Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Now, we can continue to hope and pray for similar success in the other reported 3,000 cases of international child custody abduction, including 16 other children reportedly still located in Brazil. Here's hoping that all nations will agree to abide by The Hague Convention and other international treaties designed to prevent international child abductions!
Welcome home, Goldman family!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
The news this week that makes me the saddest involves the previous post in this divorce blog concerning David Goldman's ongoing battle to get back his son from his (now deceased) ex-wife's family in Brazil. At the time of the previous post, it appeared that Mr. Goldman had won a much deserved victory in this international child custody battle. But sadly, since the last post, a Brazilian judge has thrown yet another procedural hurdle into Goldman's efforts to take his son home.
Here's hoping that each of these celebrity divorces ends well for each of these parties and that there will continue to be a lot of divorce issues for me to write about in the new year! And here's also hoping that David Goldman soon wins his valiant child custody battle and gets his son back!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
To briefly recap the facts, several years ago, Mr. Goldman's spouse had taken their son with her, supposedly for a vacation trip, from New Jersey to Brazil, (where she was from). Then, once there, she filed for divorce from Goldman. Later, after the divorce, she married another man in Brazil. Subsequently, she died. But her second husband then refused to turn over the little boy to his dad, Mr. Goldman. But now, after a long child custody battle, hopefully, Mr. Goldman will soon be allowed to bring his son home!
While every child custody case is different, this international child custody case illustrates the type of problems which might occur if your marriage to a foreign national dissolves. In such cases, it is imperative that you promptly contact a divorce attorney with experience in international child custody issues. For instance, you will want to research, with your divorce lawyer's help, whether the country to which your ex-spouse may be traveling, (with your child), is a party to international child custody (abduction) treaties or conventions. You will also need to carefully discuss a number of available strategies with your divorce lawyer.
Hopefully, you won't then have to endure the hardships faced by Mr. Goldman in getting back his son!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday's announcement by the Governor's wife, Jenny Sanford, that she had filed for a divorce probably shocked no one. Unlike many other politician wives, she had made it clear, from the beginning, that she wasn't going to simply ignore his infidelity and "stand by her man!" But the path taken by the Governor, beginning with his bizarre behavior which culminated with his June, 2009 press conference was the real shocker! In my opinion, here are some of the reasons why.
For instance, you will recall that the Governor, (shown above during earlier, happier times), had strangely disappeared from the state for several days, without telling anyone. Of course, we later learned that he had taken a secret trip to Argentina to see his girl friend. (We later would also learn that he had taken other similar trips at taxpayers' expense).
But there's more!
Then, in another strange move, he had his staffers lie by announcing that he had merely taken a hike on the Appalachian Trail.
But there's more!
Finally, Governor Sanford's most bizarre behavior may have actually occurred during his June "mea culpa" press conference. There, as you will recall, he confessed his adultery to the world! A public confession of adultery, in itself, is bizarre and ill-advised!
But wait, there's more!
Check out videos of the press conference on Youtube, or elsewhere. Note the two young women, (probably staffers), standing behind the Governor, as he spills his guts. To me, they appear to be trying not to snicker throughout his confession! Their giggling added to the odd episode. Surely, they must have realized that something strange was unfolding before their eyes! Put another way, these young women, like everyone else, must have been thinking: "I don't believe I would have said what he just said!")
But there's still one more lesson to be learned!
If you listen to nothing else I ever say again, please listen to the following lesson, (and, in my opinion, this mistake made by the Governor, aside from the affair itself, is perhaps the worst mistake and most bizarre thing he has said or done). That lesson is: If you ever feel compelled to confess adultery to the world, (and as a divorce lawyer, I certainly wouldn't recommend such a confession!), PLEASE NEVER, EVER TELL THE WORLD THAT YOUR LOVER IS STILL YOUR SOULMATE!!
Because when you do, you might as well grab your checkbook and ask your spouse how many extra zeroes does she want you to add to the divorce settlement check!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Of course, we can hope that Tiger Woods won't end up on the same path as Jordan. But such cases illustrate that no one, not even a great athlete, is immune against "domestic issues."
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Also, as I have indicated many times before, this blog about Georgia divorce law is offered simply as a public service concerning common issues in Georgia divorces. In other words, no attorney-client relationship is created through this blog and no legal advice is being offered--other than to recommend that you seek the advice and services of an experienced divorce attorney in your area for your case.
