am worried if I will get points taken off or if my insurance will rise what should I do?. It's my first and at the time it was 5 am and just got off of work and got distracted what should I do ? Should I get my own lawyer to help me get a better chance of... Read more »

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

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: n virginia can my 37 year old daughter file for child support if she was raised by her step father?
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: If I have child already then someone file child support against me for another child what document do I need to present

In court

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

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: Can I get an annulment after 11 yrs of marriage and separation
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
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?

i have sole custody since my sons father passed away last year. The deceased family whom are welcome to see my son anytime they wish have now one by one filed for custody and now visitation. my son wants to see them but isnt comfortable leaving me to do so. His uncle filed for custody last year and... Read more »

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

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: Do I need to file a subpoena for the production of documents for my divorce case or can I just ask for it during trial?

It's a divorce case and I need bank statements.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 27, 2017

There is no real likelihood of asking for and receiving those documents the day of trial. Parties can either subpoena documents or request the other side provide copies in the discovery process. If you are in a contested divorce (which it sounds like you are), you need to speak with an attorney... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Last weekend I moved my stuff out of my dads house. He is trying to take legal action, what can he do? (virginia)

I lived with my dad for a little over a year, and i moved out a few days ago, just took out the items that i use, and I had a key to the house, only me and 2 friends entered the house, and when i was done i left the key on the table and informed him about it.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 27, 2017

He could request you return or compensate him for any items that he owned that were taken. If you're served with a lawsuit, talk to an attorney about what you did and didn't take, and whose stuff it was.

1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: My daughter and I are wanting to move out of state next summer. She is 16 yrs old. what do i have to do?

Her father and her dont really have a relationship, on her choice. For me, i have family down there and better job opportunities. There was a custody agreement filed 15 yrs ago, and hasnt been revisited since. He pays nothing and doesnt contribute for many years now. What steps do i need to take to... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 27, 2017

Unless the court order says otherwise, every party in a custody case has to give at least 30 days' written notice to the court and the other parties of any intent to move. The other parent can then bring suit in court to challenge the move if they wish. Talk to a local family law attorney to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Filed for CS in VA for 2 kids, the other parent lives in MD. One child resides with my aunt part-time in MD for school.

My son resides with my Aunt during the week to attend school however, I still provide everything for him. How will this affect my child support order?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 27, 2017

That sounds like more than "part time." If the aunt does not have any custodial rights, it might not affect the case, but it may give the other parent some decent arguments for reduced support. Speak with a lawyer who practices family law in the jurisdiction where you filed.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Should we file a show cause?

Husband has joint legal and physical custody. We have her 3 weekends a month and spilt holidays and 3 weeks on 1 week off in summer.. We live 3 and half hours from mom by the way.

His daughter has been having anexity and had panic attack first day of school. Mom and dad decided she needs... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 27, 2017

I suggest listening to your attorney who is familiar with the case. Unlike attorneys online, that person has read the court order and is in the best position to advise you. If you want a second opinion, consult with another attorney in person or by phone/email so the attorney can review the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Are my parents allowed to get someone to report my whereabouts and doings?

I am 17 and my parents have someone essentially spying on me in the neighborhood. They don't approve of my friends down the road and have forbade me from associating with them. Is it legal for them to get other parents to watch me and and my friends when they aren't home? It makes me feel strange... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 27, 2017

Unless this person is stalking you (in a legal sense - putting you in fear of death or injury), there's not much to be done. It's your parents' job to keep you out of trouble, and if this is how they choose to do it, there is likely nothing illegal about it.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If my ex refuses to sign a final agreement made in court it is still valid?

My ex and I divorced in 2012. I owned several parcels of real estate prior to the marriage. Two being rental houses in my corporate name. He collected $230K in rent over the time of separation and divorce. Admitted in request for admissions. We fought over the real estate until 2016 when I was told... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 27, 2017

It may have been agreed in court, but the real question is, do you have a court order mandating this? First, set an appointment to speak to your attorney in person - he/she is the one who knows the case better than anyone answering questions online. If you aren't satisfied, speak to another... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: My god son's mother and I want joint custody of our son but his dad won't give us his address so he can be notified

His father had never been in his life , he refuses to take a DNA test. We can't move on without his information. What should we do

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jun 15, 2017

He can be served by a private process server, or he could be served by publication in a newspaper if the situation is appropriate for that. Talk to a local family law attorney for specific suggestions based on the full facts of your case.

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Virginia on
Q: RFE for joint sponsor tax documents for recent year. They haven't filed this year yet but we filed the papers before the

end of the tax season. So do they want this years evidence or last years?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jun 2, 2017

Sounds like they want this year, which by now is already due to the IRS. If it's unclear, please speak to an immigration attorney to review your documents. You don't want to get the case denied for sending in the wrong paperwork.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Virginia on
Q: I got a speeding ticket 76/55 in 2014 but the dmv says I have reckless on my record

The officer informed me It could be reckless but he dropped it to just a speeding ticket. Why does it still say reckless and is there anything I can do to change it?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jun 2, 2017

You may want to get a certified copy of the records from the court. If they show simple speeding (not reckless), you may be able to provide that to DMV to have them correct their records. Talk with a VA traffic attorney if you can't make any headway on your own.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: my ex-has everyother weekend and for the summer he gets 2 16 day vacation does that mean he still gets everyother weeken
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jun 2, 2017

Can't say without seeing the court order. Often it will contain language that says "summer visitation supersedes regular visitation" or "in addition to regular visitation, dad shall have 2 weeks in the summer." You may want to talk to a local family law attorney if it is unclear.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Is there a law for Virginia that dictates which parent has to do the driving to meet for visitation with joint custody?

I am the father and have joint custody with liberal visitation.

We have been doing the same schedule for over 4 years.

Her reason for wanting me to drive all the distance is for personal convenience, nothing to do with the well being of the child.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jun 2, 2017

There is no default rule for who provides transportation. Absent a requirement in a custody/visitation order, this is something that would have to be decided between the parties.

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