The Livesay & Myers, P.C. Blog

Benefits Of Former Military Spouses Part Two: The “20/20/15” Former Spouse

Posted on September 17th, 2012, by Benjamin Carafiol in Family Law, Military Divorce. Comments Off on Benefits Of Former Military Spouses Part Two: The “20/20/15” Former Spouse

In Part One of this series, we looked at the 20/20/20 Rule and the requirements a former spouse must meet to retain full military benefits and privileges upon divorce from a servicemember. In the event a former spouse cannot qualify under the 20/20/20 Rule, he or she may still be eligible to retain a portion of their military benefits as they transition from being a military spouse to a former spouse.

To qualify for transitional military benefits, a former spouse must satisfy the requirements of 10 U.S.C. § 1072(2)(G), more commonly referred to as the “20/20/15 Rule.” The 20/20/15 rule requires the former spouse to show three things: first, that the servicemember put in at least 20 years of creditable service; second, that the parties’ marriage lasted at least 20 years; and third, that the period of the marriage overlapped the period … Read More »

Asylum in the United States

Posted on September 13th, 2012, by Livesay & Myers, P.C. in Immigration Law. Comments Off on Asylum in the United States

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… .” These words rest at the bottom of the Statute of Liberty to welcome those seeking opportunities and freedom. This sonnet speaks of a country founded by immigrants who sought freedoms they were unable to find in their home countries. Two hundred years later, this country which once had an open door policy, can now be harder to get into than the latest celebrity chef’s restaurant.

Recent court decisions have made it more difficult for those seeking a safe harbor in the United States, referred to as asylum relief. Asylum relief represents the idea that an immigrant can come to our country to pursue a life free from the persecution for their religion, race, or views which they are suffering in their home country. Many people come to … Read More »

Benefits Of Former Military Spouses Part One: The “20/20/20” Former Spouse

Posted on September 12th, 2012, by Benjamin Carafiol in Family Law, Military Divorce. Comments Off on Benefits Of Former Military Spouses Part One: The “20/20/20” Former Spouse

Most spouses of active duty servicemembers contribute greatly to the marriage. They stay behind and take care of the children when the Marine, Sailor, Airman, Soldier or Coast Guardsman is deployed. They support the member through advancement in rank. They uproot their lives every few years as the family moves from duty station to duty station.

The select few members that make a career out of their service are rewarded with monthly retired pay for the rest of their lives and additional benefits as retired servicemembers. Should the marriage continue, the spouse (and family) will share in those benefits. If the marriage ends, however, what – if anything – will the member’s former spouse receive? This is the first in a series of posts that will take a closer look at the benefits available to former spouses of servicemembers.

Some former spouses will be … Read More »

Fantasy Football Can Have Real Impact On Child Support

Posted on September 11th, 2012, by Benjamin Carafiol in Family Law. Comments Off on Fantasy Football Can Have Real Impact On Child Support

You love fantasy football. You play in five leagues, and are reigning champion in three of them. You drafted Jimmy Graham in the 12th round last year. You know that Daniel Radcliffe is wrong and that Matthew Berry is the real weasel on the Fantasy Focus podcast. You love fantasy football.

But you don’t just play for fun. You “keep things interesting” by having some serious jelly beans on the line. This year, winning doesn’t just mean another 10” Lombardi trophy on your mantle. If you win, you’re $5,000 richer.

You’re also in the middle of a child support battle with your ex-wife. If you take home that title, will it change your child support?

In Virginia, the answer is yes. Virginia Code Section 20-108.2 sets out Virginia’s guidelines for determining child support. The guidelines use a mathematical formula that considers among other … Read More »

The Importance Of Co-Parenting: Lessons From A Celebrity Custody Battle

Posted on September 10th, 2012, by James Livesay in Custody, Family Law. Comments Off on The Importance Of Co-Parenting: Lessons From A Celebrity Custody Battle

Celebrity entertainment outlets often cover the legal skirmishes of Hollywood’s rich and famous. In addition to their entertainment value, these stories occasionally illustrate lessons applicable to daily life. Recently, an article on detailed the protracted custody battle between actress Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband, Daniel Giersch. The article alleges that over the course of their three-year case, Ms. Rutherford failed to notify Mr. Giersch of the birth of their daughter and accused him in court documents of dealing drugs and weapons internationally.