That being said, here are a few ideas, or tips, which you may find useful when you discuss this matter with your own divorce, or child custody, lawyer. If you plan to seek primary physical custody, then you and your attorney may want to discuss the following ideas, among others:
1. Do you have a good, well-developed child care plan? Whether you are a mother or a father seeking custody, the judge will want to see that you have a carefully developed plan to provide for your children and that you will put a good roof over their heads. For example, do you have a daycare plan in place for while you are at work? Also, if you work late, do you have a responsible family member or after-care center which will take care of your child?
2. Do you have any "good daddy" or "bad mommy" witnesses? Simply put, all this means is: have you considered which family members or friends could testify that you will make a "good mommy," or that "Sluggo" is a "bad daddy?" For instance, you (and your divorce attorney) may need good witnesses to support your claim that you have been the primary care-giver who has taken the kids to the doctor and helped them with their homework. And on the other side of the coin, you will want good witnesses who can testify that your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," is rarely at home and never spends time with the kids. I realize that these examples may sound harsh, but, in my opinion, if you want to get child custody, you (and your divorce attorney) need to be proactive and consider whether such witnesses exist who can help you win your child custody case.
3. Can you prove "Sluggo" is living in a meretricious relationship which would be harmful to the kids? (If you thought the last examples sounded harsh, then your eyes may be rolling back in your head about this example! But you may find this tip has merit!) If your spouse, (or the more likely scenario, your ex-spouse), is "shacking up" and "living in sin," then many conservative judges may consider its impact on your children, especially small children. As a result, it may mean that you (and your child custody lawyer) may decide that proving the existence of "Sluggo's" meretricious relationship may help you win your child custody battle!
Hopefully, you may find some of these practical tips about winning child custody cases to be useful when you consult with your own child custody lawyer! And maybe you can make "Sluggo" repent from "living in sin," too!
Monday, December 7, 2009
As divorce lawyers in Augusta, Georgia, we often get telephone calls from people who are inquiring about annulment as an alternative to divorce. However, generally, annulment is a very limited option and a simple, uncontested divorce is a more viable alternative for most people.
The reasons are quite simple. Generally, to get a marriage annulled in Georgia, there must either have been fraud at the marriage's inception, (e.g. your worthless spouse, "Sluggo" forgot to tell you that he was already married), or you must have been underage when you got hitched. To make things even more difficult about annulment, if you have children of the marriage, then annulment is unavailable as an alternative and you have no choice but to seek a divorce.
But even though annulment is not a very good alternative for most couples, at least they can still get a divorce, and that's much better than the third alternative of dying, don't you agree?!
Friday, December 4, 2009
But in today's post, I wanted simply to point out that the Tiger Woods "situation" has promoted the use of a new word in the English language: a "renup!" (Post-nups have been around for a while, but a "renup" is a little different)!
Everyone has heard of the word "prenup," which is short for prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement refers to a pre-marital contract which allows a wealthy suitor to protect their fortune by limiting the amount of alimony, (or property division), which the poorer spouse can claim in the event of a divorce. (I've never figured out exactly how you would raise the idea of a prenup with your sweetheart prior to proposing marriage! Talk about killing the romance!) But from now on, after the Tiger Woods saga, everyone will also be talking about "renups," or renuptial agreements, which will refer to a prenuptial, or postnup, agreement which is re-negotiated by an aggrieved spouse after "Sluggo" has been caught "up to no good!" I suspect most wealthy men will, if given a choice, select a "renup," over a "post-snip!"
Not much good exists in the Tiger Woods situation. But I guess drafting "renups" will at least give some celebrity divorce lawyers greater job security!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
A number of important issues concerning divorce were addressed in this flick. For example, you may recall that Hoffman's character, who began the movie as a hard-working, over-achieving executive, was required to learn how to become a good father when his wife, played by Ms. Streep's character, left him and their son. Her character was also a good illustration of how some wives and mothers sometimes justifiably feel neglected in, or unfairly relegated to, their roles. The movie also illustrates the difficulties faced by parents who both seek child custody. Finally, perhaps it was also the first movie which addressed the issue of whether fathers should ever be considered as good candidates for child custody.
In addition to presenting all these divorce issues, it simply is a good movie! Have you seen it? What did you think? Do you have any other nominations for good movies about divorce?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Can you imagine the problems that would ensue if divorce really was abolished? While some may argue that the high divorce rate in our society is terrible, don't you agree that it would be even more terrible if spouses were required to stay in abusive marriages? And how would you feel if you were required to stay in a marriage to "Sluggo," if he is committing adultery? What do you think?
