The Livesay & Myers, P.C. Blog

Concealed Weapon Law In Virginia

Posted on December 4th, 2012, by Benjamin Griffitts in Criminal Defense. Comments Off on Concealed Weapon Law In Virginia

What is the concealed weapon law in Virginia all about, and what are the requirements for a concealed carry permit? What does it mean to conceal a weapon anyway?

For the answer to those questions, one must start with the Virginia concealed weapon statute, which is Virginia Code Section 18.2-308. It is one of the longer criminal statutes on the books, so I will not go into every detail here, but you may read through the entire section for yourself online. Section 18.2-308 makes the following kinds of weapons unlawful for a person to carry concealed, subject to a variety of exceptions:

(i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, … Read More »

Five Reasons To Avoid Litigating, If You Can

Posted on November 28th, 2012, by Matthew Smith in Custody, Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on Five Reasons To Avoid Litigating, If You Can

Many clients come to me expecting the worst from their spouses during the divorce process. They talk about how their husbands or wives will never settle, how they’re out for blood, and how they’ll stop at nothing to make the process as miserable as possible for everyone involved.

As a result of this fear, whether founded or not, many people want to begin their divorce case by taking overly aggressive and unnecessary actions that tend to diminish the possibility of settlement. I think part of an attorney’s job is to dissuade clients from embarking down that road unless it’s necessary to do so.

That’s not to say that anyone should roll over. There are clearly cases where the parties are playing a zero-sum game, and there are certainly parties to a divorce (and even family lawyers, unfortunately) who have no interest in … Read More »

Termination Of Parental Rights In Virginia

Posted on November 14th, 2012, by Livesay & Myers, P.C. in Family Law. 28 comments

One of the most frequently asked questions of Virginia family law attorneys is how a parent’s parental rights can be terminated. Often times a custodial parent wants to terminate the rights of the noncustodial parent because (s)he is not paying support, has not seen the child in years, and or is not a positive influence in the child’s life. Other times the noncustodial parent wants to terminate their own parental rights in an effort to avoid paying child support. Termination of parental rights is extremely serious. If a parent’s rights are terminated (s)he no longer has any parental responsibility, including financial, and can at no point in the future legally ask to be involved in the child’s life.

In Virginia, the parental rights of one parent can be terminated only if there is a third party, such as a step-parent, willing to … Read More »

The Presumption Of Marital Debt In Virginia Divorce

Posted on November 7th, 2012, by James Livesay in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on The Presumption Of Marital Debt In Virginia Divorce

If your spouse was a reckless spender during your marriage, and you thought divorce would finally end the financial pillage of your hard-earned dollars and the unspeakable terrorizing of your credit score—think again. Effective July 2011, all debt incurred by either party after the date of marriage and before the date of separation is presumed to be marital. But, you protest, she signed up for that Macy’s card alone and I haven’t seen one thing in the house from Macy’s! According to the amended Virginia Code Section 20-107.3(A), if you believe a debt incurred during the marriage is separate, you have to prove it, regardless of whose name was on the account.

It was not always this way. In April 2010, in the case of Gilliam v. McGrady, the Virginia Supreme Court stated that debts jointly incurred during the marriage are … Read More »

Zombie-Killing: Legal Implications In Virginia

Posted on October 31st, 2012, by Benjamin Griffitts in Criminal Defense. 1 Comment

The Zombie Apocalypse. We know its coming. We just don’t know if we can stop it. Fictionalized accounts of the Zombie Apocalypse have been presented in TV shows like The Walking Dead, movies like 28 Days Later, Night of the Living Dead, or my personal favorite, Shaun of the Dead. When the Zombie Apocalypse actually arrives, the reality will be much different. This is not a blog about how to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse. For that, simply go through the Center for Disease Control’s web page dedicated to Zombie Preparedness.

The truth is, when the zombies begin to attack, we will still have a government. We will have police, courts, judges and juries. There will still be the rule of law—for a while, at least. So the question is, what legal ramifications exist for the average Virginia resident who fights … Read More »

Survivor Benefit Plan Coverage In Virginia Divorce

Posted on October 29th, 2012, by James Livesay in Family Law, Military Divorce. Comments Off on Survivor Benefit Plan Coverage In Virginia Divorce

Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage is a benefit commonly awarded to former spouses in military divorce cases in Virginia, particularly where the spouse will be receiving a significant share of the servicemember’s military retired pay.

