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Virginia Juvenile Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Are my parents allowed to get someone to report my whereabouts and doings?

I am 17 and my parents have someone essentially spying on me in the neighborhood. They don't approve of my friends down the road and have forbade me from associating with them. Is it legal for them to get other parents to watch me and and my friends when they aren't home? It makes me feel strange... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Sep 27, 2017

Unless this person is stalking you (in a legal sense - putting you in fear of death or injury), there's not much to be done. It's your parents' job to keep you out of trouble, and if this is how they choose to do it, there is likely nothing illegal about it.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Juvenile Law and Sexual Harassment for Virginia on
Q: If you are 13 and rape someone that is 13 also can you be charged?

The state is Virginia, the actor is 13 and the "victim" is 13.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on May 24, 2017

Absolutely, yes.

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: I am a non-parent whom was granted temporary custody of an infant do I have a fighting chance to gain permanent custody

The birth mom was gonna abort and she used drugs and didn't get any prenatal care for baby and then she was putting child up for adoption because she was too far along and then decided on family adoption. Do I have any chances of being able to keep the child permanently and now the grandmother has... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on May 18, 2017

This is not a question that can be answered with a simple reply on the internet. There is a lot going on with this case, and you need to speak to a local family law attorney to plan your case accordingly. There are many instances where a relative or non-relative can obtain custody of a child, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence, Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a 13 year old child that is abusive and disrespectful to his family be placed in a juvenile detention center?

My little brother has been extremely disrespectful and abusive to my mom and me for years and I'm not sure what needs to be done.

Susan Fremit
Susan Fremit answered on Apr 4, 2017

I would suggest looking into meeting with a family counselor before getting involved in the court system.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: What is the probability that the court will let me get emancipated and what else do I need to do?

I live in Virginia and want to get emancipated. I am 16 and will be turning 17 in March and going to college in August. I have a plan to get an apartment at the end of May but until then I have another place that I can stay. I am getting a job but I have a lot of money saved up.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Mar 3, 2017

You'll have to show your financially able to be independent, but, more importantly, your parents are going to have to agree to your emancipation. If you can manage it, talk to a family law attorney. Another good person to talk with would be your school counselor, who may be able to point you to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Products Liability and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Is it legal for me to sell alcohol or tobacco in a store that I work in if I'm under 18?

I just wanted to know if either one is legal here or if they are both illegal....

Robert D. Kreisman
Robert D. Kreisman answered on Jan 27, 2017

In most states, you must be 21 to sell alcohol, although I am unsure about the sale of tobacco products.

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2 Answers | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Do you think this case could be appealed again? Could there there be a program for crimes as juveniles to reduce time ?

In my opinion juveniles make a lot of mistakes, but whose to say that you don't change? I think the sentence of 38-40 years to a 15 year is just way to much. I wanna look more into this case

Brian Lehman
Brian Lehman answered on Jan 14, 2017

You did not list the case that you are referring to, so a lawyer on this website will not be able to help you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law and Personal Injury for Virginia on
Q: what is correct form to request funds from infant settlement we are homeless. I have a job but need help to rent a home

I wrote Judge a letter requesting and was denied due to improper form and they couldn't tell me what was the proper form.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Dec 30, 2016

I suggest you start with the attorney who worked the settlement. Understand in most states judges are reluctant to go into the childs funds for any reason, let alone for something that benefits the family as a whole, not just him.They want to see it go to him only. Sorry, but that's the law. That... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: my son is behaving in a completely inappropriate manner, being disrespectful with his grand parents, brother and sister.

i have already involved child services but want to know what I can do to prevent him from continuing with this uncooperative demeanor he has acquired. what is your advice?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Aug 3, 2016

I'm not sure there is a legal answer for you at this point as you appear to have already involved Social Services. Perhaps seek out a child counselor or therapist who specializes in children's behavioral issues.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: My husband has signed our age12 daughter to go out-of-state with a group of boys with a church group without my consent.

I was not told about this, he never discussed it with me, or asked for my permission. When I found out from our daughter, I told him that she wasn't going. He says that he paid $200., and that she was going. One girl with a group of boys just doesnt sit well with me. I do not trust this group... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jul 7, 2016

This sounds like something you'll have to work out with your spouse. I'm not sure what legal option you would have, as the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Courts will generally decline to get involved in this type of dispute if the parents live together. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: i am 17 & 6 mths old, is it legal for me to move out of my parents house without repercussions, if i don't have consent?

my father will not emancipate me and my mother does not have any rights over me, she just has a signed document from my father stating that he gave her temporary custody.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jun 8, 2016

Unless your mother's rights have been terminated in what is usually a lengthy court process, she almost certainly has some type of rights over your custody and well-being. If you attempt to move out, either of your parents could ask the police to return you home. If you refuse, they could file... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Can my parents lock me out?

