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Virginia Family Law Questions & Answers
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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If my kids live in Virginia, can their father who lives in NC take them from me during a summer visit?

I moved from NC to VA almost 2 yrs ago with my kids. My ex and I are divorced b/c of his drug addiction and there is no custody agreement. He lives with his mom and they want to get the kids for the entire summer in NC. I'm afraid they might not return the kids to me here in Virginia. Can they... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 11, 2021

In the absence of a court order addressing custody and visitation, both parents have equal rights to, and responsibility for, their minor children. Normally, a divorce case would address custody and visitation, so it is strange that there is no court order in effect. The solution is to file... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can you stay at the house of a relative if they don't want you to? Isn't that illegal?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 29, 2021

Maybe. I need more information. Is the person staying a spouse? Is it a dependent child? Even if there is no duty of support, criminal law only becomes involved if there is a crime, such as breaking and entering or trespass, so calling the tenancy illegal stretches the common meaning of illegality.... Read more »

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 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 Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: My child's father has asked me to not file for child support, however, he will not help financially. What do I do?

His father barely sees him, and does not want to help financially, even though he said he would. He never offers anything and doesn't even help buy him anything. I don't know what I am supposed to do anymore.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Mar 23, 2021

Both parents have a legal duty to support their children. Child support is paid to the parent with primary physical custody or the parent to him a support obligation is owed under the shared custody guidelines computations. A child support case can be initiated in the Commonwealth of Virginia in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: How do I prepare for a hearing over mutually agreed upon child support and custody in official divorce decree?

My ex spouse filed for child support before we divorced (I have made every payment) and during our divorce we renegotiated our payments VIA our LAWYERS. I filed the official divorce decree that was signed by a JUDGE with the juvenile court in Chesapeake, VA which I was told to do by my lawyers so... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Mar 16, 2021

Parents cannot effectively bargain away their children's rights to child support. While a court will consider a written agreement between the parties, it is not binding on the court, and the court can order whatever amount is deemed appropriate after calculating the presumptively correct... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: What kind of lawyer do I need to talk to about custody of children?

Grandmother has physical custody of two children, parents share joint custody. Mother is in jail, and father wants to know his rights about getting custody of his children.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Mar 2, 2021

Custody cases in Virginia are routinely handled by family law lawyers and divorce lawyers.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Civil Litigation and Domestic Violence for Virginia on
Q: can I have the form in Virginia to request a motion to dismiss a preliminary removal order?

I'm just looking for the form needed to request a motion for dismissal of a removal order in Virginia.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Feb 27, 2021

Go to the family court website for the form that you need, or call the clerk's office on Monday for the website link.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I have joint custody of my 2 children 16 and 13. I am filing for change of custody can they stay with me until court dat

There was sexual assault in the home. Mother no longer lives there and there is a court case with the stepfather begining. Both children have come to me and dont want to go back to there mothers. Because the place they live now the have no privacy or have there own room. Plus the other adults are... Read more »

Kelly L. Vasta
Kelly L. Vasta answered on Feb 19, 2021

Typically, the current order that is in place still stands and must be followed until a judge rules differently. However, it sounds as though you may have a good faith basis to file for an emergency hearing (that would advance the case on the docket) to address the current situation. I would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Custodial parent is moving 200+ miles away for a new job. Who is responsible for transporting the child for visits?
Kelly L. Vasta
Kelly L. Vasta answered on Feb 19, 2021

Typically a court would have the parties share travel; however, there are a lot of factors that can cause a court to deviate from sharing travel expenses. More information would be needed to provide a proper analysis. I would recommend that you consult with an experienced family law attorney to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Can the NC parent add our daughter to his insurance if I have legal custody and already carry coverage?

