Holcomb Law - January 2020


January 2020

Family Law/Criminal Defense/Personal Injury

501 Village Ave. Suite 104, Yorktown/Newport News, VA 23693 • www.AttorneyHolcomb.com


Holcomb Law's Communication Policy: If we can't help you with your case, we would be happy to personally refer you to one of our colleagues. We will even give them a call and a summary of your case so they are aware and ready to talk to you. Perhaps the greatest compliment you can give our firm is a referral. Referrals are a huge part of our business, and this month, we want to thank you! For every referral we receive who hires our firm, we will send you, the referrer, a free gift! Do you know anyone who could benefit from our services? We will waive our usual consult fee. Tell them to give us a call today. Our firm thrives on referrals from excellent clients like you! IT IS OUR DESIRE TO BECOME YOUR ONE-STOP LAWYER.

So everyone’s saying, “Let’s have 20/20 vision in 2020!” Okay, I like it. What really makes me laugh, though, is that they all think it’s a cool and novel mantra for the new year! That said, I do believe vision is important. I have experienced in my own life that it’s very important. Focus is vital, or we are simply driven by the wind. In our fast- movingWestern culture, we usually think about vision once a year or so — on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1. Am I right? There’s even a Bible verse that says, “Without a vision, the people perish.” This word “perish” in Proverbs 29:18 means to become

directionless and blown in all directions, like someone’s hair let down in the wind. In eras of my past, when I have either received vision or when I have taken the time to map out a vision, things have been very different — like, a lot better. What we choose to see, to envision on the inside, really matters. According to a guy on the internet (must be true) named Aidan McCullen: 1. Worldwide, only 13% of employees working for any organization are engaged, which means 87% are not

involved in, enthusiastic about, or committed to their work.

2. Companies with engaged employees outperform their peers by 202%. 3. Productivity improves by 20%–25% in organizations with connected employees. 4. An extremely common problem is a lack of vision. People often do not understand nor articulate this, but it is an issue that can cause great dissatisfaction with one’s work (or one’s life in general). That last parenthetical is fromme for this article. Our work is not so disconnected from our lives. If we are working, these tend to go hand in hand. So, if there’s no driving reason (a vision or a “why”) for work in your life, what are you to do? Without a vision, how will you ever know if you ever get “there?”

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We promise that while we are working on your case, we don't take inbound phone calls, faxes, or emails about other cases. In fact, our attorneys take no inbound unscheduled phone calls or walk-in appointments whatsoever. This allows for uninterrupted concentration, which lets our attorneys

focus solely on the case they are working on at the moment. Feel free to call your paralegal at his or her direct line any time, and if he or she cannot answer your questions, we will schedule an appointment with your attorney. You can always send an email to your attorney; however,

email is checked no more than twice a day. So, if it's really important, call the office, and we will be happy to set you up with an appointment to discuss your case. Our goal is to be the best we can be and also to be as available as we can be to our clients.

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Help Your Kids Achieve More This Year WITH SIMPLE AND ACTIONABLE GOALS

With every new year comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self-improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’ New Year’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on New Year’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions. When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gym membership, do you actually try to do it? Your kids will assign as much importance to New Year’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH.

own commitments, you can help them stay on track too.


When your kids are forming their resolutions, their first attempts will probably be very broad. Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if they want to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day.

responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate. When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry. The important thing is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.


While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately

2 LAWS TO BE AWARE OF MILITARY DIVORCE 101 What happens when military personnel need to get a divorce? Typically, the military immediately be concerned about issues of child custody or asset division.

views divorce as a civil matter similar to any other divorce. However, because military divorce has the potential to be especially complicated, divorcing members of the military are granted protections by federal laws. Here are two primary examples.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) addresses the continuing eligibility for commissary, exchange, and health care benefits. The USFSPA law allows a state to treat retired military pay as a marital asset, which may be divided in a divorce action. That said, the act does not guarantee that an ex-spouse will receive an allocation of that pay. In addition, the USFSPA allows a separated spouse continued access to commissary, exchange, and health care benefits after the divorce in certain circumstances. Our attorneys have handled many military divorce cases, so you can be rest assured that when you need us, we will be here. If you have questions or concerns, give us a call at 757-509-7832 to set up your “No Hassle Legal Strategy Meeting” where we will answer all of your questions.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) allows a defendant who is on active duty in the military to request a stay or delay of the proceedings for up to 90 days. This gives the individual time to return home from active duty. If you meet all of the requirements under the act, you may be automatically granted the stay. In order to achieve the stay in the civil proceedings, the defendant must show that there is a defense to the action and that the defense cannot be presented without the presence of the service member. SCRA is particularly beneficial to people on active duty and protects you in the event of a divorce so you don’t have to

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In the middle of a bitter custody battle, the party who ends up the most hurt is usually not the parents — it’s the child. We talk about it a lot and for good reason. In a custody battle, many people tend to forget that it is important that the child not suffer. It doesn’t matter if the two parents dislike one another or are unable to communicate. It’s important that both parents make a serious effort to not place the child or children in the middle. Kids should never be used as a bargaining tool, and parents should never put their kids against the other parent.

for the child to have a relationship with both parents. Suggest fun activities for your child and the other parent to do together.

• Always keep the other parent informed of any and all appointments and extracurricular activities your child has planned. An online calendar you both have access to can alleviate some of the stress. • Never belittle or argue with the other parent in front of the child. Kids hear everything, and it isn’t fair to anyone to give your child a negative image of their other parent.

Here are a few tips we have found to be helpful for our clients who are in difficult co-parenting situations:

• Allow and encourage phone calls or video chats between the child and the other parent.

• Encourage a healthy relationship between your child and the other parent. This can be beneficial to you in the long run. It’s important

• Try to plan important events, such as birthdays and graduations, so that the other parent is able to attend.

Co-parenting is never easy. It takes effort from both parents — sometimes a lot of it. Don’t forget you and the other parent have at least one thing in common: the love you share for your child. Build a relationship around that fact and make your child’s health and stability a priority to ensure your child grows up happy and balanced.


... continued from Cover

Inspired by Saveur Magazine

We might need us some 20/20 vision! Remember this?

in January, to force ourselves to turn off the cellphone and the noise and think through where we are and where we seem to be going. Then, if those two don’t match , make some practical changes. Get help, if necessary, rinse, and repeat. Or the end of 2020 will look a lot like last month. Let’s not go there — and let’s not go there on purpose. We wish the absolute best for you in 2020. A guy by the name of Bob Proctor said, “If you can hold it in your head, you can hold it in your hand.” Let us choose 20/20 vision in 2020! (I just made that up.)

Inspired by Epicurious

Alice: “Would you tell me, please, whichway I ought togo fromhere?” The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice: “I don’t much care where.” The Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve. • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas • 5–6 cups water • 1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options) • 1 smoked ham hock • 1 medium onion, diced • 1 cup long-grain white rice INGREDIENTS DIRECTIONS A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.

–“Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

Hmmm. So, I am an attorney; I am expected to advise. Here’s my easy advice for starting a new year, and actually, a fresh decade. We need to slow it down for a time, preferably sometime

Free Movie Tickets! Contact Kelly at 757-320-1205 or kelly@attorneyholcomb.com for your chance toWIN!

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877-YOU-MATTER www.AttorneyHolcomb.com 501 Village Ave. Suite 104 Yorktown/Newport News VA 23693


Inside A New Vision PAGE 1

Helping Your Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions 2Things You Need to Know About Military

Divorce PAGE 2

Tips for When Co-Parenting Gets Tough Hoppin’ John PAGE 3

Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig PAGE 4



Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets. Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport

even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip!

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