Category:Family Law


Social Networking and Electronic Communications in Custody and Divorce Cases

Posted on January 12th, 2011, by James Livesay in Custody, Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on Social Networking and Electronic Communications in Custody and Divorce Cases

Technology is a wonderful tool to make our lives easier and help us connect with friends across the world, through social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace or LinkedIn. Technology has allowed instant communication through texting, instant messaging and e-mail. While these technological advances may make our social lives more enjoyable, they can lead to hidden perils during a divorce or custody case.

Social Networking Sites

Posting on a social networking site may seem like harmless fun, but during a divorce or custody case these postings can easily move from the computer to the courtroom. Your time in front of a Judge is limited, and the last thing you want to do is waste time defending the angry wall post you wrote at 2 a.m. or those pictures of you blowing off steam at a friend’s party, during your divorce or custody … Read More »


Establishing Date Of Separation In A Virginia Divorce

Posted on November 1st, 2010, by Matthew Smith in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on Establishing Date Of Separation In A Virginia Divorce

Unfortunately, many people reach a point of no return in their marital relationship. Perhaps a spouse has been unfaithful or abusive, or maybe two people have simply drifted apart over time. Whatever the reason, you’ve made the decision that you need to turn the page and move on with your life. One of the first steps in the divorce process is the establishment of a date of separation. But why is it important, and how can you ensure that you’ve done it correctly?

A separation date may be crucial to your divorce case for a number of reasons. First, if you don’t have a fault basis for your complaint (adultery, cruelty, desertion, constructive desertion, etc.), then your separation date will determine when you can file for divorce. In Virginia, you must wait one year to file if you have children and/or … Read More »


My Spouse Is Filing For Bankruptcy… Help!

Posted on October 15th, 2010, by Livesay & Myers, P.C. in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on My Spouse Is Filing For Bankruptcy… Help!

You and your spouse have decided to separate. You have decided who will move out and even who will have custody of your children. Inevitably, the discussion will turn to support, both child and spousal. How much is enough? Why should he get spousal support if I have the kids? Why should I pay at all? In some of these discussions, one party throws out the dreaded “B-word”—bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is more than what you declare when you lose at Monopoly or what takes all your money on “Wheel of Fortune.” Bankruptcy is the government’s way of allowing people to get rid of their debt and have a chance at a fresh start. But what effect does bankruptcy have on a person’s support obligations? Consider the following three situations.

Situation One: Rick and Kate are discussing their Property Settlement Agreement, and have decided … Read More »


Paying for Private Education with Child Support

Posted on July 26th, 2010, by James Livesay in Family Law. Comments Off on Paying for Private Education with Child Support

Is there anything you can do when you want your child to have a private education, but your ex doesn’t want to help pay the bill? It depends.

This is how child support works in Virginia: there is a presumptive amount of child support that is due to the primary custodial parent that is calculated using the gross incomes of the two parents. This presumptive amount of child support can be rebutted upon findings of fact, as required by Virginia Code Section 20-108.1(B), that justify a deviation from the guidelines.

Will a court deviate from the guidelines– order more child support than stated in the guidelines– to allow the custodial parent to send the child to private school? To answer this question, the Virginia Appellate Court has written that “a parent may be required to pay for private education expenses, even though … Read More »


Uncontested Divorce The Cheap and Quick Way

Posted on May 9th, 2010, by James Livesay in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on Uncontested Divorce The Cheap and Quick Way

For years, the divorce attorneys at Livesay & Myers, P.C. have secured cheap, quick uncontested divorces for clients in Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Manassas, Woodbridge, Stafford, Fredericksburg and all across Northern Virginia. Virginia law allows for an uncontested divorce on the no-fault grounds of (1) separation for at least twelve months, or (2) separation for at least six months, with a separation agreement and no minor children. If you meet one of these grounds, have no outstanding custody, support, property or other issues to be resolved, and your spouse will cooperate fully, we can process your uncontested divorce quickly, with no court appearance, for a low flat fee.

How Does It Work?