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
1. UNCONTESTED DIVORCE: If you and your spouse are getting an uncontested divorce, then you probably won't be required to physically go to court. In other words, as part of the uncontested divorce documents, your divorce attorney will prepare a document whereby the other party will essentially sign and agree that your Georgia divorce case can be disposed of without your having to go to a court hearing. Of course, it is always possible that the court may have some questions about your case and require a hearing, even with an uncontested divorce. And naturally, you will need to discuss each of these issues with your own divorce attorney.
2. CONTESTED DIVORCE: However, if it is a contested divorce, then both parties WILL be required to go to court, several times, including, at a minimum, the temporary hearing, (or thirty day conference), and a final hearing. Again, you need to discuss with your own divorce lawyer what will occur at each of these hearings and how you will need to be prepared for court.
The bottom line is: If you are getting an uncontested divorce, you may not have to go to court, (in Georgia), but, if it is contested, you almost definitely will be required to go to court, unless you quickly settle your case.
So, see ya in court, (or not)!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The tip for today involves who gets to claim the kids as dependents. In other words, while you are planning your divorce from your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," you might want to consider who should get to claim your children as dependents on your income tax returns. Now, this is not a tax advice blog and you should, of course, consult with your attorney and/or accountant before doing anything. Also, generally, the party who has primary physical custody and provides most of the support for the children will likely be entitled to claim the kids. But here are at least a few ideas for you to consider when negotiating a settlement agreement with Sluggo over who gets to claim the kids on their tax returns. In other words, this is often a negotiable matter.
As divorce lawyers, we have seen some clients elect, in the settlement agreement, to take all the kids as their own dependents. Others, when there are two or more children, may negotiate to let each party take at least one child as a dependent. (It would be to your advantage to take the youngest child as your dependent, so you will get to take the deduction/exemption longer).
Finally, one other idea for you to consider, in cases in which one party makes significantly more money than the other party, is for the party making the most money to get all the dependants, but provided you both agree in the settlement agreement to split the amount realized.
So, you see, this is another topic involving children, which you might not have thought of, and which you need to discuss with your divorce attorney!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
But Wikipedia has some other interesting facts, too. For example, in Europe, the divorce rates vary widely, from Belgium, which has a divorce rate of 2.9 per 1000, to Italy, with a rate of only 0.7 per 1000. This raises the question: Have folks in Italy discovered how to keep the romance alive, or are they just staying in bad marriages? What do you think?
But then you need to consider the divorce rates in India and Sri Lanka where, incredibly, according to Wikipedia, only one to one and a half per 1000 marriages end in divorce! What do you think are the reasons for these wide disparities in divorce rates from country to country?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
In most contexts, "condonation," which means pardon or forgiveness, is a good thing. But depending on which side you are on, it's not necessarily a good thing in a Georgia divorce!
For example, let's assume that your divorce lawyer has alleged that your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," has been cheating on you. But let's also assume the evidence shows that, after learning about the adultery, you essentially forgave Sluggo and continued to cohabit with him for a while, before deciding to give him the boot. While every situation is different, (and while you must consult with your own divorce attorney about this issue), Georgia law may provide that, due to your condonation, you have waived or given up the possibility of using the adultery against Sluggo.
So, the bottom line is that, in my opinion, you should consult with a divorce attorney and discuss the legal consequences before you condone an adultery. To forgive Sluggo's adultery prematurely may not be so divine after all!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
For instance, consider the reported divorce case of great American sportscaster Jim Nantz. According to published news reports, a Connecticutt divorce judge has ordered Nantz, among other things, to pay his wife of 26 years a whopping $916,000.00 per year in alimony and child support. Fortunately for Nantz, who is 50, the judge also reportedly ruled that the Nantz divorce was not caused by his alleged dating a 29 year old woman before the divorce was final. This divorce order may sound excessive. But again, everything is relative. According to Wikipedia, the well-to-do Nantz makes in excess of $4 million per year!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Here's some happy news for those of you considering a divorce! Do you like freebies? Well, here's one for you to consider! Did you know that, when you get a divorce in Georgia, your divorce attorney can ask the judge, in the divorce pleadings, to restore either your maiden name, or another prior name, at no additional cost to you? Isn't that great?! This divorce "freebie" is in addition to the free "extra divorce" you are getting from your mother-in-law!