I am 18 and a senior in high school and my sister is 14 and a freshman in high school. She locked both me and my sister out of the house because I got a ride to school this morning with a friend since she refused to provide transportation, and when we both arrived home, the doors were locked with a... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on May 24, 2016

I do not believe it is appropriate to lock you out, even if you are 18. That is your residence, and I doubt you have been evicted by court order. It is even more inappropriate to lock out the minor. If you are locked out and have no place to go, go to a trustworthy family member or friend's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law, Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: I want to move in with my boyfriend when I am 18. Can my guardian stop me if I am 18 and still attending school?

She said she was going to take me to court if I live somewhere she doesn't want me to live.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on May 23, 2016

At 18, you are an adult in Virginia. The parents could file a petition for guardianship over you if you are mentally or physically unable to manage your own affairs - however, the mere fact you are moving and they don't like it is not a sufficient basis. If they do attempt this, you will be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Does my 12 year old have to have visitation with his father if he does not want to? There currently is no order.

The father has not had contact with my child since he was 3 months old. I am going for child support and I never have before. In turn, I am quite positive he and his parents will go for visitation. Will my child have to have visitation if he does not want to? He does not want to have anything to... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on May 10, 2016

If he files for visitation, he will have to show that what he is asking for is in the child's best interests. The wishes of the child are a factor for the judge to consider in setting visitation, but it is only one of many factors listed in the law under Virginia code 20-124.3... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: I'm 17 years old and wanting to live with my 21 year old fiancé. I turn 18 in 3 months we have parental consent.

Social services is involved and are saying they will charge my fiancé for contributing to a minor, how can I live with him and get social services off of our back for good?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Apr 26, 2016

You can either get married now with parental permission or wait three months. If social services is involved, they mean business, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a Class 1 Misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2500. Don't do anything foolish... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Is it legal to kick your 11 YO out and call his father to come get him, not allowing him back in the house.

My ex-wife has legal and physical custody of our boys 11 and 14. During an disagreement with the 11 YO, she called me to get him saying that he cannot live with her anymore,and that I have to take him. I did and things are fine. Is that child abandonment? If so what can be done? I want legal... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Apr 22, 2016

There's a lot going on here that's best suited to a confidential consultation with a family law attorney. There's a difference between "kick out" into dad's custody and literally "kick out" onto the sidewalk, with the latter being much more objectionable (possibly even criminal). To change the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Immigration Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: If I am 18 but my mother pays the passport fees ($150), who does my passport belong to?

My mother paid the money required to receive a passport/updated passport. I am 18 years old and a legal US citizen. She told me that I am not allowed to keep this passport in my possession because it is not mine, seeing as I did not pay for it. She also stated if I tried to take this passport of my... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Apr 20, 2016

Your passport is the property of the US Government and is meant to be held in the possession of the identified person - you. I do not see how she can report it stolen if it is not her own document. Your other option is to report it stolen yourself and pay the fees to receive a new one directly to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Juvenile Law and Adoption for Virginia on
Q: When I was 12 I took my adoption father to court/put him in jail for raping me over the years and..

My adoption mother bailed him out the same night he got arrested. Over the years, the case wasn't going anywhere and I was convinced by them to drop the charges and come home. Eventually I did and it didn't get better. I'm 23 now and I'm not being raped but I'm sexually harassed and groped when I... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Apr 13, 2016

There doesn't appear to be any reason why you couldn't call the police or go to the magistrate for the ongoing situations (sexual battery) and/or stop going to that home and keep your child out of that home. You may want to get a consultation with an attorney to make a safety plan. Stay safe.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Immigration Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: my 12 year old brother and my 11 year old sister are u.s citizens and are currently living in El Salvador with my mother

, I want to bring them here to the U.S with me but their passports are expired. What do I need in order for them to come back to the U.S and be enrolled in school. I'm currently 18 turning 19 on sept. 04 and my mother is giving me permission to do so since she has sole custody of them.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Apr 5, 2016

First things first - they need renewed passports. Review the American Citizen Services page at the US Embassy - San Salvador website for requirements: http://sansalvador.usembassy.gov/service.html.

Whether or not mom can give you permission to assume custody would depend on if there is a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Can my daughter's last name change?

In Virginia, i have a 3 year old daughter unmarried. my ex decided to give my daughter her last name (when I expressed how I wanted her to have mine). I have always been in my child's life, since she was born. Now she's getting married and wants to change my daughter's last name to her married one.... Read more »

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Mar 14, 2016

To change the child's name, she would have to petition the court for permission. You would be given an opportunity to appear at a hearing to state your objections. The ex would have to prove that a name change is in the child's best interests.

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