About James Livesay

Attorney James Livesay is a Partner at Livesay & Myers, P.C. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1998, he began his legal career in the Navy JAG Corps, before entering private practice as a Virginia family lawyer in 2001. Along with partner Kevin Myers, Mr. Livesay founded Livesay & Myers, P.C. in 2003.

Here are the most recent posts by this author:


Livesay & Myers, P.C. Listed in 2021 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

Posted on November 5th, 2020, by James Livesay in Awards. No Comments

We are proud to announce that Livesay & Myers, P.C. appears in the 2021 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” released on November 5, 2020!

The 2021 edition marks the 11th consecutive year that U.S. News & World Report, in combination with Best Lawyers, has ranked law firms nationwide. Livesay & Myers, P.C. made its debut on the list in the 2018 Edition.

Firms included in the 2021 Edition of Best Law Firms are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have at least one lawyer recognized in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 5% of private practicing lawyers in the United States. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of … Read More »


Livesay & Myers, P.C. Listed in 2020 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

Posted on November 1st, 2019, by James Livesay in Awards. No Comments

We are proud to announce that Livesay & Myers, P.C. appears in the 2020 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” released on November 1, 2019!

The 2020 edition marks the tenth consecutive year that U.S. News & World Report, in combination with Best Lawyers, has ranked law firms nationwide. Livesay & Myers, P.C. made its debut on the list in the 2018 Edition.

Firms included in the 2020 Edition of Best Law Firms are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must first have a lawyer recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 5% of private practicing lawyers in the United States. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

Livesay & Myers, P.C. … Read More »


Livesay & Myers, P.C. Listed in 2019 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

Posted on November 1st, 2018, by James Livesay in Awards. Comments Off on Livesay & Myers, P.C. Listed in 2019 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

We are proud to announce that Livesay & Myers, P.C. appears in the 2018 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” released on November 1, 2018!

The 2019 Edition edition marks the ninth consecutive year that U.S. News & World Report, in combination with Best Lawyers, has ranked law firms nationwide. Livesay & Myers, P.C. made its debut on the list in the 2018 Edition.

Firms included in the 2019 Edition of Best Law Firms are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

Livesay & Myers, P.C. is ranked for the second consecutive year as a Tier 2 firm in Family Law for the Washington, D.C. region. And, also for the second consecutive year, L&M junior partner Matthew … Read More »


Should You File for Divorce Based on Fault in Virginia?

Posted on October 6th, 2016, by James Livesay in Divorce. Comments Off on Should You File for Divorce Based on Fault in Virginia?

Virginia law allows for divorce based on both fault-based and “no-fault” grounds. The fault-based grounds include desertion (actual or “constructive”), adultery, desertion (actual or “constructive”), and felony conviction and confinement in excess of one year. In deciding which ground to file on, it is wise to start by considering the pros and cons of filing for divorce based on a fault-based ground in Virginia.

Advantages to Filing for Divorce Based on Fault

Unlike a “no-fault” divorce, if you decide to file for divorce based on fault, there is no statutorily mandated waiting period for filing. Many individuals who want to get the ball rolling on their divorce may choose to proceed based on fault (assuming it is applicable in their case). This advantage to a fault-based divorce is especially important in those cases where one spouse needs immediate, temporary child support or spousal support … Read More »


Can Other Countries Be Home States Under the UCCJEA?

Posted on June 12th, 2015, by James Livesay in Custody, Family Law. Comments Off on Can Other Countries Be Home States Under the UCCJEA?

In custody cases where a child has lived in multiple states, under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) the initial custody determination will generally be made in the child’s “home state.” If the child has been absent from their home state, the court will look to see what state the child lived in during the prior six months or during the six months immediately preceding the filing for custody.

But what happens when the child has not lived in the United States in the past six months?

Take the hypothetical case of John & Suzy Doe for example. John and Suzy have an 8-year-old son named Joe. Joe was born in England, but moved to Virginia with his parents when he was two years old. After six years in Virginia, Suzy takes Joe and heads back to England. Nine months later, Suzy files for … Read More »


The Hidden Danger of Virginia Spousal Support Agreements

Posted on April 7th, 2014, by James Livesay in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on The Hidden Danger of Virginia Spousal Support Agreements

The Fairfax County Circuit Court recently issued an opinion that sheds light on an important aspect of Virginia divorce law: when divorcing parties include a provision for spousal support in a separation agreement that is incorporated into a divorce decree, that spousal support can only be modified later if the language of the agreement specifically allows for modification.

In Gordon v. Gordon, the parties divorced in 2003 after signing a separation agreement that provided for an award of spousal support (alimony). The Agreement made support non-modifiable, stating:

The husband agrees to pay to the wife, as and for her non-modifiable support and maintenance, the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per month, the initial payment to be made on the first day of the month following execution of this Agreement by both parties, and to continue in consecutive monthly installments on the first … Read More »


What is the Statute of Limitations on Child Support in Virginia?

Posted on March 18th, 2014, by James Livesay in Family Law. Comments Off on What is the Statute of Limitations on Child Support in Virginia?

What is the statute of limitations on child support in Virginia? The Virginia Supreme Court answered this question in 2011, when it ruled in Adcock v. Department of Social Services that child support obligations are set judgments which are subject to a 20-year statute of limitations. In Adcock, the father of a child was obligated, through a final decree of divorce entered in 1966, to pay $30 per week in child support to the child’s mother. In 2008, more than twenty years after the order, the Department of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) sought to reopen the matter to collect the support payments which were past due. The father attempted to prevent this, arguing that the action by DCSE was barred by the 20-year statute of limitations expressed in Virginia Code § 8.01-251(A).

The Circuit Court in Adcock held that child support obligations were not the type … Read More »


Domestic Violence and Gun Rights in Virginia

Posted on December 16th, 2013, by James Livesay in Family Law. Comments Off on Domestic Violence and Gun Rights in Virginia

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 participate … Read More »


Equitable Distribution: Using Separate Property For A Marital Loan

Posted on November 6th, 2013, by James Livesay in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on Equitable Distribution: Using Separate Property For A Marital Loan

When parties file a complaint for divorce, they often ask the court to determine a myriad of issues: spousal support, child support, child custody and visitation, and the division of property. In Virginia, courts will decide how to divide the parties’ property through a process called “equitable distribution.”

The first step in equitable distribution is to classify all property as separate, marital, or hybrid. Generally, marital property is any property that is acquired during the marriage, whereas separate property is any property that was acquired by a party (a) before the marriage, (b) after the parties separated or (c) during the marriage from an inheritance, gift from a third party, or other source outside the marriage. Hybrid property is a mixture of the two: it is separate property that has been commingled with marital property, making it part marital and part separate. … Read More »


Can A Separation Agreement Terminate Parental Rights In Virginia?

Posted on October 7th, 2013, by James Livesay in Family Law. Comments Off on Can A Separation Agreement Terminate Parental Rights In Virginia?

A frequently asked question in Virginia divorce cases is whether one party may relinquish his or her parental rights in exchange for a termination of that party’s child support obligation. Can the parties include such a provision in a separation agreement?

This question was recently answered, quite definitively, in Layne v. Layne, 61 Va. App. 32, 733 SE2d 139 (10/23/2012).

Layne v. Layne involved a married couple with one child. The parties separated and later reached a separation agreement, which included the following provisions:

Child Custody and Visitation: Mother agrees that she has and does hereby relinquishes [sic] her parental rights and any and all claims of parenthood to the child.

Child Support: Father hereby waives the right to any claim of child support.

The separation agreement was approved and incorporated into a Final Decree of Divorce of the parties. Then, over five years later, … Read More »


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