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Virginia Family Law Questions & Answers
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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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If we decide to sell the house as part of the separation agreement, do we need to wait for Divorce or can start now?

If we think the right thing to do is sell the house and divide the sale money, can we put up the house on sale after signing the separation agreement? However, if we decide to do one spouse buyout, does the price of buyout will be determined on the day of divorce?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 14, 2020

With the cooperation of his or her spouse, a married person can sell his or her house whenever he or she chooses to do so. If the sale is part of the dissolution of the marriage, it would usually be to the advantage of that spouse to have a comprehensive written separation agreement addressing all... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Is the non custodial parent responsible for continuing child support after high school?

Divorce agreement aligned with VA child support law, in which child support ends at 19 or completion of high school which ever comes first. Child graduates this May and the custodial parent is expecting continued child support through college. Can I end child support, and am I responsible to pay... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on May 13, 2020

A parent has a legal obligation to support his or her minor children until age 18, or until 19 if the child is still living in the home of the custodial parent and has not yet graduated high school. A parent has no legal obligation to support an adult child above age 18 or 19 unless he or she... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Was there a separate child support calculation worksheet for sole custody vs. joint custody in Virginia in 2008?
Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on May 8, 2020

The different worksheets would have been (i) sole/joint and (ii) shared. There could also be split where some children reside with one parent, and the rest with the other parent.

If both parents have custody more than 90 days, then the shared worksheet is used.

Otherwise, use the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: My stepson is 18 and due to COVID, he graduated from high school on May 1st.

Does my husband need to go to Court to get the child support terminated? Or can he just stop paying it?

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on May 4, 2020

The best practice would be to submit an agreed order to the court noting that both parties agree that the support obligation has expired.

However, given the times and the court closures, simply stopping payment could work as well.

The issue is that the other side, if they are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Am I entitled to any of my soon to be ex husbands inheritance from his fathers death?

We have been separated for 10 months. I haven’t filed yet.

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Apr 27, 2020

Likely not. Courts only divide marital property in a divorce. Gifts or inheritances from third parties during a marriage are presumed to be separate.

However, after receipt, the separate funds could become marital funds if not maintained separately.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: My spouse is the nominee for her parents international bank. Can I use that towards equitable distribution in VA?

I would like to know what course of action I have to make sure that she doesn’t get like 50% of our joint marital property while also having full inheritance of her parents bank cash. Can that nomination be used to help reduce our martial property distribution?

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

There are several issues to be addressed in your question. First of all, there is no presumptive 50-50% split of marital property in equitable distribution in Virginia. In fact, in published opinions, the Court of Appeals has repeatedly corrected a number of lawyers and trial judges who believe... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Can I get a local lawyer for an out of state custody/placement hearing?

I live in the VA/DC area and my children live in Wisconsin. The divorce hearing was in Wisconsin over 2 years ago and I feel that gaining placement and custody would be in the best interest of my 3 children due to the custodial parent denying my placement 3 times now. She has also been feeding my... Read more »

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Apr 16, 2020

You could retain a local lawyer to represent you in Wisconsin. However, that lawyer would either have to be also barred/licensed in Wisconsin, or be admitted pro hac vice, i.e., sponsored by a Wisconsin lawyer for temporary practice in Wisconsin.

Also, keep in mind that it will be expensive...
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: A friend of mine just passed away and in her will she stated that she wanted me to take guardianship of her son.

A friend of mine just passed away and in her will she stated that she wanted me to take guardianship of her son. His dad passed away 2 months after he was born. I was wondering if her sons grandparents can fight for custody or if a judge will honor the will

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Mar 26, 2020

At the end of the day, the court decides matters on the best interests of the child. The will would guide the court, but not determine the outcome.

The grandparents could contest the provision and seek custody. A judge would then decide between you and the grandparents.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: My father died in 2018, he left me and my brothers everything but he was still married.

I'm in VA and my father left me and my brothers everything in his will since he was in the process of getting a divorce. My mother has since taken everything and relocated to another city in VA with her new boyfriend. She is now in the process of selling their house. Do i have any rights... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Mar 16, 2020

If your father did not receive an absolute divorce decree, then yes she would be entitled to something. However, the extent of what your mother would be entitled to is based on the length of marriage and size of the estate. She could potentially have a claim for 50% of the augmented estate, which... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I believe I am a beneficiary of a 401k but the family is blocking it and the employer won’t give me info ..what do I do
James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Mar 15, 2020

Has the person who you believe designated you as their beneficiary died? Beneficiary designations typically can be changed fairly easily, compared to other estate planning tools. If the family of the person with the decedent is "trying to stop you," then there is realistically nothing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Civil Litigation and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Is there a 10 year statute o limitations in Virginia on interest that was added to a child support case in 1994?

Child will be 26 yrs old in Nov 2020 and in the military. There is only $350 left to pay on arrears but $19,000 in interest.

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 13, 2020

I regret that I do not handle domestic relations cases. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I am not on the birth certificate and they still trying to make me pay child support. By law that’s not right
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Jan 10, 2020

I do not handle domestic relations or child support matters. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I take my son’s father’s parental rights away from him?

My son’s father is on child support and has been since our son was 6 months old. However, he only pays when they take it from him and he’s never met him and he’s still $40,000 behind and has no interest in meeting him or getting to know him. He told me to leave him alone because he has other... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Dec 27, 2019

Taking someone's obligation to pay child support away does not take their parental rights away. There is a process for him to relinquish his parental rights and you would have to speak with a family law attorney in your area to find out how that is done.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: What steps do I need to take to change my daughter’s last name to my husbands?

Child’s father lives in another state. Has two other kids he flaunts and takes care of but does not do anything for our daughter even when we were living in the same city. His name is not on her birth certificate. Husband has been taking care of my daughter for almost her whole life.

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Dec 18, 2019

Va. Code § 8.01-217. How name of person may be changed.

A. Any person desiring to change his own name, or that of his child or ward, may apply therefor to the circuit court of the county or city in which the person whose name is to be changed resides, or if no place of abode exists, such...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: Title 26 IRS code Pub. 525 states my veterans disability shall be excluded as income.Why are the courts not honoring it?

They are using that as income to calculate child support. How is that legal? Or should i get a lawyer?

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller answered on Dec 12, 2019

Va. Code § 20-108.2. Guideline for determination of child support

* * *

C. For purposes of this section, "gross income" means all income from all sources, and shall include, but not be limited to, income from salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends,...
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