Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Husband Faces Hacking Charges For Checking Wife's Email!

Have you heard the news?  Various news outlets have reported that a Michigan man faces felony anti-hacking charges because he checked his wife's email on a family computer!  The emails reportedly revealed that she had been having an affair.  What is your opinion about a prosecutor bringing criminal charges in this divorce context?
As divorce attorneys in Augusta, Georgia, we have warned you before about this very possibility.  You must be careful about how you attempt to prove adultery.  In other words, even if you suspect your spouse of committing adultery, we have always recommended that you should carefully discuss with your own divorce lawyer the proper ways to obtain the evidence of infidelity.  More simply put, as any attorney will tell you, you should always use legitimate means to prove your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," is cheating, because he isn't worth going to jail over!
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not the Michigan man violated any anti-hacking laws or did anything wrong.  His criminal defense attorney reportedly maintains that his client had legitimately accessed a family computer.  His criminal lawyer also has reportedly raised a good question:  Don't Michigan prosecutors have better things to do than to bring criminal charges like this one in this divorce case!?
What do you think?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Kelsey Grammer, Camille Grammer and Lessons about Prenups!

What is your opinion about prenuptial agreements, also known as "prenups?"  Would you require your sweetheart to sign one, as a pre-condition of marriage, or would you be afraid it would zap the romance in your relationship?
Well, I'll bet that popular actor Kelsey Grammer, of Cheers and Frasier fame, wishes that he had been more diligent about getting his soon-to-be ex-wife, Camille, to sign one, prior to their 13 year marriage, (which is still being litigated in divorce court).  Various news reports indicate that the Grammers did not have a prenup and that, as a result, she stands to share, 50-50, marital assets worth over $100 million!  Of course, in fairness to her, news reports further indicate that she deserves credit for helping the couple to make good investments of his money from his successful t.v. shows.
News reports also indicate that Kelsey Grammer may have his divorce attorneys ask the judge in his divorce case to go ahead and grant a divorce, even if the financial issues have not yet been resolved.  Reportedly, he wants to go ahead and get married to his new girl friend on New Years Day!
Do you suppose Mr. Grammer has raised the issue of a prenup with his new fiance?  What do you think his current divorce attorneys would tell him to do?  What would you do!?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top Google Searches Leading to This Blog on Georgia Divorce Law

I enjoy being a divorce lawyer with my son and handling divorces in Augusta, Georgia.  (Perhaps "enjoy" isn't the right word for it, but the opportunity to practice law with my sons is priceless!) I also enjoy producing this divorce blog in which, among other things, we attempt to provide some practical tips and information about getting a divorce in Georgia.
In addition, I enjoy blogging about celebrity divorces and about what it is like to be a divorce attorney.  I have been amazed, like most bloggers, as to how folks find this site!  Can you guess which key word search leads to the most hits on this site?  Drum roll, please.................The answer is...............................  
1.  How To Prove Adultery in Georgia:  This remains the most popular key word search terms which lead to this divorce blog.  Do you suppose most of the searchers are the victims of the infidelity or cheating?  Or do you reckon they are the cuckolds or cheaters?  In any event, we attempt to provide practical information on how to prove adultery for all parties to discuss with their own divorce attorneys.
Thank you for visiting this blog, no matter what you are looking for!  In the new year, I look forward to sharing with you more divorce information for you to share with your own divorce attorney!  And if your favorite celebrity gets a divorce in 2011, I look forward to sharing information with you about that, too!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: More About Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds

Look, I promise you that this divorce blog is not going to evolve into a Hollywood gossip rag!  We are simply divorce attorneys in Augusta, Georgia who generally focus on Georgia divorce law.  We offer some practical tips and information about Georgia divorce law for you to discuss with your own divorce lawyer.  (Of course, because each divorce is different, and because laws vary from place to place, no one should ever rely on any divorce blog for advice, but should instead consult with his or her own divorce attorney).  
But I do acknowledge that we also sometimes try to make this blog more interesting by covering some Hollywood divorces.  And frankly, a lot of lessons can be learned by looking at issues which often arise in celebrity divorces.
For example, in the last post, we talked about the divorce between two fine actors, Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson.  But did you also hear that, this week, the two have been seen dining together at a New York restaurant, shortly after their divorce was made public?  The two actors have announced that even though their busy schedules made it difficult for their marriage to work, they intend to remain good friends.
Isn't that laudable?  Isn't it possible for divorcing parties to remain friends?  What do you think?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds

Christmas time is not always a happy time for everyone, is it?  Sadly, it appears that another Hollywood marriage has bitten the dust!  This time, the divorce bug has apparently bitten award-winning actress and singer, Scarlett Johansson, and actor Ryan Reynolds.  The couple had been married for just two years.  They issued a joint statement earlier this week announcing their breakup.  Reynolds was named this year's "Sexiest Man Alive" by People Magazine.  And both actors are quite busy with their acting careers.
Here's hoping that both of these fine actors find happiness and recover quickly from the divorce. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy News for The Goolsby Law Firm!

