Skip to main content
Michael David Thomas
Avvo
Pro

Michael Thomas’s Answers

278 total


  • Can I get survivor benefits?

    married 30 years ,divorced ,husband worked for government and only had 24 credits in social security don't have anything on divorce order. he remarried new wife got every thing

    Michael’s Answer

    I would have to see a copy of your final decree of divorce to be able to properly answer this question, but if you were not awarded anything then you may not be entitled to anything. A final decree is a very powerful document. If you did not request spousal support, even though you were married a very long time, you will not receive it. If you did not take steps to protect your portion of any retirements, then you likely have lost those too. Please consider meeting with an attorney as soon as possible to review your final decree and see what might be done.

    See question 
  • WIll I go to jail for reckless driving?

    Hi I was hoping to get some advice or information regarding the nature of a reckless driving charge in the state of Virginia. I read that reckless driving is a much more excessively serious offense in Virginia than other states and has the possibi...

    Michael’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    A charge of Reckless Driving is a class one misdemeanor that can carry up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2500 fine.. But realistically I do not believe in your situation jail time or a large fine is likely. Accidents do happen and I would agree that improper driving is more fitting to your crime. I think it wise that you acquire a copy of your driving history and meet with an attorney to retain them to assist you with this charge.

    See question 
  • How can I separate from my wife in Va without her claiming abandonment?

    She is extremely jealous even though we been together for 34 years. We own a house with mortgage.

    Michael’s Answer

    Separation by itself is not abandonment; however, I would suggest that you consider meeting with an attorney to discuss a possible separation agreement. The marriage may be over but you have a house that must be dealt with either by selling or refinancing. You may also have children, spousal support issues, retirements to be divided. I always suggest attempting to negotiate a settlement.

    In addition, by presenting her with a proposal demonstrates that you do not desire to abandon her rather you want to discuss separating and a mere separation by mutually consent is not abandonment or desertion.

    See question 
  • Can any attorney take a deposition for a divorce?

    We have filed divorce papers with the court and the papers have been returned as incomplete and stating we need a deposition. We did not use an attorney to complete or file our papers, we took them online. Can we go to any attorney and have them p...

    Michael’s Answer

    An attorney can absolutely step into your existing case and help you finish it up. Now, typically when I do this for a client there seems to always be corrections needed to the paperwork they filed. So I suggest you meet with an attorney, like myself, that practices in York County to help you wrap your case up.

    See question 
  • I live in Virginia. My husband is being unfaithful and I am wondering what I need to do.

    Since we have been married, we have purchased a house which he is the only one on the deed. I only work part-time and college full time and him full time a full time job. What would I get in a divorce.

    Michael’s Answer

    It is hard to say "what you would get in divorce" without a great deal more information. Based on what you have stated, you both acquired a home together so that would be marital and this means that you would divide any Equity that may exist. In today's economy that might not be much.

    You also refer to you working and being a college student. I think what you are trying to ask if you would be entitled to spousal support and I am sorry to say there is simply not enough information here to determine that. We would need to look at some hard numbers of your and his income and even then the Court may determine what "need" you may or may not have. I would need a much more in depth consultation with you to give you a better answer here.

    There is so much else you need to consider too. How long were you guys together? Has either of you vacated the home? If so when? Do you have an debts together? do you hard evidence of any adultery?

    I really suggest you scheduled an appointment to meet with an attorney to discuss this as soon as possible.

    See question 
  • After 7 years of marriage my husband wants a separation and divorce. Can you please help me to prepare? What should I expect?

    My husband stated that he no longer wants to be married to me. The reason being that I've said hurtful & disrespectful things to him in the past. He said that the way I've spoken to him & the things I've said showed him that I couldn't possible l...

    Michael’s Answer

    Well, while I do applaud your desire to working things out, if he wants a divorce and he is now cheating on you, it sounds like the divorce is inevitable. So the initial question is, has either one of you moved out or in some way established yourselves as separate and apart. This is the first step. Virginia requires a period of separation prior to granting a final decree of divorce. This separation period is for one year or for 6 months (if you have no kids and have a property agreement).

    Now having said that, let's not forget that you guys are still married and his relationship with another person may constitute adultery (if you can prove it). Adultery is one ground that if proven, does not required a separation period. You could, in theory, file now. However, my best advice to you is to sit down with an attorney to begin negotiating a separation agreement.

    See question 
  • My son plea guilty to a fire gun possession in a deal they give him what's next

    If he got a deal can the judge order a presentence investigation

    Michael’s Answer

    The short answer is yes. A judge can order a presentence investigation. Unless the sentence is formally agreed to in the written plea agreement, the Court will order a presentence report to be prepared for the sentencing hearing. This report will include a recommendation based on the sentencing guidelines, then your son's attorney and the Commonwealth Attorney will argue about what the exact sentence should be.

    See question 
  • If medical expenses are born by my employers, how do I file personal injury claim from a beverage company for damages? Victor

    I had a bottle Mocha (Starbucks) and had severe gastroenteritis as the bottle had gone bad much ahead of its expiry date. Another sealed bottle of the same lot lying with me has developed thick lumps in a transparent liquid. Company has apologiz...

    Michael’s Answer

    You should really consider hiring an attorney to assist you before handing over your medical records. Your medical expenses may have been covered by your own insurance but does not stop you from using those expenses as part of the basis of your claim. The company or their insurance want your medical bills in order to make you an offer to settle. I strongly advise you to not enter this negotiation without assistance and please do not merely sign a release for them to get your records.

    See question 
  • My husband and his ex wife bought a timeshare while married. She won't buy his half or sign so they can sell and split the $.

    My husband and his ex wife bought a timeshare while they were married. It is a Joint Tenant with Survivorship. He doesn't want to keep the timeshare co-owned with her. She refuses to buy his half and she refuses to sign so they can sell and spl...

    Michael’s Answer

    Unfortunately this is what a divorce if for. To determine and / or divide marital property when the parties cannot agree. I am assuming they are not yet divorced.

    So he really needs to consider retaining counsel to determine the equitable distribution issue in the context of their divorce.

    See question 
  • Can I ask for sole custody after previous case was dismissed and NCP will not visit or give any contact info?

    I used to have joint custody, physical custody of my 3 year old. Case was dismissed when i asked for it to be continued because i couldn't take off work one day due to shortage of staff. Now we are starting over for custody. I want to ask for sole...

    Michael’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I would not advise being so concerned about "sole" custody. The real issue is always who has primary physical custody, because even with joint legal custody or sole custody, the court will still require both of you to provide each other changes to your address and will want you both to discuss major issues in the child's life. More importantly even if you have "sole" custody, he may still request visitation.

    What I really think you are trying to say is that you want to limit his visitation. So, definitely re-file to establish yourself as the primary custodian but make him file if he wants visitation. The Court will only hear what is before it, so if you file to determine custody only and he has not filed to request visitation... then he gets nothing, unless of course you agree otherwise.

    See question