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Newport News Criminal Law Blog

Social media and divorce: Four important things to know

While the universal challenges of marriage have been around for millennia, technology has changed relationships in many ways during the last decade. The phenomenon of social media, in particular, has made a significant impact not only on countless marriages but also on countless divorces.

According to sources quoted by Divorce Magazine, social media may play a role in 30 percent of divorces, or even more. Here are four things to know about social media and divorce.

Seven things to know about impaired driving (DUI) in Virginia

Most of us understand that driving under the influence is illegal. But what exactly does that mean to a Virginia driver who is arrested on suspicion of DUI?

According to the Commonwealth's Department of Motor Vehicles, "Virginia is tough on drunk and drugged drivers." Have new laws made things any different for first-time offenders or suspects? What should you expect (and what should you do) if you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk or drugged driving? Here are seven things to keep in mind.

Domestic violence: When you need the help of an attorney

Domestic violence is more common than most of us may think. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 24 people are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking every minute in this country.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is important to understand this pervasive and serious problem so you can seek help if you need it. Crisis intervention, counseling and the actions of law enforcement and the courts can keep victims safe. In some cases, the advice of a lawyer can be instrumental, too.

How a DUI may affect your custodial rights

After an officer charged you for allegedly drinking and driving, you worry about your child custody rights. You currently hold a visitation agreement with your ex-spouse, but if a judge suspends your license, how will you drive to visit your children? Fighting your DUI charge with the help of an experienced attorney proves incredibly important for you and for your non-custodial children.

 

Are you a good candidate for a "No Fault" divorce in Virginia?

A marriage can end for many different reasons. Historically, people who wanted a divorce had to petition a court alleging adultery, abandonment or other criteria. In past generations, this was often far more difficult than it is today, not just with regard to the social and societal pressures and stigmas that came with divorce.

Virginia law allows for more than one way to legally end a marriage. A Separation divorce is one type of "Divorce from the Bond of Matrimony," known to many people as a "No Fault" divorce. It's a dissolution of marriage that doesn't require one party to have been wronged (in a specific, legally-defined way) by their spouse. If you are interested in a low-conflict end to your marriage, it may be helpful for you to understand the basic concepts related to this type of divorce, which can be less expensive and less stressful than some of the alternatives.

How Courts Look At Custody Determinations

Before a divorce or other legal action involving a court custody order, parents are granted equal rights to the physical custody of the child. Only a court order can change that dynamic. The law in Virginia has long held that parents be treated equally, meaning that there is no automatic preference granted to mothers or fathers. Judges are instructed to make these decisions based on the best interests of the child. For most children, that means regular contact with both parents. The courts consider many factors in making these decisions. A recent law provides one additional consideration judges must weigh.

Sole Custody Or Joint Custody

Solitary confinement: Protecting the rights of Virginia inmates

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has challenged the treatment of inmates in Virginia prisons, particularly the "Super Max" Red Onion State Prison in Wise County, where a young inmate was found dead in January. The 20-year-old man's death was reportedly a suicide, but his family has questioned the report from the state Department of Corrections.

The ACLU of Virginia called upon the governor to ban many uses of solitary confinement, which can be psychologically damaging to vulnerable inmates with mental illness. Protecting the rights of prisoners goes hand in hand with the rights of suspects at the hands of law enforcement and the rights of the accused in criminal proceedings.

Be very careful on social media during a divorce

Virginia has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. Approximately 9.9 percent of Virginia residents have gone through a divorce. If you are included in this statistic, there are numerous things you can do during the actual divorce process to make things easier on yourself.

Many experts recommend having a support network of people to talk to and staying involved in activities that make you happy. Additionally, it is important to be mindful of your social media use during a divorce. You can make your life more difficult by using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media in an indiscriminate manner. 

Can you fight for sole custody?

If you're a parent going through divorce, one thing you may be worried about is obtaining custody. In most courts, judges want to see parents share custody. This is because it's healthier for children to see both parents. However, judges will allow for sole custody or unbalanced schedules if there is a significant reason for the arrangement.

If you want to obtain full custody, you'll need to show a few things including the physical needs of your child, your ex-husband or wife's negative influence on your children and show that the request is for the sake of your children. No judge wants to hear a parent disparage the other to obtain full custody when there is no reason, but a judge will be happy to hear you out if there is a problem due to abuse, drugs, alcohol or other serious concerns.

Parenting time interference is a violation of the law

It's very important that both parents get time with their children following a divorce. In most cases, parenting time is spelled out in court documents, making it easy to see where your child should be and when. If you interfere with the visitation schedule without good reason, it could come back to haunt you.

Not all parents get along following a divorce, but to be fair to one another, you need to make sure your ex-partner gets to see his or her children in accordance to your custody orders. It's not acceptable to decide to keep your child longer than the time you're allowed unless there are extraneous circumstances. Even then, you need to get a court involved quickly.

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