1. Understanding The K-1 Visa, Part Two

    In part one of this two-part series dedicated to helping those interested in understanding the K-1 Visa process, we set the stage for the payoff, which you will find in today's post. In sum, we supposed that you moved to Spain to teach English for a year. During that time, you met and fell in love with a European woman. You decided to move to the United States of America, and it fell on you to fig…Read More

  2. Is Malice Really That Bad?

    All criminal charges have elements the prosecutor must prove before they can secure a conviction. In Virginia, for example, first degree murder is defined in Virginia Code §18.2-32 as any "willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing." This means that in any charge for first degree murder, the prosecutor (Commonwealth Attorney) must prove the killing was 1) willful, 2) deliberate, and 3) premedi…Read More

  3. Can an Abuser Force My Child to Return to a Foreign Country?

    It can take years to garner the strength to leave an abusive relationship, particularly if you have an abusive partner with money and political power.  In foreign countries a partner and child subject to physical abuse from the other partner often seek refuge in the United States from such abuse.  Our country's immigration laws may allow qualifying individuals to petition for asylum where they a…Read More

  4. Death Tattoo

    One day I received a phone call from an FBI agent that had worked with me when I was a Federal Prosecutor. The agent's son had been charged in state court with malicious wounding after a fight outside a bar. The young man had beaten one of his adversaries so severely that he required a hospital stay of about one month to recover. The family was very concerned that their son was in grave danger of …Read More

  5. Officer, That’s Not Mine!: When Possession is Criminal

    Marijuana laws are rapidly changing throughout the country, with some states and even the District of Columbia making possession of limited quantities legal. Many states and the federal government, however, still have laws against marijuana, and other illicit drugs, which makes even the possession of those drugs illegal, whether or not you use them. Many think so long as they don't have the drugs …Read More

  6. Obtaining Temporary Support in Virginia

    Separating from a spouse or partner can be one of the most stressful experiences in a person's life. If there are children involved, that stress is often intensified – custody and child support are usually some of the biggest concerns in a divorce. Many people turn to the court system with the expectation that their case will be handled in a swift manner. Unfortunately, in the absence of an emer…Read More

  7. You Want the Kids and My Life Insurance?

    After an unfortunate decline in the marriage relationship, you and your spouse have agreed that a divorce would be best for both of you. Despite agreeing you both need a divorce, you can't seem to agree on anything else. After weeks or months of back-and-forth negotiation you have finally settled on everything from child custody, spousal support, and who will get the set of decorative silver butte…Read More

  8. It stinks in here Dad, hang up the tree!

    They're everywhere, air freshener trees in varied scents and themes.  You pick it up after your car wash to freshen up the interior but where are you supposed to hang that thing?  If you drive in Virginia and are tempted to hang it from your rear-view mirror, think again, unless you want to be stopped by police and given a ticket (or worse). In Virginia, according to Virginia Code 46.2-1054 "[i]…Read More

  9. Can I Make a Contract with My Spouse?

    It's a familiar story: man meets woman, they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. Turns out, many find "happily ever after" is not really forever. Death or divorce can permanently end any marriage. People are getting married later in life and, consequently, have substantial savings or other assets they bring with them in a marriage that must be protected if the marriage ends. Som…Read More

  10. Virginia Child Custody Options

    Child custody can be one of the most contentious aspects of divorce and family law. If both parents want their child to live with them, it can create a zero-sum situation where litigation is inevitable. Before deciding on a course of action, there are several considerations parents should be aware of. First, it is important to differentiate between legal and physical custody. Legal custody is havi…Read More