Of course, if you have children, you may decide not to go back to your maiden name. In other words, you may choose to keep the same last name as your kids. Also, you may not want the hassle of having to go to Social Security or the Department of Motor Vehicles to change your last name. But the point is: it is up to you to decide this!
So, after your divorce is final, you will no longer have to see your mother-in-law and you no longer have to be called "Mrs. Sluggo!" Life doesn't get much better than this, does it?!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Did you know that, in Georgia, if your spouse, "Sluggo," sues you for divorce, you can "slap" him back with a counterclaim for divorce? You might wonder why would you ask your divorce lawyer to do this!
There are several reasons to file a counterclaim for divorce. For instance, if Sluggo elects to dismiss his divorce lawsuit, but you still want to get the divorce, then, if your divorce attorney has already filed a counterclaim, you may be able to go forward and get it done without starting all over again!
Also, while Sluggo may simply contend the marriage is "irretrievably broken," your divorce lawyer may need to counterclaim to raise different grounds for the divorce. At trial, you may be entitled to get a divorce in your favor on your own alleged grounds.
So, you now can see that if Sluggo "slaps" you, (in the legal sense!), with a divorce complaint, it may likely be to your advantage to have your own divorce lawyer "slap" him back with a counterclaim! But please don't also use hockey sticks, as in the Paul Newman movie!
Friday, October 23, 2009
(1) In cases of divorce;
(2) In cases of voluntary separation; or
(3) Where one spouse, against the will of that spouse, is abandoned or driven off by the other spouse.
You also need to discuss with your Georgia divorce lawyer the fact that an award of permanent alimony may be enforced either by a contempt action, or by writ of fieri facias. This writ is a fancy latin term, more commonly known as a "fi fa," which means that you may be authorized to ask the sheriff to seize and sell some of the personal property of your worthless spouse "Sluggo" to satisfy your award of alimony, if he refuses to pay.
So, this is where the photo of the boat comes into play! You may, in some circumstances, be able to ask your divorce attorney to get the sheriff to seize Sluggo's boat to collect on your alimony!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Let's talk about money today! More specifically, let's discuss temporary alimony. Most people think of alimony as spousal support which begins following the divorce. But did you know that, at least under Georgia law, (O.C.G.A. 19-6-3), either party to a divorce may also apply for temporary alimony while the divorce action is pending. If you seek temporary alimony from "Sluggo," the judge will consider the "peculiar necessities" of each party and whether the petitioner has sufficient independent funds to get by. In other words, if you are as wealthy as Oprah or Martha Stewart, you are less likely to get temporary alimony!
At the hearing on the application for temporary alimony, a Georgia judge will not get into the merits of the divorce case, but he or she may inquire into the cause and circumstances of the separation rendering alimony necessary. So, if you ran off to gamble and lost your shirt in Las Vegas, you would probably have a weak argument for temporary alimony.
You should also know that, generally speaking, Georgia law gives a trial judge a lot of discretion in deciding whether or not to grant temporary alimony, (and how much). So, if you are like most people, you probably need it, and you should therefore be sure to discuss it with your divorce attorney.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Okay, since we have had several "serious" posts in a row, I think it's time for.....[drum roll].....another Divorce "Joke of the Day!" (Look, as a divorce lawyer in Augusta, Georgia, I fully realize that divorce is not a joking matter. But please understand that, while we are attempting here, as a public service, to provide some helpful information and ideas about Georgia divorce for you to consider and discuss with your divorce attorney, I also want to try to make this dry topic a little bit more interesting and keep you coming back!) So, here goes.........
"Sluggo's" wife noticed that "Sluggo" kept staring at their marriage license and finally she asked him why.
"Sluggo" replied, "I'm just looking for the expiration date!"
Okay, okay, maybe you'd prefer going back to the serious posts about divorce law!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
In the last post, we discussed, (or at least I discussed and hopefully you listened!), how NOT to prove adultery. In other words, the last post dealt with problems to avoid, (such as illegally wiretapping "Sluggo's" telephone, or hacking into his computer), while trying to prove his infidelity. One of the primary points made was that you should always consult with a divorce lawyer in your area BEFORE you attempt to prove adultery.
But in this post, let's look at the issue another way: How can you prove adultery? Again, let me re-emphasize that you must talk with your divorce attorney BEFORE you "try this at home!" But here goes:
1. Get his cell phone records: If you cannot get them legitimately yourself, then your divorce lawyer should be able to subpoena them. If "Sluggo" has been talking with his new lover, "Brunhilda," then his cell phone records should give them away!