Today is a happy day for us at The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC!  As many of you know, The Goolsby Law Firm is presently composed of father and son attorneys, (Richard Goolsby, Sr. and Richard Goolsby, Jr.), who enjoy practicing family law, criminal law, and handling other legal matters in Augusta, Georgia, (including Richmond and Columbia County).  The primary author of this blog is the dad, Richard Goolsby, Sr.  I am a former federal prosecutor who has handled some of the largest, most complex criminal cases in Georgia history.
Our good news includes the fact that my second son has just completed the half-way point of law school!  In other words, he will complete law school in only three more semesters!
But there's more good news!  My third son, currently a senior at the University of Georgia, has just been accepted for admission to law school next fall by both of his top choices!
So, don't you see, in just a few years, we may very well be the only law firm in this state composed of a father and three sons!  Now, you know why I am so happy and proud!  The Goolsby Law Firm is truly a family law firm!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Divorce: Should You Return to Your Maiden Name?

"What's in a name?  That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."    -- Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

No one can question that Shakespeare had a way with words.  But don't you agree that the Bard may have gotten it wrong with this famous quote about the insignificance of names?  After all, Shakespeare was never married to your worthless spouse, "Sluggo!"
The "question of the day" is, when you get a divorce, should you stick with your married name, or go back to your previous, maiden name?  This is an important question which you should discuss with your divorce attorney, prior to filing for divorce.
In the State of Georgia, a woman may have her divorce lawyer include a request in her pleadings to have her maiden name restored, at no extra cost.  But if she waits until after the divorce is final to consider this matter, then she will likely have to pay an attorney extra to have her name changed.
Most women who have children elect not to go back to their maiden names.  They choose to avoid any possible confusion for their children if their names are different.  Some women also simply don't want to have to contact Social Security, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and other government agencies, to inform them of a name change.
But other women choose differently.  Perhaps they are sick and tired of being known as "Mrs. Sluggo" and cannot wait to have their maiden names restored!  For them, "Mrs. Sluggo" is like a rose with too many thorns to remember!
The important point is that the decision is yours!  No matter what you decide, we at The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC recommend that you should be sure to promptly discuss this issue with your own divorce attorney.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Divorce and Happiness

Generally, in this blog written by divorce lawyers in Augusta, Georgia, we offer you some practical tips and information about Georgia divorce law for you to discuss with your own divorce attorney.  (We also discuss issues which frequently arise in celebrity divorces).
Look, we are just divorce attorneys.  We are not counsellors or psychologists.  But today, I want to ask YOU, the reader, for some helpful tips about the following question!  Here goes: What are your tips or ideas about how someone who has just gone through a divorce can find happiness again?  Here, I'll try to get this discussion started with a few tips of my own:
1.  SEEK SUPPORT FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS:  While no one else can take away all your troubles, or truly make you happy, close friends and family members can help support and encourage you following a divorce.  Have your best friend throw you a "divorce party!"
2.  TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY:  Maybe now is also a good time to throw yourself into ballroom dancing, crafting, blogging, or even spelunking!  Hobbies will also make you get you out and circulate in the community!
3.  TRY DIETING AND EXERCISE:  Even if watching what you eat and getting exercise fail to make you "happy," maybe at least you will feel better about yourself in your new life following a divorce.  
So, those are some of my ideas for finding happiness after a divorce!  What are your ideas?  Hopefully, you will also reach out and help someone you know who has just gone through a stressful divorce!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Divorce and How To Find A Good Divorce Attorney