Recently, I reopened a CS order due to 1.5 years of non-payment based on a mutual agreement with the NC parent. Now that he is being legally ordered to pay CS, he mentioned adding our daughter to his health insurance. Since he is unable to make legal decisions based on the custody order, I... Read more »

Kelly L. Vasta
Kelly L. Vasta answered on Feb 19, 2021

In order to properly answer your question, there is more information that is needed. I would recommend that you consult with an experienced family law attorney to review the current issues you are facing with the child support and health insurance.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Support, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Virginia on
Q: Judgement in va ordered to pay . Hearing that defendant ordered to pay (was not notified of the hearing)

Why no record of service at clerks office . After receiving judgement order to pay attorney fees. Not only not notified of hearing but judge wrote no reason for judgement.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Feb 10, 2021

In Virginia, a judge will not enter a judgment against the defendant unless there is proof of service on the defendant. You may want to go to the Court to review the file or hire an attorney to review the file for you.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Can a parent and their lawyer refuse to sign the court order if they don’t agree with the judgement

Kid’s mom and lawyer refuse to sign child support order, because it didn’t go her way.

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Jan 20, 2021

They can refuse to sign. If that case, a hearing is docketed for entry of the order.

The order need only reflect what the judge ruled. Not what the parties wanted the judge to rule.

If the parties disagree with the ruling, they file an appeal to have the ruling reviewed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I legally claim child on 2021 taxes and what is required to do so? I live in VA.

Divorce decree states ex claims child on taxes. Joint custody but ex never sees child and child lives with me 100% of the time. Child support terminates when child turns 18 or graduates which will both occur in June 2021. Since child turns 18, lives with me, and I will support fully for 6 months... Read more »

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Jan 19, 2021

The tax deduction can either be a part of child support or a part of custody. The custody provisions in a court order expire when a child turns 18 years of age. The support provisions also end upon age 18 unless the child remains in high or has a disability. So, in your circumstance, arguably, the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I want to cancel a life insurance policy on my ex-wife. It is part of our divorce agreement.

we are divorced 20 years. In the final divorce agreement I am required to keep this policy. The afeement does not say for how long. My ex and I have terrible relationship. The policy keeps going up and up. I have a loan against it that may cause the policy to implode this year or next. I need... Read more »

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Jan 14, 2021

An agreement is a contract. A contract can be changed by the parties, not the court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Can ex plan activities on my visitation days?

Can ex plan activities on my scheduled visitation days? My 'Parenting Time' is every other weekend but we have an Activities section in our agreement. It states "The parties shall equally share any reasonable and necessary expenses for agreed upon extracurricular activities for the... Read more »

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Dec 29, 2020

No. Your time is yours. See Eichelberger v. Eichelberger, 2 Va.App. 409, 345 S.E.2d 10 (Va. App., 1986).

The expenses are "agreed upon" expenses. Don't agree to expenses the require activities on your weekend if you don't want to do them.

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Virginia on
Q: If a judge says good behavior for a DV charge,and the ruling is AFTER you get a DWI, can he use the DWI against you?

Fiance received a ruling of good behavior for 2 years and the judge made the decision on June 1st. Well my fiance got a dwi while he was awaiting trial for the domestic violence. IF the judge made the ruling of 2 years good behavior, can the judge use the dwi against him, or would it even count if... Read more »

Paula Hough
Paula Hough answered on Oct 12, 2020

Typically, an offense that occurred before the judge's order will not violate the "general good behavior" order.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Non custodial father won’t return kids. We weren’t married, no custody papers, and he hasn’t signed birth certificates.

What steps do I take in getting them back home?

Afsana Chowdhury
Afsana Chowdhury answered on Sep 10, 2020

You should consult an attorney to review all the facts of your situation and determine if filing a police report would be a good idea and also discuss your options of having formal custody.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I just do parent plans for visitation between my ex and I and just have notarized or do I have to go to court.

I live in Oregon and she is in Virginia. We had verbal agreement but wondering if we can write something up and take it to be notarized if that would be a legal document so I can get her for Christmas every other year and during the summer. Daughter is 14.

Afsana Chowdhury
Afsana Chowdhury answered on Aug 25, 2020

Parties can enter into a written agreement regarding issues like child custody, visitation, and child support. However, if you want the agreement to be enforced by the JDR Court, you should hire an attorney who can assist you with having it incorporated into a consent order.

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