2. Get his emails: This may be difficult to accomplish, if you do not have legitimate access, but, if you do, then naturally it would be a great source of information!
3. Talk with "Sluggo's" friends or co-workers: Of course, if they are "Sluggo's" loyal friends, then they aren't likely to tell you much. But you never know until you ask.
4. Check his Facebook or other social internet networking sites: In this blog, we have warned you before about the risks that married people face by visiting popular social websites, such as Facebook or E-Harmony, before the ink is dry on their final divorce decree! But since "Sluggo" may not be so bright, then you might want to check and see if he is already "looking for love in all the wrong places!"
5. Hire a Private Investigator: Just as with each of these other ideas, you will need to carefully discuss this option with your divorce attorney. In my opinion, you and your lawyer should generally consider this option only if you have specific leads or information about "Sluggo" meeting with another lover. If you have no leads, then you may be wasting a couple of thousand dollars, or more, by paying an investigator to simply watch a house. But talk it over with your lawyer! If this idea works, then you may have just the proof you need that "Sluggo" has been "up to no good!"
Friday, October 9, 2009
This blog gets a lot of hits on the internet from folks looking for information about how to prove adultery. Sometimes, I wonder if adultery is like an epidemic, spreading faster than Georgia cudzu, or the swine flu, (oops, sorry, I meant the H1N1 flu!). We have touched on this topic, (that is, adultery, not cudzu or H1N1 flu!), a little bit before, and, no doubt, we will do so again. But I thought it might also be helpful to talk with you some about how NOT to try to prove adultery! Here are some ideas:
1. Thou shalt NOT hack into "Sluggo's" computer: Hacking into someone else's computer would most probably not only be illegal, but also the information you obtain would likely not be admissible in your divorce case. So, even if find pictures of your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," in the arms of "Brunhilda," the "other woman," it won't do you any good, if you break the law. On the other hand, if it is a family computer to which you have equal access, then you should discuss with your divorce lawyer about the advisability of legitimately getting the pictures of "Sluggo" snuggling with "Brunhilda."
2. Thou shalt NOT record "Sluggo's" telephone calls with others: This could also very well constitute a crime and the results of the telephone calls would not be admissible in your divorce case either! So, simply put, don't do it! Now, in some jurisdictions, including Georgia, it may be legal and permissible for you to record your OWN telephone conversations with another person. But it is critically important for you to discuss these "neat ideas" with a divorce lawyer in your state before you attempt to do any of them!
The bottom line is that, in your haste to prove "Sluggo's" infidelity, if you fail to first obtain your divorce attorney's advice, you could be getting into serious trouble and jeopardizing any hope of success in your divorce!
So, to all of you "out there" searching the internet for the truth about how (NOT) to prove adultery, I hope this post helps!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
As a public service, we want to give you all some practical tips and information about divorce law in Georgia. But we also try to make this dry subject a little bit entertaining, too!
So, after several "serious" posts about divorce lawyers, I am sure that you are all just waiting and hoping for a funny divorce "joke of the day," aren't you?! Well, here you go:
What do you call the divorce, or split-up, of two "not so bright" people?..............A "duh-vorce!"
I know, I know, some of you are probably saying, "We were ready and we are still waiting for a funny divorce "joke of the day!"
And the rest of you are saying: "If you want to be a stand-up comic, don't give up your day job as a divorce lawyer!"
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
1. Lawyers Can Be Prompt, Too: Don't you always hate it when you make an appointment with a professional person and then have to wait forever to see them?! We, at The Goolsby Law Firm, realize that YOUR time is valuable, too. As a result, we endeavor to promptly meet with you at, or very near, your appointment time!
2. Be Prepared: Just as the divorce client must do their homework and be prepared when they meet with their divorce attorney, it is equally important that the attorney be prepared, too! For instance, the divorce attorney should have all your divorce documents ready for your review when you walk in the door!
3. Be Patient: A good divorce lawyer will also be patient and carefully listen to all your questions about your divorce. This is a stressful time in your life. Also, this may be your first divorce experience. So, even though your divorce lawyer may be busy and not want to have other clients waiting, (see Number 1 above!), he or she must also realize that you deserve their full time and attention, too!
