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Leesburg Virginia Drunk Driving Defense Law Blog

Prenups and postnups are about more than just dividing assets

What is behind many divorces? Some may say disagreements about money and a lack of communication between spouses are two primary reasons a couple may decide to end their marriage. However, executing a prenuptial agreement (called a premarital agreement in Virginia) or a postnuptial agreement (called a marital agreement in Virginia) can help couples open up the door to discussions on the touchy subject of finances, in a manner that allows them to be open and honest with one another. This can help set the stage for positive communication between the spouses in the future. And, if the marriage does not last, a prenuptial agreement can make the divorce process run smoother.

When people in Virginia think of prenuptial agreements, they may think all this document does is divide assets. While this can be part of a prenuptial agreement, there are other financial issues it can address. For example, a prenup can also address who will retain which marital debts in the event of a divorce. It can establish how much a party will pay in alimony if the couple divorces, and for how long. It can even say that the parties have an obligation to execute an estate plan that addresses who will retain what property in the event of the death of one of the spouses. Finally, it can establish which state's laws will be followed if the prenup needs to be enforced. Postnuptial agreements can address many of these same topics. The difference is that a prenup is executed before a marriage and a postnup is executed after the couple is married.

My ex is hassling me about child support. Should I worry?

As you may have discovered, few single parents have little to no issues regarding child support. Finances can be difficult for both custodial and non-custodial parents, and your ex-spouse may be feeling bitter about paying child support. However, does this mean your ex can demand to see receipts and tell you what to spend the money on? You and other parents in Virginia who receive child support may have an interest in learning the answer.

According to FindLaw, child support spending is up to the discretion of the receiving parent for children’s physical and emotional well-being. Therefore, the first things you are likely to spend child support on may include food, clothing and school supplies. Necessities involving shelter, such as rent, utility bills and household items, fall under the use of child support. You may also spend child support on doctor visit co-pays, over-the-counter medicine and prescriptions.

Where can parents turn for assistance with child support matters?

The Division of Child Support Enforcement is the agency in Virginia that provides child support services to parents in the commonwealth. It provides services to both custodial parents and noncustodial parents. Therefore, it is a crucial component in ensuring that parents receive the correct amount of child support they are owed in full and on time.

There are numerous services that DCSE provides to custodial parents who are owed child support. DCSE can help the parent who is to receive child support locate the parent who is to pay child support. It can also help unmarried parents establish paternity, which is necessary in order to award child support. If child support is not being paid as it is supposed to, DCSE can help enforce existing orders for child support. If requested, DCSE can review and modify an existing order for child support if there is a change in family circumstances. DCSE can also assist parents with co-parenting and it can refer parents to mediation if a dispute involving child support occurs.

Sensors being developed in Virginia to detect drunk driving

Technology in automobiles is developing at a rapid rate. People in Virginia may already own vehicles that have sensors allowing them to see behind them when parking or detecting when they are swerving outside their lane. Now, a new sensor is being developed to combat a serious issue: drunk driving.

The sensor is a small air vent on the driver's side of the vehicle's dashboard. Unlike an ignition interlock device, the motorist just breaths normally, and the sensor will assess the driver's blood-alcohol content level. If it is above the legal limit, the vehicle will start, but cannot be driven. This way, motorists can still use the vehicle to charge their cellphones, so they can call for a ride from a loved one, a taxi cab or a ride-sharing service.

Assisting Virginians throughout the criminal trial process

When a person in Virginia is placed under arrest, they may feel confused, embarrassed or intimidated. They may be afraid of what will unfold in their future. Will the charges against them be dropped? Will they have to face a judge and jury in a trial? And what will happen to them if they are found guilty?

These are legitimate concerns that anyone accused of a crime may have. Depending on the severity of the charges against them, a person could face incarceration, heavy fines and even a criminal record. All of these things could change the trajectory of a person's life forever. And even if a person is ultimately acquitted, they may find that simply having been charged with a crime has negatively affected their personal and professional reputation.

What financial issues will be addressed in a Virginia divorce?

Divorce is one of the biggest changes in life a person can undertake. Not only is one transitioning from married life to being single, but they may find that this transition touches not only their personal life, but their financial situation as well. Therefore, it is important to have a clear understanding of financial issues that will need to be settled in the divorce process.

One issue that will affect just about everyone going through a divorce is property division. Virginia is an "equitable distribution" state. This means that when marital assets are divided in a divorce, the court will do so based on fairness and equity, which may not mean equally. While one may think of things such as the family home, automobiles and other tangible assets as marital property, marital property could also include non-tangible assets including deferred benefits, such as pensions, stock options and more.

When is it illegal to possess a prescription drug in Virginia?

When a resident is ill or injured, they often visit the doctor who prescribes a medication to treat their ailment. It is important, though, that people do not share prescription medications with others or possess them without first obtaining a valid prescription. Doing so is not only dangerous for one's health, but also could be considered a crime.

Under Virginia Code § 18.2-250, one cannot intentionally or knowingly be in possession of a controlled substance, unless he or she has a valid prescription for the controlled substance. Many prescription medications are considered to be controlled substances. For example, one cannot intentionally or knowingly possess Oxycodone, a medication used to treat pain, unless he or she has a prescription for that medication.

Focus on the child's needs when making child custody decisions

When parents in Virginia divorce, they will need to execute a parenting plan that addresses when each parent will have the child in their care. If parents cannot reach an out-of-court agreement regarding physical custody of the child, they can turn to the court to have a judge issue an order regarding where the child will live and when. However they are made, these child custody decisions are very important, as they could affect the child for the rest of his or her life.

After a divorce, parents should try to keep a child's life as stable as possible. For example, if feasible it may help for the child to stay in the family home and in the same school district that they were in prior to the divorce. In this situation, the custodial parent can retain the family home during the property division process. This way the child will not have to undergo a move during what is already a stressful time.

3 reasons fathers get custody less often

When you and your ex have kids, going through the process of a divorce and a custody battle is a stressful situation. You want to minimize the conflict of the divorce and make the transition as smooth as possible for your children. This leads many dads to wonder whether they have a shot at getting primary custody. You may question this because mothers are typically awarded custody.

According to a report by the Census, only one in six parents who have primary custody is the father. It is worth questioning why there is such a dramatic split between moms and dads who have custody. The following are three reasons why fathers get custody less frequently than mothers do:

With paternity comes certain legal rights and obligations

Having a child out of wedlock is starting to lose its social stigma, and it is not unusual these days for a child in Virginia to be born to unmarried parents. However, when this happens the child's father will have to establish paternity, which will confer upon the father all the legal rights and obligations that come with being a parent.

For example, if the child's parents were never married and are no longer in a relationship with one another, the child's father may want to establish paternity, so he can seek visitation rights. It is important to keep in mind that establishing paternity doesn't automatically grant the father visitation rights. They are two separate legal issues. First, paternity needs to be established and confirmed by the court. Once this is done, then the father can file a motion with the court for visitation rights.

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