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Blog: Opinions & Observations

Child Support, Spousal Support... Parent Support? - June 2015

June 03, 2015

We have all heard of child support and spousal support. They are regular concepts in any family attorney’s day. But, few of us who regularly engage in family law cases have ever had to deal with parent support. Va. Code Ann. §20-88 (Michie, 2009) in part provides the following: It shall be the joint and several duty of all persons eighteen years of age or over, of sufficient earning capacity or income, after reasonably providing for his or her own immediate family,...

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What do Construction Lawyers Do? - May 2015

May 07, 2015

by Jack Rephan [1] In the legal profession, there are lawyers whose practice includes, to a varying degree, the representation of owners, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and designers or other parties involved in the construction industry, in matters involving commercial construction project, both private and public, as well as residential construction projects. Attorneys who devote a major portion of their practice to construction and public contract...

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Employment Authorization for H-4 Dependent Spouses of Certain H-1B Nonimmigrants Under the New DHS Rule - April 2015

April 15, 2015

by Anne C. Lahren On February 25, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") issued a final rule amending DHS regulations to extend eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status. This final rule, effective May 26, 2015, supports DHS goals of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers by helping to alleviate some of the hardship caused by...

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Falling in Love Across Borders - March 2015

March 23, 2015

by Anne C. Lahren They say you can’t help who you fall in love with, and love is complicated even under the best of circumstances. Things become even more complex when love crosses international borders. The United States immigration and nationality laws govern the legal processes for foreign nationals who desire to live and work in the United States, including specific rules and requirements for fiancé(e)s and spouses of U.S. citizens. Whether you are a U.S. citizen...

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Relocation Litigation and the Application of the "Best Interests of the Child" Standard - February 2015

February 09, 2015

by Alysha Allen Some of the most contentious child custody litigation involves the fight over whether a parent may relocate with a child. The Code of Virginia does not specifically address relocation of a custodial parent. As with any Virginia custody litigation, the paramount concern in relocation cases is the best interests of the child. Before a court permits a custodial parent to relocate with a child, it must determine that the relocation is in the child’s...

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Walking Through a Subcontract Minefield Without Stepping on a Mine - January 2015

January 20, 2015

by Jack Rephan The typical standard form of subcontract agreement in use by general contractors throughout the country may contain a minefield of provisions which can prevent or make it difficult for subcontractors to get paid for their work or for changes in their work or for delays. Because, in most cases, general contractors are reluctant to eliminate or modify some of these provisions, it is important that subcontractors not only carefully read their subcontracts...

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Welcome Aboard! Residential Leasing to Military Families - November 2014

November 07, 2014

by Kathryn N. Byler There are 27 military bases in Virginia with every branch of the service having at least one base. Quantico, Fort Eustis, and Naval Air Station Oceana are some of the installations that bring people and dollars to Virginia. Military personnel coming to the Commonwealth for a limited duration provide a steady market for rental properties. Both landlords and military tenants should be aware of special legislation and procedures designed to protect...

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Advance Directives - October 2014

October 17, 2014

by Jessica M. Booth In Virginia, any adult who is capable of making an informed decision may, at any time, make a written advance directive to address health care in the event he or she is later determined to be incapable of making an informed decision. Written advance directives must be signed by the maker (the “declarant”) in the presence of two subscribing witnesses. Oral advance directives, in the presence of two witnesses, are permitted only if the declarant has...

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Who is a Large Employer Under Obamacare? - September 2014

September 05, 2014

by Brent R. Haden The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act” (frequently referred to in common parlance as “Obamacare”)) requires, among other things that all “large employers” provide qualified health coverage for all of their full-time employees or pay an annual penalty (known as the Employer Shared Responsibility).  A large employer is generally any employer with 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalents.  Full-time employees are those...

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Civic League or Homeowners' Association - July 2014

July 29, 2014

by Jeffrey A. Hunn Homeowners’ Association and a Civic Association … if there is one?” The homebuyer client often goes on to explain to me he/she will have to pay mandatory dues. He/she can’t find any information on the neighborhood website or in the By-Laws. I am forced to explain there are some very important differences between a Homeowners’ Association and a Civic Association. What is a Civic Association?A Civic Association (“CA”) is a non-profit organization...

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