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Questions Answered by Sonja Aoun
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: My spouse and I will be attempting in home separation in Virginia. He is an airline pilot. If I take a trip to visit

family or friends or just go to a hotel or an apartment while he's off work and in the home every week, is that desertion? I would make it known to our adult children and my family and friends that I'm returning on a certain date each time. He initiated the divorce. I have agreed. Update:... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 20, 2022

Temporary absences without the intent to separate permanently do not amount to desertion in Virginia. The court may view the trips to visit family and friends differently than leaving to go to an apartment or hotel when your spouse is home differently, however. Also, notifying other people that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: My parents have been seperated for 40+ years. My father has become ill and I wanted to know how to get them divorced

My mother has not been around my entire life and claimed she has remarried but I dont know how if she still is married legally to my father. I just want them divorced in case my father passes I dont want her entitled to any of my father's assets

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 20, 2022

If your father wants to file for divorce, he can do so if he has been a Virginia resident for the past six months. When he files for divorce, if he doesn't know where your mother is, he will need to file an affidavit verifying that he doesn't know her address. He can then request that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: Is this a breach of attorney client confidentiality in the state of Va?

I am getting divorced. Separated 5yrs. 3 yrs ago I dated a guy who stalked me when we broke up. My soon to be husband hired the lawyer I used for my PO. This lawyer has in writing told his client details of my po case. I’ve read it. Stuff that he only knows bc he represented me. Stuff my husband... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 10, 2022

Have you notified the attorney that you did not consent to sharing this information? If not, you should do so and ask that he cease representing your husband. Or, you can ask your attorney to make this request for you. Your husband's lawyer should then withdraw from the case.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Reference Custody and Visitation. I went to court on December 14, 2021, when does a custody order go into effect?

Our original order went into effect June 2020, and advised drop offs and pick ups are to occur at my parents place. My amendment requests a new location, among 12 other changes. The Guardian Ad Litem suggested a location, and now my ex-husband files paperwork every time I do not do exchanges at the... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 10, 2022

This type of confusion happens frequently after a hearing. Did you have an attorney? If so, please ask the attorney who has been representing you for clarity. Often someone has asked the judge when the order takes effect. If no date is specified, the usual default is that once a judge has made... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: In 50/50 custody, can mother refuse to allow children to be on fathers employer health insurance?

In the midst of divorce/custody case. Mother elected to not put children on her employer provided health insurance and instead has them on Medicaid. I am now receiving benefits through my employer and as of 01/01/2022 have enrolled myself and two children in this health care plan. Can mother refuse... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 4, 2022

Generally speaking, a court will prefer that a child has high-quality insurance if the parents can afford it. For that reason, health insurance premium payments for children are taken into consideration when calculating child support.

You don't mention whether there is a court order...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Am I obligated to pay medical bill for child if I’m the non custodial parent without a child support order?

I was recently the physical custodian. Son decided to move with dad. Dad has never carried insurance or paid any medical bills in the past. The current bill is the dads girl friends name. And she keeps asking for the money and threatening court.

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Jan 4, 2022

Generally speaking, if there is no order requiring you to pay for the health care costs, then there is no obligation to do so. If the child's father seeks court assistance, he could get an order that requires payment of health care costs that are not reimbursed by an insurance plan. However,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: My husband inherited a house from his mother. He added my name to the deed. We are now going to get a divorce.

Do I have a claim to the house

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Dec 27, 2021

Generally speaking, an inheritance will remain someone's separate property in Virginia. However, the property may become marital under certain circumstances. Adding your name to the title may or may not be enough to make the property marital. It would depend on other details, like the way... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Name change in VA

If you want to change your full name in VA and get married, do you need to get the full name changed first or can it be done the same time you change ur last name for marriage

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Dec 19, 2021

You can do that when you marry. (You could also do so in advance, but it's more work, costs more, and isn't necessary.)

As soon as you are married, the licensed marriage celebrant files the marriage certificate. You then request certified copies of the marriage certificate from...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I make my sons father pay 10 years of back child support?

I have a court ordered child support order which has been in effect since my son was 1 years old. His father abandoned him after losing the case and tired to jump back into his life at the age of 11. He claimed he would help out. Last year I put the 10 year old chip support order into action with... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Dec 17, 2021

It sounds like you should be able to enforce the original order and sue for the full amount of child support owed. If the court has not made any changes to the original order, then he will have to pay.