Central to our ability to process no-fault divorces quickly and cheaply is this simple fact: Virginia law allows us to file an uncontested, no-fault divorce in any jurisdiction in Virginia, so long as both parties agree. This … Read More »


Summonses Directed to Juveniles in Virginia Custody Cases

Posted on September 28th, 2009, by James Livesay in Custody, Family Law. Comments Off on Summonses Directed to Juveniles in Virginia Custody Cases

When a petition for child custody is filed with a court in Virginia, most parents usually assume that the minor child, who is the subject of the suit, does not need to know about the Court case. In most cases, parents attempt to shield the minor child from any exposure to the case. However, the law does not necessarily assist parents in this respect.

Pursuant to Virginia Code § 16.1-263, once a petition has been filed with a Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Virginia, the Court is required to issue a summons to the following parties: (1) the juvenile, if the juvenile is twelve (12) or more years in age, (2) at least one (1) parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis, and (3) any other person(s) the Court deems to … Read More »


Types Of Custodial Arrangements In Virginia

Posted on August 24th, 2009, by James Livesay in Custody, Family Law. Comments Off on Types Of Custodial Arrangements In Virginia

Virginia law allows for several different types of custodial arrangements. It is important for any party going through a custody case to understand the differences and similarities between these different types of custody.

Sole Custody. With “sole custody,” one parent assumes the major role in the physical, emotional, and moral development of the child. The custodial parent has primary authority to make all major decisions affecting the child, who lives primarily with this parent. Sole custody is defined under Virginia Code Section 20-124.1 as an arrangement whereby “one person retains responsibility for the care and control of a child and has primary authority to make decisions concerning the child.”

Joint Custody. In a “joint custody” arrangement, both parents assume responsibility for the physical, moral, and emotional development of the child, and there are shared rights and responsibilities for making decisions that affect … Read More »


Pendente Lite Child Or Spousal Support In Virginia

Posted on August 24th, 2009, by James Livesay in Divorce, Family Law. Comments Off on Pendente Lite Child Or Spousal Support In Virginia

Virginia Code Section 20-103 provides that in any case where spousal support or child support is in dispute, a Virginia court may enter an order of temporary support pending the conclusion of the suit. Section 20-103 applies in suits for divorce, annulment, and separate maintenance and also in spousal support and child support proceedings brought in the juvenile and domestic relations district court (“JDR Court”).

Such a “pendente lite” order of support will last until the conclusion of the case, at which time the court may order more or less support, or no support at all, depending upon the facts of the case.

For child support, the statewide guidelines, which establish a “presumptively correct” amount of support, apply equally at both pendente lite and final hearings.

For spousal support, a JDR Court that is determining a request for pendente lite spousal support must … Read More »


Grandparent Visitation Under Virginia Law

Posted on August 10th, 2009, by James Livesay in Family Law. Comments Off on Grandparent Visitation Under Virginia Law

Grandparents love nothing more than their grandchildren. But what do you do when you are a grandparent who is not allowed to see your grandchild? This situation often arises when parents are separated and the custodial parent does not get along with the non-custodial parent’s family. If you are in this situation, there may be recourse for you through the courts via a visitation order.

The standard Virginia Courts use when determining whether or not to award grandparents visitation with their grandchildren depends upon the parents’ stance on the visitation:

When both parents object to visitation, the court may not award visitation to the grandparents unless there a showing of actual harm to the child’s health or welfare without such visitation;
When the custodial parent objects and the non-custodial parent affirmatively requests the court award the grandparents visitation, the court may award visitation … Read More »


Social Security Benefits and Divorce

Posted on July 28th, 2009, by James Livesay in Divorce. Comments Off on Social Security Benefits and Divorce

Where a couple was married 10 or more years and then divorce, each party will be paid the greater of his/her own Social Security benefit or a spousal benefit. Spousal benefits generally are equal to 50% of the primary wage earner’s benefit. The gender of the spouse is irrelevant, although historically this has had a greater impact on ex-wives.

It is important to understand that there is no impact on the primary wage earner’s benefit. If an ex-wife chooses spousal benefits based on her marriage to a former husband, it will not reduce the amount the ex-husband receives in Social Security.

For an example: assume Suzy and John are married over 10 years, then divorce. Suzy then marries Edward, stays married to him for over 10 years, then divorces Edward as well.

At retirement, Suzy will be entitled to choose the greatest of … Read More »


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