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Virginia Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Can child support be decided upon outside of court in VA?

My wife and I are getting a divorce in VA, we have 2 kids, and we are both very high income earners. This is amicable, there's no fighting or hostility. We have agreed to joint custody. We both would like to have an agreement to split all costs 50/50, verses a set amount of child support. We... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Nov 19, 2021

Spouses can enter into enforceable written marital agreements in Virginia, also known as separation agreements, property settlement agreements, and agreements and stipulations when they address the incidents of separation and divorce. Ultimately, the parties cannot bind a judge by contract on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I would like to add my child’s father to birth certificate. At the time I was legally separated from my husband. Then

I got back with husband. After doing legal paternity test it is not my husbands. I would like the baby to have his fathers last name. We have a legal paternity test. How can I add the name ? I want my sons father to have rights.

Thomas H. Roberts Esq
Thomas H. Roberts Esq answered on Oct 29, 2021

You may want to look at https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title8.01/chapter3/section8.01-217/

No attorney-client is created by this response. This is not intended as legal advice but is general legal information. You should engage an attorney if you wish to obtain legal advice for your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: What can I do about the very complicated situation with my mother? After paying $700/ a month for 2 years.

Recently, my dad passed away. So my fiance, my teenage son and I moved from NC to VA to move in with my mother because she said she would have to sell the house if we didn't. For 2 years we have given her double her mortgage in rent, all of the upkeep, and several big jobs for her with no... Read more »

F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof answered on Oct 25, 2021

You reported facts sound more like a domestic relations issue, which I do not handle, then a landlord-tenant matter. You should seek advice from a domestic relations attorney. Sorry.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law and Workers' Compensation for Virginia on
Q: What happens when someone's in the process of getting a divorce by a online divorce site but passes before its processed

My fiancée passed away and he had filed for divorce but he was told he had to send $66 more and then the papers would be mailed out but he passed before he could pay the $66 can i do anything to stop his wife from getting his Medicare set aside assistance because he didn't want her to have... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 21, 2021

She is the widow, and you are not.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: 6 years ago my husband left for another woman. The marital house is only in my name always has been and on the dead.

I am taking care of the house for 6 years but in May the house burnt down. Insurance is taking care of the rebuild and it will be worth a lot more. Is he still entitled to have the equity in the house.

Kellam T. Parks
Kellam T. Parks answered on Oct 6, 2021

This is a complicated question because, in Virginia, there is the concept of “Separate Property,” “Marital Property,” or “Hybrid Property.” Generally speaking, any property owned or debts owed before the marriage are the separate parties’, anything during the marriage is marital (and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I freeze my husband's assets during our marriage? He always threaten to sell everything and our kids and I will have
Kellam T. Parks
Kellam T. Parks answered on Oct 6, 2021

This is a complicated question because, in Virginia, there is the concept of “Separate Property,” “Marital Property,” or “Hybrid Property.” Generally speaking, any property owned or debts owed before the marriage are the separate parties’, anything during the marriage is marital (and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: So the EX filed an order to modify visitation there is no court date yet should I wait? Do I submit an answer?
Kellam T. Parks
Kellam T. Parks answered on Oct 6, 2021

If this is in Virginia and the motion to modify is in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, there is no answer to be filed. The courts generally set a first return date where the parties appear, often times a Guardian ad Litem is appointed for the child(ren), and a trial date is chosen. Sometimes... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If a 18 year old and her two 13 year old siblings are in a abusive household with their mother

(without the mother's knowledge) Can she take drive them in her car to their father's house so that they can all live together with a non abusive parent? Will the 18 year old face any kidnapping charges? Do the children have to show proof of the abuse?

Kellam T. Parks
Kellam T. Parks answered on Oct 6, 2021

If there is no court ordered custody/visitation, then both parents have equal rights to the children and the two 13-yr. olds can live with their father. We also suggest that communication ensure and a petition for custody be filed (with a request for an expedited or even an emergency hearing if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia on
Q: Do I have to let my 2 year old and 3 year old go back to my husband and his girlfriend's home after she failed cps drug

Test. I have schedule an appointment to file for custody on October 7th. There is no custody agreement between is at this point.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Oct 1, 2021

In the absence of a court order or written agreement, both parents have equal rights to, and responsibilities for, their minor children. You question does not address how CPS became involved with your husband's girlfriend, why she was subject to testing, what drugs were involved, where the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: My ex is keeping my kids from visiting me. He has filed a notice to modify visitation with the law clerk.

Do I have to file something in response or wait for a court date?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Sep 30, 2021

Custody and visitation orders may be modified by filing a motion that alleges a material change in circumstances and how the best interests of the child[ren] would be served by modifying the referenced order. It is possible that either the Circuit Court or Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: If I had a marital settlement agreement in Florida is it possible to have custody modified in Va

Ex filed registration in VA and immediately turned into modification of custody and JD&R proceeded without proper jurisdiction. Is that possible?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Sep 24, 2021

A party to a court order may domesticate or register that order in Virginia if the Virginia court can exercise jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act. Notice of the proposed domestication or registration is served on the other party so he or she could contest... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Civil Rights and Communications Law for Virginia on
Q: Can my father's living siblings & children successfully fight for the right to properly bury my father who has no will.

My father is born and raised in Danville, VA. He remarried to make his oldest daughter a legal citizen which wasn't completed. His baby mother has refused to allow us to have his body for our funeral & burial. They expect our entire family to drive 8 hours to visit my father, plus they are... Read more »

Benjamin Inman
Benjamin Inman answered on Sep 21, 2021

Im sorry that you lost your father. Losing a parent at any age can be extremely difficult.

I dont think there is enough information in your question to give you an answer. My best guess from reading between the lines here is that your father died outside of Virginia in a state where he was...
Read more »

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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