The Livesay & Myers Blog

Virginia Legislature Considers Streamlined Custody Procedures

Posted on January 16th, 2014, by Benjamin Carafiol in Custody, Family Law. No Comments

Modification to Virginia Code Would Allow Consolidated Petitions

The issues of child custody and visitation are about as connected as any two issues can be. If you have any experience with Virginia custody cases, however, you know that it can feel like each part of your case has its own case number. And that’s because, by and large, it does! The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts here in Virginia will assign one identification number for a child custody case and give a second, different number to a visitation case… for the same child. If paternity is an issue that becomes a third case number. And if there are multiple children, well, each child gets his or her own set of unique case numbers for his or her custody matter. Parents in a custody dispute can find themselves with more than … Read More »

Dress the Part: What to Wear to Court

Posted on January 15th, 2014, by Eugene Oliver in Criminal Defense. No Comments

In planning for a court appearance in a criminal case, many defendants and witnesses overlook one crucial aspect of preparation—what to wear. Far too many people pay far too little attention to what they wear to court and if you are fortunate enough not to be appearing in a jail-issued jumpsuit, you definitely should follow established courtroom fashion etiquette.

By courtroom fashion etiquette, I am not intending this to be the type of fashion guide you would find in GQ or Vogue. Courtroom etiquette is simply based on tradition and some common sense. You only have one opportunity to make a first impression on the judge, prosecutor, and any jurors. Take advantage of that opportunity by following theses do’s and don’ts in dressing for court:

DO – Wear a suit if you have one, or at least a collared shirt or sweater … Read More »

Eight Tips For Your Case in Prince William General District Court

Posted on January 14th, 2014, by Benjamin Griffitts in Criminal Defense. No Comments

Are you facing traffic or misdemeanor charges in Prince William County General District Court? If so, this article is for you. I will provide some tips for handling your case, while hopefully helping you decide whether you should hire an attorney. (If you are charged with a felony, my advice is to have an attorney whether you retain one or accept a court-appointed attorney).

Tip #1: Be early and be attentive. The General District Court (“GDC”) in Prince William County hears matters at 9:00 a.m., and occasionally at 10:30 a.m. There are two entrances to the courthouse, but 99% of the people use the main entrance. This can cause a delay in appearing in court when you factor in time for finding parking. 9:00 a.m. is when the judge is scheduled to take the bench, not the time when you should arrive on the courthouse grounds. Once … Read More »

Home State Jurisdiction Under the UCCJEA

Posted on January 13th, 2014, by Danielle Snead in Custody, Family Law. No Comments

Parties in custody or visitation disputes often find themselves in two separate counties or even states. This frequently leaves the parties to wonder which court has the authority to resolve the outstanding issues. If parties to a custody dispute, in which no previous order has been issued, file petitions in two different states, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) will dictate which state has the authority to make the custody determination. The UCCJEA is an act that has been adopted by 49 out of the 50 states, including Virginia, as an attempt to provide consistency between the states and prevent parents from moving to a certain state for a preferential outcome.

Generally, under the UCCJEA, a state will have jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination if it was the home state of the child when the petition was filed … Read More »

Open House For Free Immigration Consults on January 30, 2014

Posted on January 7th, 2014, by Jennifer Varughese in Immigration Law. No Comments

The new year is a great opportunity to discuss your immigration questions with seasoned professionals. Immigration law is complex, changing in content from year to year and in practice from one federal agency to the next. From extreme hardship waivers to parole in place for military members, green cards for spouses to expedited citizenship, any case benefits from strong counsel.

On Thursday, January 30, 2014, the immigration department at Livesay & Myers, P.C. will be hosting its first Open House of the year. Free, 30-minute consultations will be given between the hours of 9:00–5:00 p.m. at our Fairfax office located at 3975 University Drive, Suite 325, Fairfax, VA 22030. Though walk-in appointments will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis, interested individuals are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment in advance by calling (703) 865-4746.

“Parole in Place” Immigration Benefit for Military Family Members

Posted on January 2nd, 2014, by Susannah Nichols in Immigration Law. No Comments

U.S. immigration law provides some advantages for those who have served in the U.S. military and their families. These special programs include expedited citizenship and now, “parole in place.” In November 2013, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) outlined how parole in place may help immediate family members of U.S. servicemembers gain permanent residency (“green cards”). This initiative is designed to assist military members whose immediate family members are present in the U.S. without having first been properly admitted by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. This policy provides a way for these close family members to obtain a green card and eases the stress of the military family during the process.

Generally, immigrants who are in the United States must have been properly admitted by Customs and Border Patrol in order to be able to apply for a green card. If not … Read More »

The Hague Convention and International Child Abduction

Posted on December 30th, 2013, by Ariel Baniowski in Custody, Family Law. No Comments

When a child is removed from the United States by a parent, or retained in a country not the United States beyond an agreed-to period of time, and in violation of a parent’s custodial rights, the left-behind parent is left feeling hopeless. Why? Because each country is a sovereign nation with its own judicial system, laws, and law enforcement, and a custody order from a United States court may not be recognized by a court abroad. In this age of increased international tourism and travel, as well as the growth of ethnically diverse, multi-national families, the widespread adoption of a piece of uniform legislation that facilitates the return of abducted children is paramount. Thus, we have the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Convention”).

What is the Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention, concluded in October 1980 and … Read More »

Five Tips For Getting the Most From Your Family Law Attorney

Posted on December 19th, 2013, by Julia Jones in Custody, Divorce, Family Law. No Comments

If you are going through a divorce or other family law case, it is advisable to hire an experienced family law attorney as early in the process as possible. Not only will your attorney help guide you through the process, he or she will also serve as your advocate and voice so that you can get the best possible result without having to stand alone. It is no secret, however, that legal fees in a family law case can be expensive—and you want to receive value for your money. Here are five tips for getting the most from the relationship with your family law attorney:

Pick wisely. Not all attorneys are created equal. Make sure you feel comfortable with your attorney’s personality, level of professionalism, and views about your case. Feel free to seek a second opinion with another attorney so that you … Read More »

Domestic Violence and Gun Rights in Virginia

Posted on December 16th, 2013, by James Livesay in Family Law. No Comments

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you should be aware that the issuance of a civil protective order order can, and very well may, affect your right to purchase, possess or transport a firearm in Virginia.

Federal Law Regarding Firearms and Domestic Violence

The best known restriction is found in federal law, which prohibits you from possessing, shipping, transporting, or receiving any firearm, if four conditions are met:

a protective order has been issued against you.
the protective order pertains to your “intimate partner” or the child of such “intimate partner.” The term “intimate partner” is defined to include a spouse, former spouse, person with whom you have a child or have cohabited, but not a girlfriend or boyfriend with whom you have not cohabited.
the protective order was issued after an evidentiary hearing, and you had notice and an opportunity to … Read More »

Four Traffic Mistakes That Will Get You Pulled Over By Police

Posted on December 11th, 2013, by Eugene Oliver in Criminal Defense. No Comments

We have all seen the flashing blue lights on the side of the road while traveling, and had our basic human nature kick in and cause us to wonder why that person was pulled over. While the reason may occasionally be serious (drunk driving, etc.), many times the initial cause for the stop is surprisingly minor. Serious traffic offenses like driving under the influence (DUI) or with a suspended license often come to the police’s attention through a minor traffic offense. In some cases, police who have pulled a person over for a minor traffic violation then find evidence of serious non-traffic offenses—for example, possession of illegal narcotics. During periods of heavy traffic enforcement such as the holidays, police will often target enforcement of minor traffic infractions with an eye towards catching more serious behavior that is harder to detect. If … Read More »

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