4. Be Sensitive: In the final analysis, don't you agree that the bottom line is that divorce lawyers need to be more sensitive to their clients' needs? As a divorce lawyer, I can tell you that it can be difficult, at times, not to get desensitized to all the problems inherent in handling contested divorces, especially difficult divorce cases involving child custody. But it is critical, in my opinion, that divorce attorneys must remember that you are going through a hard time and that you do not need, or deserve, a cold, uncaring advocate!
What do you think? Do you have any gripes about lawyers? Go ahead and voice your opinion here!
Monday, October 5, 2009
1. First of all, keep your appointments! In other words, if you have a scheduled appointment, then keep it, and, if you must cancel, please call early to cancel it. As a divorce lawyer, I never cease to be amazed at how many people simply stand us up! So, please keep your appointments, or please call and cancel whenever possible!
2. Be prompt! Just as people sometimes are "no shows," you would also be amazed at how many people are often late for appointments! Naturally, sometimes there are good reasons for being late. But please always try to be on time, or early, whenever possible!
3. Be organized. Please plan beforehand exactly what documents you are supposed to bring to your appointment and do your "homework" ahead of time!
4. Write down your questions in advance (and bring them with you). This will also help make your meeting with your divorce lawyer run more efficiently.
5. Maintain your timeline or journal. Here, at The Goolsby Law Firm, we generally ask all our clients to keep and maintain a journal of all contacts with their worthless spouse, "Sluggo." This will not only help your meetings with your divorce attorney run more smoothly, but also it will help you and your attorney be better prepared when you go to court!
I hope these tips help someone "out there!" And I know some of you may be thinking: "Goolsby has all these great ideas for how clients can help their lawyers, but has he considered how lawyers can better help their clients?"
Do you have any ideas? I promise that, in a future post, I will address how lawyers can be more helpful to their clients!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Have you searched everywhere, unsuccessfully, for answers to your questions about divorce law? Well, here is an idea! Assuming you cannot find your answer in this blog about divorce law in Georgia, or from any other source, you might consider going online to findlaw, Avvo, or attorney pages.com. There, you will be prompted to enter your city and state, and the type of legal problem or case. Now, you are almost home! This search should yield a number of divorce lawyers in your city and state who can help you with your specific type of legal question!
But here is one more good idea for you to consider: Scan this online list of attorneys and consider calling the law firms which offer, (as we do at The Goolsby Law Firm), a "free initial consultation."
There, I hope this idea helps and that you all get answers to your questions! But no matter where you go, no one will ever be able to answer the burning question of our time: Why is "Sluggo," your worthless spouse, so worthless?!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
What are the most common reasons why people divorce? I have read a large number of articles about why people divorce. Also, as a divorce lawyer in Augusta, Georgia, I have seen numerous reasons offered by folks who are going through a divorce. The only conclusion that I can draw is that there are as many stars in the sky as there are reasons for divorce!
But what would YOU guess are the primary reasons for divorce? Is it money problems? Lack of communication? Infidelity? Sexual problems? Spousal abuse? Addiction problems? "Sluggo" eating the last piece of pie?!
I would guess money problems as being the leading reason for divorce, but that is just a guess. Again, what is your opinion about the leading cause of divorce? Have you ever heard of any unusual reasons?
Fortunately, if you live in Georgia, you do not have to have a good reason to get a divorce. You must simply allege and show that the marriage is "irretrievably broken," no matter what your reasons are -- good or bad.
So, if you live in Georgia, and you are tired of being married to your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," then all you need to know is that you don't have to have a good reason to dump him! You can just retain a divorce attorney and dump him! Of course, knowing good ole' Sluggo, you would probably have a thousand good reasons to divorce him!
Monday, September 28, 2009
In Georgia, the simple answer is....maybe! (How about that for a lawyer's answer?!) Generally, Georgia law provides, (in O.C.G.A. 19-6-2), that a grant of attorney's fees as a part of the expenses of litigation may be awarded, "within the sound discretion of the court." The court will consider the financial circumstances of both parties in making this determination, along with deciding the amount of attorney's fees to be awarded.
The bottom line is that getting attorney's fees might be possible in some cases, (especially, for example, if the other party has a much greater income, or if you can prove some fault grounds, such as adultery). But don't count on it. Again, this is another important question to raise and discuss with your own divorce attorney. You will also need to keep in mind that, even if the judge grants attorney fees, it may not be nearly enough to cover your entire bill, (especially if you have retained Perry Mason)! Also, you need to keep in mind that, if ole' Sluggo is really worthless and broke, since you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip, then you may still be on the hook for it anyway.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
As the old saying goes, "cheaters never win." It is true in sports and it is true in marriage and divorce, too!