Survivor Benefit Plan – The Basics

What is SBP? SBP is an annuity plan that, after the death of a retired servicemember, pays a monthly sum to a beneficiary designated by the servicemember. SBP payments begin at the death of the retired servicemember, when the servicemember’s retired pay would normally cease. SBP coverage therefore permits a servicemember to continue to provide income to a named beneficiary upon the servicemember’s death. SBP coverage is analogous to life insurance in that it provides servicemembers security that their dependents will be cared for when they are gone.

The Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) automatically deducts the monthly premiums for SBP coverage … Read More »

A Basic Primer On Naturalization Issues

Posted on October 25th, 2012, by Jennifer Varughese in Immigration Law. Comments Off on A Basic Primer On Naturalization Issues

The naturalization of a newly-minted U.S. citizen is cause for much celebration. The road to naturalization, however, can be fraught with problems, some of which can even result in revocation of one’s underlying green card status. Below, I have highlighted three areas that all applicants should carefully consider.

Filing Date

If you obtained a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, to be eligible for naturalization you must have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 3 years. You must also reside with your spouse in a bona fide marital relationship during that time, and that spouse must have been a U.S. citizen during that time as well. The naturalization form can be submitted after 2 years, 9 months.

In all other cases, to be eligible for naturalization you must have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years. In these … Read More »

You’re Separating—So What Now?

Posted on October 24th, 2012, by Matthew Smith in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on You’re Separating—So What Now?

A while back I wrote a blog piece about establishing a date of separation in your divorce process, and why it’s so important once you have made the decision to move on. Let’s take things a step further. Now that you are in the process of separating, what do you need to know to protect your interests and prepare for the road ahead?

First of all, assess the character and personality of your spouse. How will he or she react to the separation? Is there a chance of spiteful financial retribution? Is there a fear of negligent financial mismanagement? You’ll want to look at how many joint financial accounts (checking, savings, money market, etc.) and joint credit cards are currently open, and consider separating those assets and debts to limit your liability. Many people have fallen victim to a post-separation “race … Read More »

Virginia Families Set To Receive Child Support Collection Settlement

Posted on October 18th, 2012, by Benjamin Carafiol in Family Law. Comments Off on Virginia Families Set To Receive Child Support Collection Settlement

More than a thousand Virginia families are close to receiving their share of a million dollar settlement. The lawsuit, brought by the Virginia Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE), is a result of improper actions taken by the Texas-based company Supportkids Inc. in collecting child support payments.

As reported in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and other news outlets:

The lawsuit, filed in 2008, claimed Supportkids illegally used misleading “withholding orders” that appeared to be government-issued to get child support payments withheld from noncustodial parents’ paychecks. The company allegedly extracted fees often exceeding 35 percent.

“They were getting the custodial parent to assign child support payments to the company, and that’s not legal or enforceable in Virginia,” [Thomas M. Wolf, a private attorney who represented Virginia in the case against Supportkids] said. “Child support belongs to the child, not the custodial parent, so … Read More »

My Cousin Vinny And Discovery In Virginia Criminal Cases

Posted on October 17th, 2012, by Benjamin Griffitts in Criminal Defense. Comments Off on My Cousin Vinny And Discovery In Virginia Criminal Cases

There’s a great scene in the movie “My Cousin Vinny” where attorney Vinny Gambini carries in a box of files after meeting with the district attorney, proud that he had convinced the D.A. to turn over his case file. Vinny’s fiancée, Lisa, informs him that he was entitled to the files all along, stating “he has to show you everything.”

When I represent someone accused of a crime, regardless of whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor, a robbery or running a red light, I am generally asked whether the prosecutor has shown me everything in the file. In Virginia criminal cases this process is called discovery, roughly defined in Barron’s Law Dictionary as the “pretrial procedure by which one party gains information held by another party; the disclosure by a party of facts, deeds, documents, and other such things,” … Read More »

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