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Michael David Thomas
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Michael Thomas’s Answers

289 total


  • When the courts rule on ED divorce?

    During a divorce, can you ask the court to rule on only the assets you can't agree on (or will a court only look at the whole enchilada and then you risk having to divide or sell something you didn't want to divide or sell)?

    Michael’s Answer

    If you both have counsel, your respective attorneys will typically inform the Court that what is at issue or what has been agreed upon. This usually entails a written agreement. Now many times though, parties will get close to a complete verbal agreement on all issues but then the last few issues unravel the successful agreement in which case does force the Court to rule on the "whole enchilada." The lesson hear is lock in what you agree to in writing and reserve the few remaining issues in writing. This will not leave anything to chance when you go before the Court. Did I mention get the agreement in writing?

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  • Do I need a divorce/custody attorney?

    Ex-spouse is planning to move out of state to live with her boyfriend with our 2 children (9 & 7 years old).

    Michael’s Answer

    You absolutely do need an attorney immediately. You mention ex-spouse so I am assuming that you are divorced. So what were the terms of your divorce decree? We really need to see the prior order to see where we stand. I hope your prior order had a provision about no overnight guests of the opposite sex. Of course with regard to the relocation of your children you can object to that but by doing so you are saying that you desire for the kids to stay with you. This entails making sure your are appropriately prepared to take custody. Are you living with someone? Does your home have sufficient space for 2 kids? What school are you zone for? These are but a few of the questions that you need help preparing for.

    As the other responder mentioned, you may go to the Juvenile & domestic relations district court and file your own motion to amend or petition to revisit the custody issue but it would be much wiser to have an attorney help you do that. If you are truly serious about addressing this issue then take the time and money to hire someone with the expertise to achieve your goals.

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  • Can my spouse drop my health insurance before the final divorce decree in Virginia?

    Was dropped by spouse they claimed the qualifying event was legal separation which is not true, there is no such thing in Virginia

    Michael’s Answer

    Employers can drop a spouse off health insurance. Quite often employers will use a "legal separation" as a qualifying event. The problem is legal separation is not something that you have to file for. If you no longer live with your spouse, don't go out together, don't pay bills together, don't have dinner together, with the expressed desire for a divorce, then you are legally separated. This is why it is very common for an attorney to ask the court for an Pendente Lite hearing. To settle issues that need addressing while the divorce is pending. Like preventing one spouse from dropping another off health insurance.

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  • Can I legally remarry after being divorced for 4 months and Ex files for a Motion to Vacate two days before wedding?

    I have been divorced for more than 4 months in the state of Virginia. Two days before I remarried, my Ex files a motion to vacate. If I get remarried and the motion gets approved, will I be charged with bigamy? How likely will a motion to vacat...

    Michael’s Answer

    The bigger question is why is they are filing a motion to vacate? Most of time when these motions are filed is due to some problem is addressing property debts or support. Sometimes they are filed because the former spouse claims that notice or service was not proper. You definitely need to sit down with an attorney to review the motion that your ex filed. As far as bigamy goes, if you get remarried then after the marriage the motion to vacate the former divorce is granted then your second marriage is called "voidable" NOT "void" . Long story short, all this will be cured when the issues on the motion to vacate are resolved and the divorce re-instated. NO BIGAMY... NOW if the motion the vacate is granted prior to your second marriage then that second marriage would be void and I would have to advise you to wait to conduct your marriage ceremony

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  • How will receiving an open container ticket (as a passenger) affect my job? Also I live in VA

    This past weekend I received an open container ticket (as a passenger). I was also just hired as a teacher. Will my current employer be notified of this ticket? Is this a criminal offense? Should I tell my employer?

    Michael’s Answer

    I am puzzled by your inquiry.
    § 18.2-323.1. States that " It shall be unlawful for any person to consume an alcoholic beverage while driving a motor vehicle upon a public highway of this Commonwealth. " but if you were not operating the vehicle. then I am curious as to what they actually charges you with.

    I think you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with a local attorney to discuss your case further. If you are found guilty this offense is a criminal offense, it is a class 4 misdemeanor which is like a $250 fine. Your employer could find out this is a public record. Now the Court's will not mail anything to your employer but again.. if your employer does any sort of back ground check they would see this charge.

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  • Is my ex allowed to leave the state with our children?

    My ex and I are currently going through a separation. She decided to take our two children up to Vermont with her for the summer. She did not properly notify me 30 days before she left. The day before she left, I presented her with a note that ...