Let's talk a little bit about the some of the practical consequences of adultery, if you get caught. Did you know, for example, that, if you get caught cheating, it can cost you any chance of getting alimony? According to Georgia's divorce law, (O.C.G.A. 19-6-1), a party in a divorce case is NOT entitled to alimony if it is established by a preponderance of the evidence that the separation between the parties was caused by that party's adultery or desertion. What this means, folks, is that even though your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," may have become about as romantic as a cold, limp dish rag, you had better not get caught running around on him if you want any chance at getting alimony! And you shouldn't desert him, or run off, either, according to Georgia law!
There are other potential consequences of cheating, too! For instance, although adultery, per se, may not be directly relevant to child custody, there is a possibility that, if you get caught partying around with another man, especially if you have "sleep overs" while the kids are present in the home, it might cost you custody of your children, too!
So, please just hold your horses until your divorce is final! Again, it's not my goal to "preach" at you, about cheating or anything else. I simply want to give you some practical information and tips to consider! As always, you should check with an attorney in your area about the consequences of adultery. I am not licensed in other states and I have no clue about what is okay to do in California!
And can I give you one more bit of practical advice? Please be honest with your divorce attorney! If you have been running around on ole' "Sluggo," then you should openly tell your lawyer, so that you can best determine together how to legitimately address these issues!
And one more thing... I bet I don't even have to tell you that you should NOT tell "Sluggo," if you have been "up to no good!"
Friday, September 25, 2009
Did you ever realize that, when you pay your divorce lawyer for a divorce from your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," you are also getting a divorce, at NO EXTRA COST, from your mother in law?! Wow! Now you realize: What a bargain!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Many Americans have always believed in "shacking up," as opposed to getting married. And the trend is presently away from marriage and toward "live-in" arrangements. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 5.5 million unmarried households in this country and, in 2005, unmarried households first started outnumbering married ones.
Now, I am not here to make moral judgments or to preach at you about what you should do. That is not the point of this humble blog about Georgia divorce law. You do as you choose to do!
But as a divorce lawyer in Augusta, Georgia, I just want you to consider some of the legal consequences of your decision! (You should also consult with a lawyer where you live about your rights). I am concerned about women who can get hurt, (legally), by live-in arrangements.
I often get telephone calls from women whose "live-in lovers" have left them and they don't know what to do. Frankly, there can be some tough legal issues for such women to address. For example, if you have chosen to live with "Sluggo," in a house he previously bought, then, if you never got married and you don't have a cohabitation agreement, then you may face the possibility of getting put out in the street. Also, you should consider the fact that, if you have kids with good old "Sluggo," (God forbid!), and you are not married, then, unless you take him to court through a paternity lawsuit, your kids are not legitimate and may not even be able to inherit from him. You also need to know that, at least in Georgia, common law marriage is no longer recognized, (at least for newer live-in relationships, since the latter 1990's), so it probably is no longer available to give you legal protection.
The list goes on and on! There are so many legal issues and problems faced by "live-in" lovers! There are tax issues, (you can't benefit from filing your tax returns together as a married couple), insurance issues, (you probably can't get on "Sluggo's" health insurance plan), and alimony issues, (if you break up, you aren't entitled to seek alimony or a property division).
I realize that there are some arguments in favor of shacking up, too! But the point here is that, before you get too starry eyed about moving in with that old romantic fool, "Sluggo," please just consider the legal consequences!
Maybe you should just get a nice dog instead!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
So, even if you are going through a tough divorce, please just remember this story and know that there is always hope! Of course, after dealing with your divorce and divorce lawyers, you may instead decide to simply enjoy your freedom!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Hopefully, everyone still remembers the famous wise-cracking comedian, Groucho Marx, the star of Vaudeville and numerous movies with his brothers, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo, including "Animal Crackers," in 1930, and "Duck Soup," in 1933. He also went on to host a famous radio and t.v. quiz show called, "You Bet Your Life."
But did you know that Groucho Marx's marriages suffered the same fate as many celebrities? According to Wikipedia, Marx married and divorced three times. And did you know he had a penchant for younger women. When he married the last time in 1954, Marx was 63 and his wife was only 20, according to Wikipedia! As Marx concluded in one of his many famous quotes, "I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury!"