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Newport News Criminal Law Blog

Three ways to manage high-conflict co-parenting situations

Divorce is a stressful thing. Dividing money, debt and time with children can cause tensions to run high. In some divorces, the conflict never seems to end, with repeat court dates, unsuccessful mediations and hearings keeping the wounds fresh.

High-conflict divorce proceedings can result from bitterness and vindictive feelings but also from normal reactions to very hard situations. Emotional challenges can become inflamed during custody and financial battles. How, then, can you navigate the co-parenting waters in this type of atmosphere? Here are three things you can do to reduce the stress in your family's post-divorce world.

Can a drug conviction impact your financial aid eligibility?

As a college student facing a drug charge, whether for distribution, possession or another type of offense, you may have concerns about potentially having to go to jail. Even if you are able to avoid time behind bars, you may still face substantial fines and substance abuse treatment obligations, among other possible repercussions. You may also encounter consequences from outside the criminal justice system.

A criminal case can affect your education. For example, if you were a recipient of federal financial aid at the time law enforcement officials placed you under arrest for a drug charge, and you are convicted, you can anticipate losing your ability to utilize financial aid for a given time period.

Planning a road trip for the holidays? Read this first

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for traffic. Whether you are gift shopping around town or driving out of state to visit relatives, you can encounter all kinds of negligent drivers. While most of us know about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving, the thought of falling asleep at the wheel may take a back seat.

However, the problem of drowsy driving is worse than you may think. In 2015, 824 people in the U.S. suffered fatal injuries in fatigue-related accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those who work late shifts, have an untreated sleep disorder or take medications that cause drowsiness are among the most likely to nod off behind the wheel. During the busy, stressful holiday season, you face an even higher risk of encountering a sleep-deprived or fatigued driver.

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.

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