The Livesay & Myers, P.C. Blog
Let’s say you’ve just lost your job.
This is not a far-fetched idea for most people. In the past four years, the United States has gone through the longest period with so many unemployed for so long since the Great Depression.
Let’s say you were earning $140,000 a year as a consultant before being let go. You lived comfortably with your family in an affluent neighborhood in an excellent school district.
Let’s also say that now you’re in the process of a divorce from your wife of 15 years. You have two young children and she’s always been their primary caretaker. She has two years of post-high school education, and worked as a salesperson at the local mall until you had kids together. Then she became a stay-at-home mother, and it was agreed that you would be the sole breadwinner until the children … Read More »
Over the years, I have met with scores of non-citizens who entered into criminal plea agreements without being aware of potential immigration consequences. Whether old or recent, a criminal conviction can have devastating effects on one’s immigration status. While consequences such as probation or incarceration may be expected, a non-citizen can sometimes be confronted with a more dire consequence – deportation.
Post-conviction relief (PCR) refers to reopening criminal convictions in the hopes of vacating a conviction or modifying a sentence so as to avoid unintended immigration consequences. Up until a few years ago, the rules governing PCR were murky in the nation as a whole and in Virginia specifically.
Then, in mid-2009, I was able to convince an Alexandria Circuit Court Judge to reduce my client’s 1997 petit larceny conviction from 12 months to 360 days because of ineffective assistance of counsel … Read More »
For the past few years, you have helped raise your ten-year-old grandson. Since you have taken this active role in your grandson’s life, he has thrived. Recently, your requests for visitation with your grandson have gone ignored, and you have concern as to how your detachment from your grandson will affect him. What legal avenue could you possibly take that would lead back to you being able to spend time with your grandson?
One option available to grandparents is to file a petition for visitation with the court. Although Virginia has made it clear that the courts are to consider the parent-child relationship primary and to not interfere with a parent’s right to raise a child as the parent sees fit, whenever the state has a compelling interest, such as the protection of the welfare of the child, the court may … Read More »
As reported by multiple news outlets, the four-year relationship between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart (co-stars of the popular “Twilight” film series) is coming to an end. The most recent ripple effect of this break-up is the ensuing pet custody battle over their rescued dog, Bear. The New York Daily News reports that Pattinson wants Bear all to himself, while Stewart is seeking “joint custody” of their pet.
Pets are an integral part of many family units, and pet custody cases are on the rise across the nation. However, as I previously explained on this blog, Virginia law still treats pets as “mere property” to be divided in divorce cases. A Virginia court could no more order joint custody of a dog or a cat than it could order joint custody of a plasma television, a kitchen table, or an eggplant … Read More »
With the integration of social media into the everyday personal lives of so many, it’s no wonder that Facebook was cited in 20 percent of divorce cases filed in 2010. That number has only continued to rise. While Facebook can be a powerful tool for proving your case in court, you should steer clear of certain evidentiary pitfalls.
All things considered, logging on to your spouse’s Facebook account using their email address and password is not a good way to gather evidence. Even when using a shared home computer, you run the risk of having your spouse’s attorney object to the evidence because of how it was obtained, or even having criminal charges filed against you. Simply put: logging in to your spouse’s Facebook account might get you trouble, and probably won’t result in evidence that the court will actually consider.
However, there … Read More »
Sharing the responsibility of raising a child with a person with whom you no longer share a relationship is never easy. Every situation varies, but at some point most parents forget how important it is to be able to communicate, and then (hopefully) quickly realize that not communicating is simply not an option. But learning how to communicate in child custody and visitation situations is a process and a journey, with pitfalls and setbacks along the way.
When Prineville, Oregon resident Lynn White divorced her husband with whom she shared two children, she knew that communicating would be tough but necessary. She was so invested in the idea that she created an online custody management program to help. Her custody program, called “Divaroo,” allows parents to upload report cards and homework into a shared documents folder and to review a shared calendar … Read More »
The so-called “10/10 Rule” (or 10-Year Rule) is a source of confusion for many individuals when dealing with a military divorce. Some believe it requires a couple to be married for 10 years before a spouse has a right to any portion of a servicemember’s military retirement. Others believe it requires the parties be married for ten years during active duty service before a spouse is entitled to any portion of military retirement. Still others believe that service must be for 10 consecutive years of service while married before a spouse earns a right to receive a division of military retired pay.
It may surprise you to learn that each of these beliefs is wrong.
The 10/10 Rule has nothing to do with a state court’s authority to treat military retired pay as a marital asset to be divided upon divorce. Even … Read More »
Many parents say the moment that they learned they were going to be parent is pure joy and unforgettable. But those men who are not married, and sometimes men who are married, can wonder about the certainty of paternity and what would happen if they are not the father.
The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued an interesting ruling related to this issue. Like Virginia, Iowa has a firm rule that a father who is court-ordered to pay child support cannot recoup monies paid if it is later learned that he is not the biological father. But the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a father who provides support without a court order then later learns the child is not his can sue civilly for monies paid, under the theory of fraud.
The point remains, however, that if you are a man who finds that … Read More »
Disabled veteran Peter Barclay has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether a veteran’s disability pay should be included as income for spousal support purposes. The Oregon District Court that entered the divorce between Barclay and his wife in 2010 ordered Barclay to pay $1,000 per month in spousal support based on his income received from his VA benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance. Barclay appealed this matter through Oregon’s state courts, and the Oregon Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s decision.
The case raises issues under Title 38 of the United States Code, which deals with Veterans’ benefits. Section 5301 of Title 38 makes VA disability benefits immune “from taxation, claims of creditors, attachment, levy and seizure.” What this Section does not clearly state, however, is whether disability benefits are also immune from inclusion in a veteran’s income for … Read More »