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Virginia Family Law Questions & Answers
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.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Litigation and Identity Theft for Virginia on
Q: My mom just signed herself out of a mental hospital and no one knows where she is at. She just recently stole my sisters

My mom just signed herself out of a mental hospital and no one knows where she is at. She just recently stole my sisters identity and I have told her to leave me alone and she hasnt known where I lived. She has found out thpugh where I live and I do not feel safe what can I do to protect myself as... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Aug 24, 2020

You must go to the Clerk's Office for the General District Court for the county/city where you live a file a Request for a Protective Order. The clerks will help you with the forms.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: I live in Virginia, have 5 yr old boy & I'm pregnant by same father. I'm not married, can I legally take my son to FL?

My significant other says he will call law enforcement and say I kidnapped my own son if I take him to Florida to visit with my family. We are not married, can I leagally take my son and unborn child to florida without his permission?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Aug 20, 2020

Unless and until there is a court order, both biological parents have equal rights to and responsibilities for their child(ren). Either could travel with the child for a family visit within the U.S. If there is a court order in place, taking against the terms of the order might be considered... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Family Law and Collections for Virginia on
Q: VA law on oral agreements. My ex husband and I orally agreed to pay a loan for our son's college. After my ex paid a few

payments to me by check, he stopped paying. I continued to pay my share and his share. Can I sue him for the amount he was supposed to pay, but did not? Thanks, Cathleen

Thank you for your reply. I don't understand the cited text from the statute. If my ex and I agreed to pay for our... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Aug 17, 2020

Parents in Virginia have no legal obligation to support their capable, able-bodied adult children. However, the parents of a child may create a binding legal obligation to pay for their child's college education. Virginia Code Section 20-155 validates marital agreements provided they are in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I change my first name after marriage in Virginia?
Afsana Chowdhury
Afsana Chowdhury answered on Aug 13, 2020

An adult can change his/her name anytime they like, marriage or no marriage, so long as it's not for fraudulent purposes.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: So my dad left us for a couple of months and was now living with another woman. My mom wants divorce and he refused

So we just want to know what we can do about it. My dad was basically living with his other woman and he refused to get a divorce from my mom. Also, is there any way my mom can get spousal support?

Sandy Lynne Meade
Sandy Lynne Meade answered on Aug 8, 2020

I'm sorry for your circumstances. One spouse can file for divorce in the state where he/she resides for the last 6 months. She would have to get someone 18 or older to personally serve the other person with the divorce papers. One person can get a divorce from another person without the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Mom passed and half sister is executor. She is keeping all records to herself. Does she have to disclose records to us?

Half sister's name was added to moms bank acct after dad passed, so she says the money is hers. Is this true even if the will states all assets are to be distributed evenly to all heirs? She says low bank balance, but I know otherwise. Are we able to view bank records? Shouldn't she have... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Aug 4, 2020

This definitely is going to be something to discuss with an attorney who regularly works with probate.

The executor has control over personal property for the payment of debts, taxes, etc., but there is generally a fiduciary duty that the executor refrain from self-dealing. The executor...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: How do I submit to have CS modify due to reduce of income? The divorce was in Hawaii. I am in VA. The kids are in CA.

I had a divorce finalized in Hawaii. After that, I move to Virginia while the kids moved to California with the mother. My income has been reduced. I would like to request a decrease in the payment

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Jul 20, 2020

If Hawaii issued the child support order in effect, Hawaii is the only state that can modify child support so long as a parent or child continues to live in Hawaii.

If everyone leaves Hawaii, then the parent seeking to modify support has to modify support in the responding parent's...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Does my daughters mom have to inform me or the court of a change in circumstances, such as increased pay or no daycare?

My original support amount was $800 when I was making 4350 a month and she made 1160 and had $800 a month in daycare costs. Does she have to update the court of changes/increase in pay or about removing our daughter from day care? I have reason to believe her pay doubled since then and she no... Read more »

Afsana Chowdhury
Afsana Chowdhury answered on Jul 17, 2020

If you suspect that the other parent’s income has increased by at least 25%, you can request a review and adjustment. As for your other question, the court can deviate from the guideline child support amount to factor in the childcare costs of a custodial parent enrolled in an educational program... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: My parents are going through a divorce and my mom is making false financial abuse claims against my father.

