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Leesburg Virginia Drunk Driving Defense Law Blog

Can grandparents in Virginia seek custody of their grandchildren?

When parents choose to divorce or separate, it isn't just the obvious immediate parties - parents and children - who are affected. Other members of the family may be affected as well, including grandparents.

Unfortunately, custody arrangements in Virginia, or anywhere else in the country for that matter, don't usually take into consideration the time grandparents get to spend with their grandchildren. In fact, there are even situations in which grandparents might wonder about their rights in these matters, including whether or not they can fight for custody and visitation.

Could divorce mediation be right for you?

Divorce can be stressful, even under the best of circumstances. When there is a chance for cooperation, however, our attorneys offer the option of divorce mediation.

In Virginia, mediation is offered by the judicial system as a voluntary alternative dispute resolution process. If the parties are interested in mediation, the court will suspend any procedural deadlines and refer the case to a certified mediator.

Are drug crime convictions in Virginia unfair?

In recent weeks, the Obama administration has been commuting the sentences of various individuals across the country who are serving time for drug offenses. The administration may be sending a message about the need for sentencing reforms involving non-violent drug convictions.

That message has particular significance for the Eastern District of Virginia, where sentences for crack cocaine dealers are reportedly the highest in the country. In fact, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has identified this district as having the most inmates eligible for reduced sentences.

Hasty decisions that could negatively affect your divorce

The time between a couple or a spouse deciding to divorce and actually finalizing a divorce can be a minefield of bad decisions if people are not careful. In fact, you could be doing some serious damage to your future and your family if you act without thinking in the days, weeks and months leading up to your divorce.

Below are some of the hasty decisions people often make in the heat of an argument, which can ultimately have negative repercussions that last long after a divorce is finalized.

Tips for starting your estate planning in the New Year

Many estate planning law firms have the experience to set up the legal documents of an estate. However, our law firm also takes pride in providing practical advice for our clients.

For example, a contract to establish a revocable or irrevocable trust has scarcely more legal impact than a piece of paper unless the trust principal is funded. This is easily accomplished, however. The trustor needs only to retitle specific assets in the name of the trust. A pour-over clause in the trust can also account for property accidentally omitted.

Can foreclosure be a valid commercial real estate strategy?

Predicting the next hot commercial real estate location may seem more like art than science. Industry-specific fluctuations can also make or break a new investment. Vornado Realty Trust, a New York-based Real Estate Investment Trust, or REIT, learned this truth the hard way about a northern Virginia investment property.

The REIT recently allowed an eight-building office complex in Fairfax County, called Skyline, to go into foreclosure. According to reports, the 2.6 million-square-foot office complex was only half-occupied. Consequently, the Skyline office complex was not drawing in enough revenue to cover its $678 million loan. After the foreclosure, the REIT’s balance sheet will reflect a much better outlook. In addition to being free of the loan, the REIT will report a non-cash gain of around $486 million.

Take two, drive and call your lawyer in the morning

As we have pointed out time and again on our blog, driving while intoxicated is considered a serious crime here in Virginia. Most people not only find an arrest embarrassing, it can also lead to serious charges that could lead to jail time, steep fines and the possibility of losing your license.

When most people think of driving under the influence, however, they envision someone who is impaired by alcohol. Few people realize that alcohol isn't the only thing that can impair our ability to drive. So can prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Changes in income affect child support

Virginia residents may be curious about how changes in the income of a former spouse may affect their child support responsibilities. There are many factors that contribute to a child support decision, but the payments are often simple calculations based on each parent's income adjusted for the amount of direct care each parent provides to the children after the divorce. A change in the circumstances of either parent can trigger an adjustment in child support expectations.

Being poor is not a crime, DOJ rules in recent lawsuit

Back in July, a major issue was brought to the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the practice of suspending driver's licenses here in Virginia. According to a lawsuit filed on behalf of roughly 1 million Virginians, police in our state have been suspending and even revoking residents' driver's licenses simply because they were unable to pay fines or court fees.

As you can imagine, many people rely on their driving privileges to get to and from work. Without a driver's license, a person would have to choose between losing their job and choosing instead to drive on a suspended license. Both choices had steep costs and made many feel like they were being punished for being impoverished. 

How to prevent asset depletion in divorce

Some Virginia residents who are getting a divorce may be concerned about asset depletion. This occurs when one spouse spends marital assets as a way to prevent the other spouse from getting them. This can be a particular problem if the spouse who is spending has a high income and the other spouse does not work outside the home. While the spending spouse can easily recover the money after divorce, the other spouse might leave the marriage with no assets.

Divorce courts in some states will issue an automatic temporary restraining order, which prohibits either spouse from making a substantive change to marital finances, but if this is not done in time, people might have to try to prove asset depletion. They may want to look over credit card statements for suspicious expenditures.

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