    Michael’s Answer

    It sounds like you need to hire an attorney ASAP to file for custody. At present the proper jurisdiction would be VA but if they continue to reside up there and you do nothing she might be able to establish jurisdiction up there. So definitely need to address this issue now in the local Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Now as far as the paper goes, I believe that will be evidence you can use to show that she acknowledged that the children resided here with you and her transportation to Vermont was only to be temporary. The paper is NOT an legally binding ORDER but it is evidence that would aid you in getting an order. Now, having said all that you do have some obstacles to face. I have assisted fathers when the mothers run off with the kids and dealing with other states can be difficult. If you spouse refuses to return the kids, then after you have a custody order her in VA you may have to travel to Vermont and request a PICK UP ORDER to give the local sheriff authority to physically assist you in securing your children. Some states are more cooperative than others but I have not dealt with Vermont before.

    Regardless hire an attorney NOW to start the process.

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  • What exactly needs to be on a motion to change custody if I have to write it myself.

    No attorney. Just got a 1 yr protective order for family abuse against the father.. Child is 13. Wants mom to have full custody.

    Michael’s Answer

    I am a little confused as to which party you are. You mention that you have recently been granted a protective order "against the father" which would lead me to think that you are the mother, but then your say "wants mom to have full custody"... The answer to your initial question of what needs to be in a motion depends heavily on who you are and what your goals are. So if you are the mother who was awarded the protective order then you will likely focus on the protective order in your motion to amend. If you are the father, then you likely want to focus on something else other than the fact that a protective order was just placed against you. If you are a grandparent, then there several factors that we need to consider before you file a motion to amend and you really need an attorney first.

    On any motion to amend you must tell the Court what you want to change and the change in circumstances that have arisen that merit this change. The court's website have excellent forms that can be filled out on-line to help you. www.courts.state.va.us. However, However, However.... please consider meeting with an attorney to help you. While completing a form is an easy task, fight for your child is something that you should not take lightly and an experienced family law attorney is an invaluable assets if you are serious about pursuing the best interests of your child.

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  • What can I do if my spouse is in another state. I have file a complaint but she won't sign or is stalling.

    I filed for a divorce on 01/06/14. My spouse is in another state and claims she did not receive anything. She says that she has sent me paperwork but I have not received any paperwork. What can I do to get my divorce.

    Michael’s Answer

    Your issue appears to deal with service. Many times in divorce actions when parties have nothing to fight over we will merely send the spouse a Waiver to endorse and return to allow the case to proceed. Now if the spouse does not sign this document then you have to formally serve them. This means paying a process server or the local sheriff to deliver the paperwork to her. You will definitely need an attorney to help you with this because you will have to have the Court paper the Service of Process/ Summons then provide that to the process server. The process server will then deliver this to your spouse and this process server will prepare an Affidavit that he did in fact serve them. This starts the 21 day period that your spouse has to respond to your allegations. At the conclusion of this time if your spouse has not responded then you may proceed on your divorce without them.

    Again, you really need an attorney to help you.

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  • Can my husband be made to pay my health insurance?

    We have been marriage 30 years he started paying my insurance after I was laid off 9 years ago. Within that time span he became disable and retired. My insurance is through his retirement if we divorce I will be dropped. I need insurance and I a...

    Michael’s Answer

    Upon the entry of the Final Decree, he can drop you from his insurance. So much like the other responder I am curious as to the status of your divorce proceedings? If you don't have an attorney, please consider consulting with an attorney as soon as possible.

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  • If my husband keeps telling me to leave...What happens in the divorce if I go?

    I'm 27 and my husband 55. We are pretty much done with each other. I can no longer except the verbal abuse, lack of love/passion, financial hold and anger etc. He makes 45k, he has a rental property income, and I only make 15k. I want to leave, I ...

    Michael’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear all that you are going through and I think would be wise for you to make an appointment with a local Family Law Attorney to discuss your options. Of course, I understand you desire to leave but before you do, I think it would be wise to have a plan which would likely entail attempting to propose some sort of separation agreement. Based on the disparity in income, you may be entitled to spousal support and you may have certain valuable interest in his real estate holdings. In addition, by you having or proposing a separation agreement you have some measure clarity on the situation. You come into the conversation with an idea of this is what you need/ want. He may agreed, disagree or propose some counter-offer. Regardless, the situation is moving forward and in this process you can advise him that you are leaving on whatever date. This avoids any abandonment claims. Once you have left the marital residence, if he has not agreed to pay support then you can file for spousal support to assist you until you have been separate and apart for the statutory time.

    Bottom-line, go have a sit down meeting with an attorney to help get your through this.

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