However, her allegations may have backfired on Ms. Rutherford, as they apparently led to the revocation of Mr. Giersch’s visa, which ultimately caused the court to decide that it was in the children’s best interest to remain in Monaco, where both parents could have regular contact with them. This was understandably upsetting to Ms. Rutherford, as she is a cast member … Read More »

The All-Powerful Indian Child Welfare Act: How To Avoid An Adoption Nightmare

Posted on September 6th, 2012, by Livesay & Myers, P.C. in Family Law. 2 comments

A recent South Carolina Supreme Court decision has garnered national attention. The story line is straight out of a movie and the stuff of nightmares. A married couple, eager to adopt, enlists the assistance of an adoption agency to expand their family. The Adoptive Mother has a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D., and the Adoptive Father is an automotive body technician with Boeing. They live a simple life in Charleston, South Carolina, and want to adopt a child to expand their family from two to three. The Adoptive Parents are connected with the Birth Mother through the agency. Birth Mother selects the Adoptive Parents deciding that they can give her daughter a stable upbringing, something Birth Mother lovingly acknowledges she can not do.

Birth Mother and the Birth Father had a relationship which resulted in an engagement. Father was active duty … Read More »

Self-Defense vs. Assault and Battery in Virginia

Posted on September 5th, 2012, by Benjamin Griffitts in Criminal Defense. Comments Off on Self-Defense vs. Assault and Battery in Virginia

As a criminal defense lawyer, I commonly confront individuals charged with assault and battery who feel that they were the real victims of the altercation. In some cases there is evidence to support their claim: for example, they may have been the one to call police, may have looked to be in worse shape after the fight, or the other person may have unquestionably instigated the altercation. What each of these stories share is a common belief from each accused that they are the true victims of the crime. That they were acting in self-defense.

So what, exactly, is self-defense? To answer that, one must first understand what constitutes assault and battery, which we explain in our guide to Assault and Battery Defense in Virginia. As explained there, an assault under Virginia law is defined as basically any “overt act” to another person that is … Read More »

Property Settlement Agreements In Virginia

Posted on September 4th, 2012, by James Livesay in Divorce, Family Law. 1 Comment

Marital Settlement or Property Settlement Agreements are contracts which can settle by agreement all of the rights, interests, and obligations of separating or divorcing parties, and can also resolve all claims or demands each might have against the other. A Settlement Agreement lays the foundation for a couple to proceed with an uncontested divorce. And, where the parties have no minor children, an executed Settlement Agreement shortens the separation period necessary before filing for divorce in Virginia from 12 months to only 6 months.

The typical Property Settlement Agreement covers division of assets, division of debts, and spousal support, as well as child custody, visitation and child support, if applicable. Full and comprehensive agreements can remove the need for expensive and time-consuming litigation. Settlement Agreements also afford the parties greater control over the results of the termination of their marriage, instead … Read More »

When Are Support Payments Tax Deductible?

Posted on August 30th, 2012, by Benjamin Carafiol in Family Law. Comments Off on When Are Support Payments Tax Deductible?

Many family law cases, whether resolved through court order or a separation agreement, include payments from one party to the other. Typically these are separated out into different actions – spousal support, child support, dividing bank accounts, or even paying the other party’s expenses. What you transfer to your spouse, or receive from your spouse, can make a huge difference when it comes to your annual income taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule addressing this situation is on the surface quite clear. In Publication 504, the IRS states that alimony payments are deductible from income by the person paying alimony, and must be included as income by the spouse receiving the alimony payments. Looking up alimony in the dictionary will tell you that alimony is the same thing as spousal support, but unfortunately it is not that easy. The IRS … Read More »

Layoffs, Firings and Income Imputation In Today’s Economy

Posted on August 23rd, 2012, by Matthew Smith in Family Law. Comments Off on Layoffs, Firings and Income Imputation In Today’s Economy

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 »

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