The Livesay & Myers, P.C. Blog

Contributory Negligence in Virginia

Posted on April 15th, 2012, by Benjamin Griffitts in Personal Injury. Comments Off on Contributory Negligence in Virginia

Imagine this scenario: Vehicle A is sitting in a left turn lane governed by a traffic signal, which is currently a solid green globe. Her left turn signal is on, and she is waiting for oncoming traffic to clear before making a left turn. Vehicle A watches a final car pass, looks ahead, sees no cars coming, and begins to turn left onto the intersecting street. As Vehicle A begins her turn, Vehicle B appears over the crest of a slight hill. Vehicle B hits Vehicle A in the back portion of her vehicle. Law Enforcement is called to arrive. During the investigation, the driver of Vehicle B concedes to driving 5 to 7 miles over the posted speed limit. Both drivers complain of minor injuries.  Does the officer issue a ticket to either driver? If so, to whom? Who … Read More »

The Grey Area of Child Custody and Visitation Before a Court Order is Entered

Posted on April 10th, 2012, by James Livesay in Custody, Divorce, Family Law. 3 comments

The status of child custody, when the parents of a child separate, is unsettled until an order for child custody is entered by a court. Much discussion, during consultations for divorce and/or child custody, focuses on which parent has custody rights. The answer is both parents do, but then again, neither parent does. It sounds complicated but is actually very straightforward.

Until a court in the county where the child resides grants an order for custody, both parents have the ability to “assume” custody of the child at will. What this boils down to is that either parent can physically remove the child from the other and assert that the child will remain with them.

Unfortunately, I have seen cases where the child is residing with one parent and the other parent refuses to return the child after visitation or after picking up the … Read More »

The More You Know: The Value Of A Family Law Consultation

Posted on April 2nd, 2012, by James Livesay in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on The More You Know: The Value Of A Family Law Consultation

Family law is a unique area of law because the family is a constantly changing entity. Children grow older, parents remarry, and in this global economy jobs are often gained and lost on opposite sides of the country if not the world. This constant change can wreak havoc on family law court orders that were entered under an entirely different set of facts or in completely different jurisdictions than the family’s current home. If you find yourself staring at an old court order and wondering what a provision means, or what your options are to change it, then you should consider consulting with a family law attorney today.

Litigation is expensive, time consuming and stressful. Making an appointment to discuss your case with an attorney before you receive a summons to appear in court will decrease your overall stress and allow … Read More »

Marijuana: Possession vs. Possession With Intent to Distribute

Posted on March 27th, 2012, by Benjamin Griffitts in Criminal Defense. 7 comments

The simple possession of marijuana may no longer be a crime in Washington state or Colorado, but it remains a criminal offense in Virginia. Furthermore, there is a clear line in the sand across which simple possession of marijuana becomes possession with intent to distribute marijuana: ½ ounce. Simple possession of marijuana, a violation of Virginia Code Section 18.2-250.1 is a misdemeanor; possession with intent to distribute more than ½ ounce becomes a felony.

If a person is in possession of ½ ounce or less of marijuana, the likelihood is that that he or she will be charged with simple possession. A first offense for simple possession carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, a $500 fine and a 6 month driver’s license suspension. A second or subsequent conviction becomes a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which means that a person … Read More »

Who Gets The Golden? Pet Custody In Virginia

Posted on March 13th, 2012, by Benjamin Carafiol in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on Who Gets The Golden? Pet Custody In Virginia

When divorcing or separating, there are several different types of custodial relationships in Virginia. The wide range of options allows both parents and the courts to determine the best interests of the child. But what do you do when your “child” is a golden retriever named Rex?

The past decade has seen a significant rise in “pet custody” cases – pet owners asking the court to decide ownership and custody of their pets. Several states have also proposed laws to provide judges with guidance on pet visitation, dividing vet bills– even when owners could relocate with their pets.

In Virginia, however, the law has remained unchanged – pets are property. In a divorce case all marital property – property acquired during the marriage – is divided between the parties. If the pet was purchased during the marriage, it must be valued and … Read More »

There Is Nothing Simple About “Simple Assault” in Virginia

Posted on March 6th, 2012, by niftyadmin in Uncategorized. Comments Off on There Is Nothing Simple About “Simple Assault” in Virginia

Be The Tortoise Not The Hare After Your Automobile Accident

Posted on February 28th, 2012, by Benjamin Griffitts in Personal Injury. Comments Off on Be The Tortoise Not The Hare After Your Automobile Accident

Most of us are familiar with the fable of the tortoise and the hare. The speedy hare declares no other animal a match for his speed, only to be challenged to a race by the slow-moving tortoise. The hare sprints from the start line, charges ahead, and in contempt for his opponent, lays down for a nap. All the while, the tortoise continues to slowly press ahead. When the hare awakes, he sees the tortoise near the finish line, and despite his speed, he cannot get there faster than the tortoise. The tortoise wins the race, not because of his speed, but rather his consistency.

In much the same way, a personal injury claim can be resolved successfully through consistency.

So many auto accident victims start their case like the hare: they make an initial doctor visit, contact the insurance companies and make arrangements … Read More »

Restricted Driver’s Licenses In Virginia For Servicemembers And Their Dependents

Posted on February 1st, 2012, by Benjamin Griffitts in Criminal Defense. Comments Off on Restricted Driver’s Licenses In Virginia For Servicemembers And Their Dependents

About the only saving grace following a conviction on a charge of DWI, DUI, drug possession, or high speed reckless driving in Virginia is the opportunity to receive a Restricted Operator’s License so that you can continue to drive for a number of necessary, but limited, purposes.

A Virginia Restricted License allows a person to drive to and from their place of business, even during work under certain verifiable conditions; to and from an educational institution; to and from medical facilities for yourself or someone under your care; to and from school or daycare for your children; to and from court-ordered visitation with children; and to and from court-ordered probation or VASAP. In 2010, the General Assembly even added the ability to drive to a place of religious worship one day per week. You can find the entire list of uses … Read More »

Stepparent Adoption In Virginia

Posted on January 26th, 2012, by Stephanie Sauer in Family Law. 4 comments

Remarrying and starting a new family is an exciting time in most people’s lives. Many families have adopted the terms “bonus children” or “bonus parent” to highlight the happiness that comes from an expanding family. Stepparents can and often do take on an important and involved role in children’s lives. Sometimes the stepparent is more involved and a better influence than one of the biological parents. In these situations, many parents want to learn about the possibility and likelihood of the stepparent adopting the child.

Stepparent adoption is the most common type of adoption. The process involves multiple steps which can be executed with relative ease depending on the willingness of the biological parent.

The first step in any stepparent adoption is to address the rights of the biological parent. If the parent has been absent from the child’s life for an extended … Read More »

Waiting For the Market to Turn Around: The Dangers of Joint Ownership After Divorce

Posted on September 15th, 2011, by Benjamin Carafiol in Divorce, Family Law. 2 comments

In any separation, one of the most difficult issues to address is the marital residence. Whether secured by a mortgage or owned free-and-clear, the home typically represents the most valuable asset owned by a couple. In this buyer’s market, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to simply sell a house and split the profits. Sometimes, the parties want one parent to stay in the house until their kids finish school to avoid pulling them from their childhood home. In other cases, there simply may be no realistic way to sell the house for a profit. This reality often leads parties to consider continuing jointly owning their house beyond their separation and divorce, whether that is for two, five, or even ten years.

While on its face this approach seems practical, deciding to retain joint ownership over the marital residence after … Read More »

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