In order to fully answer your question, an attorney would need the specific details of...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: My mother lives in Newport News VA. She wants to leave me her house that still has a mortgage. What is the best way
Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Dec 17, 2021

Generally speaking, a house that has a mortgage on it can still be transferred upon the owner's death. Most people use a will or a trust to do this, but it does matter which type of trust is used. For example, if someone attempts to leave their house to another person and retitle it into the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: My state's age for emancipation is 16. I am 14 and would like to be emancipated. Is there a way that I can do this?

My stepdad molests me and my mom doesn't believe me because she believes that I will just try and say anything to get rid of him. Little does she know that this is the reason I don't like him. I had suicidal thoughts at first, but then I found out about emancipation. I am financially... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Dec 16, 2021

I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing something like this. If you don't think you can talk to your mom, then please talk to a trusted adult or the school counselor right away about this. In Virginia, you can also call this hotline to report abuse: (800) 552-7096.

If your...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Can I get a woman who tried to run my 8 year old and me off the road listed as an excluded adult on the visitation order

This a a woman who stalked me and my child for years and made threats against me. My ex husband was abusive and has a history of domestic violence. He has been arrested for DMV. He will use this woman and other circumstances to put my son in danger. The woman tried to run my child and me off the... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Dec 14, 2021

Generally speaking, you may be able to get a protective order for stalking, but the protective order would have to include your child to prevent her from being present during visitation.

If you don't have enough evidence for a protective order, you may be able to get an order that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If I’ve been in recovery and clean off drugs can I get my custody back?

There’s a long history between me and my sons grandmother and she just doesn’t like me and always wanted to take my son from me. Well she filed a petition with the court and the judge gave her temporary legal and physical custody even though I had proof I was clean and in an outpatient program.... Read more »

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on May 28, 2021

It's great that you are taking steps to be and stay sober, and the longer that continues, the better. Courts are looking out for children's best interests, and that means parents with problems need to take steps to address them. That may include individual counseling, drug treatment,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: Who do I contact to see if the Court System has processed my final divorce documents? Ex wife’s lawyers filed the docs.

My ex wife’s lawyers created and filed the final divorce documents. I would like to get a copy of it and make sure it has actually been filed and processed. I want to have verification that we are legally divorced.

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on May 4, 2021

Some courts have this information online, but you can also call the Circuit Court clerk's office for the Virginia city or county where the divorce was filed. That's usually where you and/or ex lives.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Virginia on
Q: How can I get a subpoena without a lawyer? May I object to questions on interrogatories due to dress?

How can I get a subpoena without a lawyer?

May I object to questions on interrogatories due to dress? The questions are absolutely placing me under duress and giving him all of the criminal evidence used against him

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Apr 29, 2021

In some cases, you may request the clerk's office to issue a subpoena for you. The clerks cannot give you advice about how to request the subpoena, but many courts have forms available. A good place to start is the website of the court your legal matter is in. The Supreme Court of Virginia... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Virginia on
Q: I owe over 14,000 in child support arrears and our kids are all over 19. Can i get it reduced or waived?

Most of the arrears that i owe is because i was out of work because i could not afford to work. The first couple of years that i paid child support my bring home checks after taxes and child support was deducted i only brought home $0.14 a week. Is there anything i can do?

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Apr 23, 2021

A court cannot grant you relief from an arrearage in child support. It is very important to make sure you making at least some contribution to the debt so you are not held in contempt of court. If your wages are being garnished, there are limits to the amount that can be withheld by law. An... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Virginia on
Q: I have been done wrong by two lawyers that i have paid. Is there a lawyer who would help contingent on payment after?

Pay after settlement We have been separated for two years now

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Apr 16, 2021

It sounds like you're in a difficult situation. However, not many attorneys would be interested in this type of arrangement. You may wish to contact some of the local agencies who provide pro bono or low-cost services for legal clients. Or, you might invite your spouse to mediation. You can... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: We live in Virginia but my daughter who is 171/2 want to live with a friend in Alabama. Is this legal with my permission
Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Apr 14, 2021

You will need to find out whether this arrangement is permissible in Alabama. As her parents, under Virginia law, you are still responsible for her and required to support her financially. If she wishes to ask a court in Virginia for emancipation, she could do so if she meets the criteria. Then... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: I share 50/50 legal custody and have visitation in VA, I recently remarried. Can my wife to get kid info on my behalf?

My new wife has been around the kids since 2018. Until recently my ex included her in everything and authorized her to full access. We were all friendly happy coparents until marriage- now my ex is hiring a lawyer to keep my wife away from the kids who LOVE her.

Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun answered on Apr 8, 2021

I understand your question to be whether you can authorize your new wife to access your children's information on your behalf. You can certainly add your wife as another person who can receive information or contact the school or doctor's office, for example, but the children's... Read more »

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