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Virginia Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Can My Father Still control what I do at 18 years of age?

I'm 18 years old and live in Virginia. I want to move in with my aunt but my Dad says I can't and that he can still control what I do and where I live, is this true? Can he really still control my life? Will I have to take him to court?

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Aug 5, 2021

If you are 18, you can live wherever you want.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I have 3 children give and under the age of 5, the father live over 1,000 miles away. Am I responsible for communication

Do I have to call him or does he need to call the kids since he left?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Jul 26, 2021

An important factor in custody and visitation disputes between fit parents is the propensity of each parent to allow the children to have a relationship with the other parent, in fact, ideally, to promote that relationship. Visitation is a privilege, not a responsibility. No one can make a parent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Q: How long do I store my wife's items in my home before I can remove them? Left 16 months ago. Divorce not final yet.

I ask my wife to leave and she left March 4, 2020 and I ask her to take her clothes and belongings with her when she left. I have repeatedly ask her to get her belongings but she has refused. On May 2, 2021, I have her until May 31, 2021 to remove her belongings but she has refused to do so. I... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 28, 2021

I regret that I do not handle domestic relations and/or divorce law matters. Sorry.

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 »

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 Family Law for Virginia on
Q: How do I change my last name as an adult?

I grew up with my dad but with my mom's last name, but we are in America and I've lived with my dad the most of my life. I am now 18 and is willing to change my last name to his.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Apr 17, 2021

A name change petition is an easy, routine legal matter. Many Virginia circuit courts have fill-in-the-blank form packets for residents, as the requests for assistance would otherwise take up their valuable time. Anyone considering a name change should visit the local city or county circuit court... Read more »

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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