The Livesay & Myers Blog

Clarification Regarding H-2B Petitions Filed By Certain Associations

Posted on August 30th, 2009, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued guidance clarifying for associations and their members certain regulatory requirements for filing petitions for H-2B classification on behalf of foreign workers. USCIS issued this clarification so that the public can be better informed of filing requirements and avoid unnecessary denials of individual petitions that may be otherwise approvable. USCIS has noticed a particular type of filing error in many H-2B petitions filed by certain associations on behalf of their members. Rather than file an individual petition with USCIS, some employers who are members of an association have sought H-2B non-agricultural workers via a “master” petition filed by their association.

A “master” petition is a petition that:

Is filed by an association (listing the association as petitioner) on behalf of several of its member-employers, and
Includes multiple temporary labor certifications which have been issued by … Read More »

Types Of Custodial Arrangements In Virginia

Posted on August 24th, 2009, by James Livesay in Custody, Family Law. Comments Off

Virginia law allows for several different types of custodial arrangements. It is important for any party going through a custody case to understand the differences and similarities between these different types of custody.

Sole Custody. With “sole custody,” one parent assumes the major role in the physical, emotional, and moral development of the child. The custodial parent has primary authority to make all major decisions affecting the child, who lives primarily with this parent. Sole custody is defined under Virginia Code Section 20-124.1 as an arrangement whereby “one person retains responsibility for the care and control of a child and has primary authority to make decisions concerning the child.”

Joint Custody. In a “joint custody” arrangement, both parents assume responsibility for the physical, moral, and emotional development of the child, and there are shared rights and responsibilities for making decisions that affect … Read More »

Pendente Lite Child Or Spousal Support In Virginia

Posted on August 24th, 2009, by James Livesay in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off

Virginia Code Section 20-103 provides that in any case where spousal support or child support is in dispute, a Virginia court may enter an order of temporary support pending the conclusion of the suit. Section 20-103 applies in suits for divorce, annulment, and separate maintenance and also in spousal support and child support proceedings brought in the juvenile and domestic relations district court (“JDR Court”).

Such a “pendente lite” order of support will last until the conclusion of the case, at which time the court may order more or less support, or no support at all, depending upon the facts of the case.

For child support, the statewide guidelines, which establish a “presumptively correct” amount of support, apply equally at both pendente lite and final hearings.

For spousal support, a JDR Court that is determining a request for pendente lite spousal support must … Read More »

Grandparent Visitation Under Virginia Law

Posted on August 10th, 2009, by James Livesay in Family Law. Comments Off

Grandparents love nothing more than their grandchildren. But what do you do when you are a grandparent who is not allowed to see your grandchild? This situation often arises when parents are separated and the custodial parent does not get along with the non-custodial parent’s family. If you are in this situation, there may be recourse for you through the courts via a visitation order.

The standard Virginia Courts use when determining whether or not to award grandparents visitation with their grandchildren depends upon the parents’ stance on the visitation:

When both parents object to visitation, the court may not award visitation to the grandparents unless there a showing of actual harm to the child’s health or welfare without such visitation;
When the custodial parent objects and the non-custodial parent affirmatively requests the court award the grandparents visitation, the court may award visitation … Read More »

USCIS to Accept New H-2B Fiscal Year 2009 Petitions

Posted on August 6th, 2009, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today reopened the fiscal year 2009 H-2B petition filing period and will immediately accept new H-2B petitions.

Although USCIS announced on January 7, 2009 that it had accepted and approved a sufficient number of H-2B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated annual cap of 66,000, the Department of State received far fewer than expected requests for H-2B visas and as a result, has issued only 40,640 H-2B visas for fiscal year 2009 to date. This means that there are approximately 25,000 visas that may go unused, as they have not been granted. Because of the low visa issuance rate, USCIS is reopening the filing period to allow employers to file additional petitions for qualified H-2B temporary foreign nonagricultural workers.

The normal (non-premium processing) adjudication time frame for H-2B petitions is 60 days. USCIS will make visa … Read More »

When Is A Marriage Not A Marriage? Annulment Grounds In Virginia

Posted on July 30th, 2009, by James Livesay in Family Law. Comments Off

An annulment is a judicial declaration that a marriage was a nullity from the start, leaving the parties free to remarry as they might after a divorce. A marriage subject to annulment may be classified either as a “void” marriage or a “voidable” marriage.

Void Marriages. A “void” marriage is an absolute nullity in the eyes of the law. It requires neither an annulment proceeding nor a judicial declaration of annulment in order to be void, although parties to a void marriage may still choose to bring an annulment action in order to obtain a judicial declaration that the marriage was void ab initio.

Void marriages in Virginia include:

bigamous and polygamous marriages,
incestuous marriages,
underage marriages, and
same-sex marriages.

Voidable Marriages. In contrast to a void marriage, a “voidable” marriage is presumed to be a legally valid marriage until it is annulled by a judicial determination. In order … Read More »

USCIS Announces 18-Month Extension Of TPS For Nationals Of Somalia

Posted on July 30th, 2009, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 27, 2009 that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Somalia from its current expiration date of Sept. 17, 2009 through March 17, 2011. During the past year, DHS and the Department of State have continued to review conditions in Somalia. Based on this review, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has determined that an 18 month extension is warranted because the armed conflict is ongoing, and the extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted the last TPS designation of Somalia on Sept. 4, 2001 persist.

Under the extension, individuals, who have already been granted TPS, are eligible to re-register and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. There are approximately 250 nationals of Somalia who are eligible to re-register. Certain Somalis may be … Read More »

FAQs For 18-Month Extension Of TPS For Nationals Of Somalia

Posted on July 30th, 2009, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released the following FAQs regarding the 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Somalia.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, through March 17, 2010, to nationals of Somalia or people having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia. This extension does not apply to Somalis who entered the United States after Sept. 4, 2001. Certain nationals who have not previously applied for TPS may be able to apply under the late registration provisions.

Question and Answers

Question: What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Answer: TPS is an immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated for TPS under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (or to persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country). During the period for which … Read More »

Statutory Standard for Pretrial Release at Virginia Bond Hearings

Posted on July 28th, 2009, by James Livesay in Criminal Defense. 1 Comment

Virginia Code section 19.2-120 provides that, before conducting a hearing on bail, release, or detention, the judicial officer must, to the extent feasible, obtain the person’s criminal history, as defined in section 19.2-119. A person held in custody pending trial or hearing for an offense or for civil or criminal contempt must be admitted to bail by a judicial officer unless there is probable cause to believe that: (i) he or she will not appear for trial or hearing or at such other time or place as may be directed; or (ii) his or her liberty would constitute an unreasonable danger to himself or herself or the public.

The judicial officer must presume, subject to rebuttal, that there are no conditions that can reasonably assure the appearance of the accused for trial and the safety of the public if the accused … Read More »

Social Security Benefits and Divorce

Posted on July 28th, 2009, by James Livesay in Divorce. Comments Off

Where a couple was married 10 or more years and then divorce, each party will be paid the greater of his/her own Social Security benefit or a spousal benefit. Spousal benefits generally are equal to 50% of the primary wage earner’s benefit. The gender of the spouse is irrelevant, although historically this has had a greater impact on ex-wives.

It is important to understand that there is no impact on the primary wage earner’s benefit. If an ex-wife chooses spousal benefits based on her marriage to a former husband, it will not reduce the amount the ex-husband receives in Social Security.

For an example: assume Suzy and John are married over 10 years, then divorce. Suzy then marries Edward, stays married to him for over 10 years, then divorces Edward as well.

At retirement, Suzy will be entitled to choose the greatest of … Read More »

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