The Livesay & Myers, P.C. Blog

The Call For Immigration Reform

Posted on December 11th, 2012, by Livesay & Myers, P.C. in Immigration Law. Comments Off on The Call For Immigration Reform

Immigration reform chatter began shortly after the Republican defeat in the recent Presidential election. While most wondered if the new call for reform would die down, talk has led to the House passage of a new immigration reform bill on November 30. Talk of immigration reform is bringing new hope to the estimated eleven to twelve million immigrants currently in the United States without legal status. The election caused the Republican Party to realize it needs a more positive policy stance toward immigrants in order to stay viable in future elections. As a result, immigration reform has become a priority among the Republican Party. Immigration reform only became a partisan divide within the past few years but the new shift caused a great push toward reform legislation. The big question has now changed from whether or not immigration reform will … Read More »

Can You Kidnap Your Own Kid?

Posted on December 7th, 2012, by Benjamin Carafiol in Custody, Family Law. 1 Comment

Is it possible for a parent to kidnap his or her own kid? People in general seem to understand that kidnapping or childnapping involves the “taking” of a child. However, the underlying presumption many make is that the “taking” is of someone else’s child. How could it ever be illegal for a parent to take custody of their own child?

Virginia law is clear: anyone, even parents, can be convicted of kidnapping their children. However, the consequences are much worse if the child is removed from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Virginia Code Section 18.2-47 states that any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another person with the intent to deprive such other person of his personal liberty or to withhold or conceal him from any person, authority or institution … Read More »

Military Regulations and Family Support

Posted on December 5th, 2012, by Benjamin Carafiol in Family Law, Military Divorce. Comments Off on Military Regulations and Family Support

In any separation, divorce or custody dispute, a party might seek financial support. It may be a request for spousal support to get back on their feet. It may be a request for child support. Whatever the type of family support sought, there are two basic strategies for resolving the dispute: negotiating an agreement or litigating a case through the courts. If one party is a military servicemember, however, there may be alternate methods available to settle these issues.

Each service branch has regulations requiring servicemembers to support their families in the event of a separation. The service branch involved can have a great deal of impact when deciding to pursue support through the servicemember’s command. Some branches, like the Army, issue very specific regulations, spelling out the exact dollar amount they will provide, the length of time it will be … Read More »

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 »

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