No

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Jun 30, 2020

You have no responsibility to do anything. While your parents divorce certainly impacts you, you do not have any legal responsibility to do anything or be involved. If you WANT to be involved that's a different story and you could be involved as much or as little as you feel comfortable with,... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Juvenile Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Are their any laws that prevent a parent of an 18 year old from going to see their lover or friends

Also are there any laws that prevent a toxic, controlling parent from controlling an 18 year old’s life

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jun 29, 2020

I regret that I do not handle family law or juvenile law cases. Sorry.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Can ex get an order in state of VA prohibiting fiancé to move in?

We have been separated for 8 months joint custody of 2 kids. Agreement says we will not interfere in the others life and live as though we were never married. Can he obtain such an agreement and can I fight it? Fiancé is a great man and loves my kids.

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jun 29, 2020

The agreement appears to just say that you and the ex are living as you two, specifically, are not married to one another. It's not requiring that you live unmarried, most likely, and if it is, then it's probably invalid.

If there is a custody order from the court where the...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights, Juvenile Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: Can a parent legally restrict an 18 year old that still lives under their roof from leaving the house.

Are their any laws that prevent a parent of an 18 year old from going to see their lover or friends

Also are there any laws that prevent a toxic, controlling parent from controlling an 18 year old’s life

Afsana Chowdhury
Afsana Chowdhury answered on Jun 24, 2020

Once they’re 18, they’re an adult and get to make their own decisions. You cannot force an adult to stay in your home if they don’t want to. But you can make an adult leave your home as long as you follow the law in doing so.

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: In Virginia, is a mortgage, after separation date, considered a marital debt, including Principal, Interest, and tax?

Wife abandon the marriage and left for me to take care of the mortgage (principal and escrow). She is living in a mortgage free home in an other area. Am I entitled to be credited/reimbursed any of the mortgage or will I be responsible for the full cost.

Also does all of the equity,... Read more »

Afsana Chowdhury
Afsana Chowdhury answered on Jun 19, 2020

Debt accrued during the marriage, such as a mortgage, is considered marital and is distributed equitably in a divorce. This also applies to the division of equity. Equitable does not mean “equal”. It means fair. To make an equitable division, courts generally consider each party’s separate... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: What can i do? Can i go get my daughters will it bring in legal trouble?

I have full legal custody of my two daughters. I moved on to Texas and signed a six-month long power of attorney over to my sister who lives in Virginia Beach so my girls can finish school. My sister is now telling me I am not allowed to get my daughters that she is going to keep them. Shes... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 26, 2020

Certain powers are non-delegable - they cannot be given to someone else because of the personal nature of the power. You cannot effectively give parenting power by a power of attorney to someone. I am surprised anyone accepted your sister's power of attorney for you. Even parents, with... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Civil Litigation and Domestic Violence for Virginia on
Q: In Powhatan county Virginia I have a Protective Order for my children against my wife's paramour. How do I extend it?

My wife's paramour was found to have abused my children. I have full custody. The Protective order was issued after a Full Hearing was held with all parties present. The judge only issued it for 60 days so I could get it in front of my county's Custody court for a modification to make the... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on May 26, 2020

I regret that I do not handle protective order case or domestic relations matters. Sorry.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: I have a question about jurisdiction/where to seek child support, in Virginia.

My divorce was finalized in the Circuit Court, and I later was awarded sole custody in a suit in JDR, but support was not addressed. Should I also seek child support in JDR? Is support automatically remanded to JDR after a divorce is final?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 19, 2020

Most of the final decrees I have seen now remand all matters concerning child custody, visitation and support to the appropriate Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. A parent should check the final decrees and orders in their cases to determine the appropriate court in which to file any... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: I'm 17 and plan on moving out on my 18th birthday. Can either of my parents stop me in VA?

I will be a senior in high school and a sophomore in community college when I turn 18. I have a place to stay, a job, a truck, and a way to work out financial aid for school and keep up with insurances.

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on May 18, 2020

At age 18, you are legally an adult. You get to make your decisions, and live with the consequences.

Good luck to you.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Planning divorce - working on separation agreement, how simple can it be? Can we just agree to make no claims?

If we can't just say something along the lines of: "everything is divided the way we want, we are and will remain happy with this agreement." would a judge just throw that out when it came time to file the divorce? For context, currently she is a student with no income and upon... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 15, 2020

A lawyer cannot represent both parties in preparing a separation agreement. Either spouse can agree to separate, live separate lives as if unmarried, and waive or give up their rights against the other in a written separation agreement. The court will look out for the rights of minor children,... Read more »

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