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Newport News Criminal Law Blog

COVID-19 Update: A Message to Our Clients, Colleagues and Friends

Dear Clients, Colleagues and Friends:

During these trying times, we want to keep you informed of the procedures and actions we are taking to ensure your health and safety. At Weisberg & Weisberg, PLLC, we are committed to maintaining the safety of our clients, staff and community during the COVID-19 crisis.

We also remain committed to prioritizing our clients' needs. Although many businesses are unable to continue regular operations, our office remains open and available to serve you. 

Recognizing signs of parental alienation

Some former couples find that they can co-parent relatively easily, while others find the transition far more difficult to manage. If your divorce from your former spouse was especially ugly or acrimonious, you may have even more of a hard time learning to co-parent together. If your spouse thinks poorly of you, you may have concerns about potential parental alienation.

Just what is parental alienation, and is there anything you may be able to do to minimize the impact it may have on your child?

Does an extramarital affair affect child custody?

From loss of affection to poor communication, marriages break down in Virginia for a seemingly endless number of ways. If either you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse had an extra-marital affair, though, your divorce may become particularly urgent. Still, you may wonder what impact a parent’s affair has on child custody

Like in many other places, Virginia law allows individuals to file a no-fault divorce petition. In the Old Dominion, you may also choose to blame your spouse for the end of your marriage. While adultery constitutes grounds for a fault-based divorce, it may have little or no effect on the outcome of a related child custody dispute. 

Your business may be the most valuable asset in your divorce

When it comes to the property division phase of a divorce, most people think of the family home as the most valuable asset. However, if you and your spouse own a business together, the focus changes.

What will happen to the company you worked so hard to build during your marriage? Here are three options to consider:

Never hide assets during a divorce

Divorce is rarely pleasant. After all, not only must you separate from the person you thought you would be with forever, but you may also face a potentially shaky financial future. If you want to improve your economic position, you may think about stashing away marital assets until the divorce concludes. Doing so, though, is a terrible idea. 

In Virginia, marriage is an economic partnership involving both spouses. Upon divorce, each party should receive an equitable share of marital wealth. This approach assumes, of course, that both spouses know about all marital assets. If one spouse hides assets, the other spouse may not receive his or her fair share. The hiding spouse may also face some consequences. 

Police must have reasonable suspicion to stop you for a DWI

If you have had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel, you are potentially putting your life and the lives of others in danger. You also face some harsh legal penalties for driving while impaired. Still, unless you are at a sobriety checkpoint, officers cannot stop your vehicle just to see if your blood alcohol concentration is above Virginia’s 0.08% legal limit. 

The Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, for officers to search you, arrest you or take your property, they must have probable cause. The legal standard is lower when it comes to vehicular stops. As described in a seminal U.S. Supreme Court case, officers only need reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle. 

Joint accounts could jeopardize your credit after divorce

It's natural for married couples to have joint credit cards, co-sign on auto loans and otherwise mingle credit. Once you decide to divorce, however, untangling your financial lives can become complicated — and even more so if your spouse starts abusing credit lines or failing to pay bills in a timely manner.

Here are several actions you can take to protect your credit from your ex.

Social media activity may harm your custody case

Seemingly everyone these days uses some form of social media. In fact, according to the Pew Research Institute, nearly 70% of adults in the United States regularly use Facebook. While social media offers an effective way to engage with the online world, it may cause trouble for your child custody matter. 

As you likely know, you can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other online platforms in a variety of ways. That is, you may post frequently, comment occasionally or simply read through other users’ content. If you are not careful, though, your online presence may make obtaining custody more difficult. Here are three types of online activity you should probably avoid.

Are federal authorities listening to your phone calls?

A funny meme has been making the rounds on social media. In the meme, users make light of a scenario where an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation listens to every phone call or reads every text message a person sends. While memes are often far from reality, this popular one raises an important question: Are federal authorities listening to your phone calls? 

Federal officers may receive approval to surveil electronic communications in two different situations. First, they may seek a warrant to investigate the communications of individuals in the United States whom they suspect have committed a crime. Alternatively, they may obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to monitor the communications of a foreigner. 

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Contact Weisberg & Weisberg, PLLC, in Newport News, to discuss your legal matter in confidence with one of our lawyers. We welcome the opportunity to serve you and your family.

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