ANNOUNCEMENT: Norton Pelt, PLC is relocating! As of 5/2/2022, you can find us at 1103 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. To give you an idea of what to look for, we are moving into a historical home within walking distance of the Fredericksburg Courthouse. Our phone and fax remain the same. If you have any questions, please contact us.

How You Can Get Started on Estate Planning

The most commonly cited reason for not establishing an estate plan is that it’s a confusing topic, which is understandable - there is a lot of complexity and detail that goes into estate planning, and overlooking even a small part of the process can result in an ineffective or invalid estate plan, sending you back to square one. Our goal is to build up an effective estate plan by meeting all of your needs while also Read More

The Future of Mandatory Minimum Sentences Looks Hopeful

Virginia has imposed mandatory minimum sentences for a wide range of offenses ever since 1968, arguably leading to more and more incarcerations yearly. This policy can create much longer sentences for those convicted, and also force many defendants into plea deals, rather than trying their case to a judge or jury. Because fighting a case at trial runs the risk of being found guilty, and thus facing the mandatory Read More

Norton Pelt is Relocating!

  We’re happy to announce that we’re relocating just six miles south into historic Fredericksburg, allowing our firm to provide quality legal counsel to an even wider area than before. We will now be operating from the Hugh D. Martin House, located at 1103 Princess Anne Street. We’re excited about the move, and even though we’re changing locations, we haven’t changed what Norton Pelt stands for.  Our new location Read More

How Are Deviations in Child Support Determined in Virginia?

For those currently going through a divorce case or a child support case outside of divorce in Virginia, the issue of child support may be a significant one among the many others you’re facing right now. Thankfully, Virginia uses a series of guidelines to ensure that child support determinations are consistent and fair. These guidelines are consistent enough that calculators are available online which can Read More

Big Changes in Virginia’s Criminal Sentencing Guidelines

Before a Virginia judge passes down a criminal sentence, they must consult a document called the sentencing guidelines, which shows them the past sentences and circumstances of cases for the purpose of sentencing similar cases. Because the circumstances of a crime change, these aren’t hard and fast rules that the judge has to follow, but rather a general guide to reference which will help them decide on an Read More

Why You Should Take Advantage of Virginia’s Advance Medical Directives

You may have heard of a DNR, otherwise known as a Do Not Resuscitate order. The DNR is a form you can request through your healthcare provider which ensures you will not be resuscitated in the case of a respiratory or cardiac arrest. While the DNR is a good option, it is very limited in its scope. Thankfully, Virginia has made available Advance Medical Directives, which give you much more control over your medical Read More

4 Common Medicaid Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Medicaid planning is a vital part of any good estate plan. Most of us will eventually require nursing home care in our old age, and such care is expensive: the average yearly cost for a semi-private room in Virginia is over $90,000, which can deplete your savings fast.  Most private healthcare policies will not cover long-term care costs unless you paid for an applicable rider, and Medicare does not cover such Read More

The Role of a Guardian Ad Litem in Virginia

Divorce is seen, more or less, as an adult matter. And, for the most part, it is. However, any child of divorce can tell you that divorce, child custody, and other legal issues involving minor children are best settled when those children have a legal advocate on their side. Therefore, judges often appoint what’s called a guardian ad litem for cases that involve the welfare of children. The main role of a guardian ad Read More

Dealing with Investment Properties in Estate Planning

Travel listing websites like Airbnb and Vrbo have made it easy for the most casual entrepreneurs to set up income-producing assets. Think about that place in the mountains you got from your parents years ago. You might make it up there once or twice a year, but it’s now relatively simple for someone else—complete strangers, really—to book a weekend getaway there. If you own any such properties, you can consider Read More

Setting the Record Straight on Virginia Spousal Support (Alimony)

One divorce-related issue that causes stress, and sometimes contention, is the issue of alimony. Virginia laws refer to this monetary support from one current or former spouse to the other as spousal support.  High-earning spouses are continually worried about having to pay an exorbitant amount of spousal support. Spouses whose careers took a back seat to raising children or otherwise tending to the homefront are Read More