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Fairfax Family Law Blog

    Custody Between Same-Sex Couples in Virginia

    Author:  Alexander T. Lewis, Esquire

    Virginia now recognizes same-sex marriage and all laws pertaining to custody of children apply to these couples.  However, the law is very different when dealing custody issues between couples that are not married.

    In its recent decision, the Virginia Court of Appeals in Hawkins v. Grese ruled that even though both parties of a former same-sex couple raised the child at issue, that only Grese was the child’s parent as the biological parent for purposes of a custody determination.  While Hawkins played the role of a parent in the ch...

     

    Spending Money on a Pre-Marital House

    Author: David L. Duff, Esquire DLD Scenario #1: Bob owns a house in his sole name. Bob meets and falls in love with Susan. They eventually marry and live as husband and wife in the house that Bob owns. During the marriage, Bob and Susan pay the mortgage and other house-related costs, from money that they earn from their respective jobs. After 15 years, their marital bliss soured and Bob and Susan became embroiled in a divorce. Bob’s pre-marital house has almost doubled in value during their marriage. Scenario #2: Sally owns a house in her sole name. Sally eventually decides to marry Tom, and soon thereafter becomes pregnant with twins. They decide to renovate the house with an addition for the nursery, new windows throughout, upgraded bathrooms and updated...

     

    Second Saturday Divorce Workshop - July 14, 2018

    On behalf of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in Family Law on Friday, July 6, 2018. Find out everything you need to know about divorce! Please join us for our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop scheduled for Saturday, July 14, 2018. This workshop will help you explore the legal, financial and emotional issues of divorce and gain a better understanding of the divorce process in preparing you and your family through this transition. Our team of professional volunteers will help pave the way. Our speakers include: David Duff - Family Law Attorney The divorce process Dividing property - equitable distribution How to avoid doing to court Child and spousal support Custody and Visitation Preparing financially for divorce Implications of t...

     

    Alex Lewis - Not Just a Lawyer!

    On behalf of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in Firm News on Friday, June 29, 2018.

    When Alex is not practicing law, he dedicates his time to volunteering with The Luv u Project, Inc. Alex is a Co-Founder and Director of The Luv u Project. The mission of The Luv u Project is to turn an unacceptable tragedy into a quantifiable agenda and responsible actions that advance the understanding of, and treatments for, mental health issues. Mental health is an issue that Alex takes very seriously and works to address on a daily basis. Alex works with The Luv u Project on several initiatives, including its partnership with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in establishing an advisory board of experts focused on workplace mental health and prevention. He also works on The Luv u Project's...

     

    New Language Required for Spousal Support Modifiability in Divorce Separation Agreements

    By Alexander T. Lewis of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in Family Law on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

    For any divorce separation agreement executed on or after July 1, 2018 that includes an award of spousal support, the parties must include in any such agreement that "the amount or duration of spousal support contained in this [Agreement] is not modifiable except as specifically set forth in this [Agreement]." Effective July 1, 2018, this language will be required by statute in Virginia if you want your contractual spousal support obligation to be non-modifiable.

    In the event that the parties execute a divorce separation agreement that includes non-modifiable spousal support, but they fail to include the above required language, the Court, upon a...

     

    McClung v. Smith - A Legal Malpractice Nightmare!

    By David L. Duff of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in Legal Malpractice on Monday, June 18, 2018.

    In late-1994, Judge Robert Payne of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond Division) published his decision, sitting as the tier-of-fact, in the legal malpractice case styled Constance McClung v. William Smith, Jr., et al. 870 F. Supp. 1384. The legal malpractice action arose from a botched divorce case; and, involves a veritable cornucopia of examples of what NOT to do when handling a divorce case. For some reason, perhaps because it came from the Federal Court system, this decision received little-to-no fanfare; and, among the entire constellation of attorneys in this Commonwealth, only us legal malpractice nerds are even ...

     

    Can I Just Pay My Reckless Driving Ticket, and Save Myself the Hassle of Going to Court?

    By David J. Marquardt of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in Criminal on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding "NO." That is, of course, unless you want the Judge hearing your case to issue a bench warrant for your arrest. The Commonwealth of Virginia has gained a reputation as one of the strictest jurisdictions in the country when it comes to driving offenses. Laws are tougher, fines are higher, and Judges are less forgiving. Despite this reputation, however, many people are unaware that "reckless driving" is actually a Misdemeanor in Virginia. That's right - you can go to jail for certain driving offenses in the Commonwealth. In fact, depending on who is counting, there are more than a dozen reckless driving charges defined in the Virginia Code, and all of them are quite serious. What makes matters more complicated is that the various offenses are rather wide-ranging. For example, it is reckless driving to travel m...

     

    I think that I lost my court case because my attorney made a mistake. Do I have any recourse?

    By Adam T. Kronfeld of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in About the Law on Friday, April 26, 2013. You may. When you hire an attorney to represent you, it is implied that the attorney will competently represent you, and will exhibit the skill, care, and dispatch equal to the standard of care that the law imposes upon him. Your attorney need not be perfect, but there is still a minimum level of competence and diligence that he or she must exhibit in representing your interests. If your attorney fails do that, and you sustain financial losses as a result, then you may have a claim for legal malpractice. In Virginia, when you sue an attorney for legal malpractice, you are suing that attorney for breaching the contract of employment. Consequently, Virginia law requires that you be able to show actual economic losses. Said differently, you must be able to show that you failed to receive some identifiable value as a result of your attorney's negligen...

     

    Criminal Law vs. Civil Law

    By Adam T. Kronfeld of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in About the Law on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

    Criminal law primarily involves the government seeking to punish individuals for wrongdoing. Although criminal acts are typically misdeeds that individuals have directed at other individuals, criminal law is usually not concerned with repairing the damage caused or compensating the victim. Instead, criminal law is more concerned with the damage caused to society at large; it seeks to penalize and make an example of the wrongdoer, with penalties such as probation, monetary fines and incarceration. In criminal prosecutions, individuals do not sue each other, and the victim generally has no right to control or make decisions with respect to the proceedings.

    Civil law, by c...

     

    Second Saturday Divorce Workshop - June 9, 2018

    On behalf of Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. posted in Family Law on Monday, June 4, 2018. Find out everything you need to know about divorce! Find out everything you need to know about divorce! Please join us for our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop scheduled for Saturday, June 9, 2018. This workshop will help you explore the legal, financial and emotional issues of divorce and gain a better understanding of the divorce process in preparing you and your family through this transition. Our team of professional volunteers will help pave the way. Our speakers include: David Duff - Family Law Attorney The divorce process Dividing property How to avoid doing to court Child and spousal support Custody and Visitation

     

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