The Livesay & Myers Blog
In 2013, instant interpersonal contact no longer means face-to-face or telephone contact with another person. Text messaging and social media have made nonpersonal instant communications commonplace. I confess, I have sent a message to my wife through a text or via social media while she was in another room in our house. But the modern prevalence of this technology also makes fraud easier than ever before. You may not know what the terms “catfishing” and “spoofing” are, but the chances are high that you’ve heard of Manti T’eo and his “fake girlfriend.” We often mock those who are fooled by people using fake Facebook or Twitter accounts and falsified e-mail addresses, and we shake our heads in disdain at those perpetrating the fraud—but we often place these things in the category of prank, rather than crime. At the end of … Read More »
As the summer begins to wind down, parents and children across Virginia are already beginning to prepare for the upcoming school year. For fortunate families this simply means buying school supplies and school clothes. But for some Virginia children, the new school year means a new home, away from their parents, living temporarily with an adult relative. Under a new law that went into effect this year in Virginia, those children can now more easily attend public school at their new homes.
Section 22.1-3 of the Virginia Code provides that public schools in each school division are to be free to school aged children who reside within the division. Prior to July 1, 2013, a child was said to reside in a division for these purposes only if:
The child lived with a parent (natural or adoptive) in the school division;
The child was from a military … Read More »
The first medical marijuana dispensary in Washington, D.C. opens this month. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have now legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes and two states have legalized its recreational use. Many people think that as long as they are abiding by state marijuana laws, they are free to partake. However, this is not always the case– especially for those who are non-citizens.
Whether or not use of marijuana is legal under state law where you live, your use of it may subject you to federal prosecution. This is because marijuana remains classified as a schedule I drug on the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Under immigration law, drug offenses– such as violation of the CSA– can carry serious consequences. For non-citizens (even green card holders), a drug possession or drug trafficking conviction could result in deportation … Read More »
I’m going to start this blog post by stating my conclusion first: Beware of Social Media!
Divorce, custody, and/or any other matters involving the breakdown of the family unit can be difficult, and you may feel the need to vent your frustrations, vent your disdain for your ex, or possibly even vent your own guilty conscience. And, with the advent of social media, you no longer need a physical person present in order to expel your frustrations; you need simply to press “send.”
Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Instagram, can be both a blessing and a curse for a person going through the trauma of separation, divorce, a custody dispute, or a support matter. It is a blessing because family and friends can be “near” even when they are far in distance. However, it can be a curse because it … Read More »
Most parents in separation, divorce or custody cases seek as much time as they can get with their child. Additionally, many parents find it difficult to decide between them what is in their child’s best interests regarding visitation, and must file petitions with the court to resolve custody and visitation. Often times, parents hire custody evaluators or request the appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem to assist in determining what custody and visitation schedule is appropriate. The task of deciding what is in the child’s best interests can become even more difficult where the child is an infant. Judges, attorneys, and medical professionals are aware that infants have different developmental and attachment needs than toddlers and young children.
A new national study may provide more insight into what visitation arrangements are best for an infant child. University of Virginia researchers found … Read More »
So you’re getting divorced and you have kids. If they are of a certain age, chances are good that they already know plenty about the reasons for the dissolution of your marriage. No matter how you’ve tried to shield them from it, they have lived it too. They probably hear the fights or feel the tension when you and your spouse are in the same room. And maybe they have already begun to experience the routine-shattering effects of a shared custodial schedule or divorce-related relocation.
We know that kids are affected by divorce, and that to a certain extent, those effects can’t be avoided. But how can we minimize them and put our children on the pathway to a “new normal”? Here are four do’s and don’ts to put the children first and limit the collateral damage in your divorce:
Don’t speak … Read More »
A problem one occasionally encounters in divorce practice is the spouse who is unwilling, out of selfishness or greed, to disclose his or her actual assets and earnings. Where a spouse is being dishonest, it is necessary to resort to alternative measures to uncover this information.
The motivation for a spouse to lie may seem obvious. Some spouses believe that the income they earn should belong solely to them, especially where that person has his or her own business or receives income from a family source, such as a trust. By hiding assets or deferring income, a spouse can reduce his or her child support, spousal support, and the share of marital property that would have to otherwise be equitably divided between the parties.
You cannot always tell for sure whether your spouse is lying. However, certain circumstances raise good reason to … Read More »
Recently, I attended the 2013 AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) national conference in San Francisco. This conference brings together some of the best and brightest immigration practitioners nationwide. After attending numerous sessions, I gained new insight into a variety of topics. Below are some of the main highlights:
Nonimmigrants who are accustomed to receiving paper I-94 cards upon entry into the United States may be pleased to hear that Customs now issues paperless I-94s to those traveling by air or sea. The foreign national will be able to print a computer-generated copy of the paperless I-94 online here. It is a good idea to review the computer version for accuracy and then print and staple the I-94 into a passport.
During the Conference, on June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as … Read More »
Many families had a new reason to celebrate this July 4th holiday. On June 26th, the Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, giving many Americans a long-awaited sense of equality. In Windsor, the Court declared key provisions in the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) unconstitutional. DOMA limited the definition of marriage for purposes of over 1,000 federal laws to a union between a man and a woman, depriving married same-sex couples from a host of federal benefits. Among the widest consequences of the Court’s DOMA ruling is that it opened up immigration benefits for same-sex couples.
Same-sex marriages are legal in some foreign countries and a growing number of U.S. states, yet prior to U.S. v. Windsor these marriages were not recognized under federal law. This not only had financial consequences, but also resulted in the separation of families. Under U.S. immigration law, … Read More »
The Livesay & Myers Blog, as the rest of the nation, has closely followed the recent Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage. In a previous post, my colleague Ariel Baniowski discussed how Virginia law is impacted by the Supreme Court’s rulings. While these decisions do not modify Virginia marriage laws, the Supreme Court has radically altered the landscape of federal law, in a way that might affect thousands of Virginians.
In the case of U.S. v. Windsor, the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), ruling that the federal government can no longer restrict federal marriage benefits to solely opposite-sex couples. Virginia of course– especially Northern Virginia– is home to a large number of federal employees. During the recent “sequester” showdown, it was reported that some 322,198 federal employees and retirees call the Commonwealth their home. Should any of … Read More »