So, you have finally decided to get a divorce from your worthless spouse, "Sluggo."  But do you know the best way to find a good divorce lawyer?  As you may already know, we, at The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC, are an Augusta, Georgia father and son family law practice which offers a free initial consultation.  We therefore recommend that you should check the ads or internet and ask your family and friends for recommendations about good, experienced divorce attorneys and then you should simply call the prospective divorce lawyer to discuss your case.  But please be aware that, while we, at The Goolsby Law Firm, may offer a free initial consultation, many divorce attorneys will charge you, up to $250.00, before they will agree to take your divorce case.
But make an appointment and pay for such a consultation, if you must, because the main point of this post is that it is imperative that you actually meet with the divorce lawyer who you are considering, before you retain him or her.  Only after meeting with the divorce attorney, and getting some answers to your questions, can you effectively decide whether or not this lawyer is the best divorce lawyer for you and your divorce case!  And it's not just good, "legal" answers to your questions that you should be looking for!  You should also be "eyeballing" them and evaluating whether or not the divorce attorney seems focused and compassionate about you and your case. 
These are just a few practical tips to help you find the best divorce attorney for your divorce case.  We can all hope that good ole Sluggo isn't so careful in making his selection of a divorce lawyer, can't we!? 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Divorce and Biting Your Tongue!

Which human organ gets more divorcing parties into trouble than any other? One good answer from a divorce lawyer would be: the human tongue! In other words, as Augusta, Georgia divorce attorneys, we submit that people can cause more problems in their divorce if they simply don't know when to bite their tongues! Consider the following examples:
Let's assume that your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," has ignored and neglected you and your marriage for years. As a result, you started having an affair. The point here is that you should be aware that if you openly acknowledge infidelity to Sluggo, in order to "rub it in his face," then he will be able to use this as proof of adultery which he might otherwise have never been able to prove! So, sometimes, it is best to bite your tongue!
Did you also know that using your tongue to bash Sluggo, by calling him the worthless dirty dog that he is, can also make Sluggo so angry that he may very well refuse to sign a reasonable settlement agreement. So, sometimes, it is best to bite your tongue, at least until the ink is dry on your settlement agreement!
So, if you are going through a divorce, it is important to always remember: Don't let this human organ get you into trouble! It is best to know when to simply bite your tongue!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Divorce, Custody, Visitation, and Not-So-Happy Holidays!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? For most people, the holidays are a happy time. It is a time when families re-unite for fun, food, fellowship, and thanksgiving.
But for parents who have gone through a divorce, the holidays can be a sad time, because they are required to share their children with their ex-spouses. In fact, in many Georgia divorce cases, parents will generally alternate getting to see their kids, from holiday to holiday and from year to year. As a result, in such cases, if it isn't "your year," you may not even get to see your own children at all! How sad!
Hopefully, if you have gone through a divorce, this is "your year" and you will get to spend Thanksgiving with your children! But, if not, please be thankful that at least you won't have to spend another Thanksgiving with your worthless ex, "Sluggo!" Doesn't this fact alone make it a happy Thanksgiving?!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Kelsey and Camille Grammer

You all remember Kelsey Grammer from his t.v. days as "Frasier." And you also know his ex-wife, Camille, from "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." It isn't news that actors Kelsey and Camille Grammer filed for divorce back in the summer. But what is new is that Camille Grammer has recently put the spotlight on herself and their marriage by granting tell-all interviews about Mr. Grammer's alleged "running around" on her during their marriage.
What is your opinion: Is it okay for divorcing parties to "bad mouth" their ex-spouses? Should celebrities be allowed more "leeway," in order to get their side of the story out to the media, before the media concocts its own versions?
What do you think?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Eva Longoria-Parker

Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. In this case, the good person is talented actress Eva Longoria-Parker, who, as we all have learned, has filed for divorce this week against her husband, and pro basketball star, Tony Parker. The celebrity couple has been married for about three years.
According to news reports, Ms. Longoria reportedly found text messages on her husband's cell phone from a teammate's wife. Of course, until the case has gone to court, everyone should withhold judgment about whether Ms. Longoria is a victim of adultery.
Most people know of Ms. Longoria for her fine acting work, either as Gabrielle Solis, on "Desperate Housewives," or for her earlier work on the t.v. soap, "The Young and the Restless."
But did you also know about Ms. Longoria's tireless work on behalf of numerous charities, including charities for cancer awareness, along with several abused children organizations? The list of charities that she helps and volunteers for is incredible!
Ms. Longoria is indeed "good people," and we should all wish for her quick healing from her current divorce-related problems.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Contested Divorce Versus Uncontested Divorce

Let's assume that you and your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," have decided to get a divorce. Or, to be more accurate, you have decided it for him! You are fed up with Sluggo sitting around the house every day, (instead of getting a job), while he drinks beer and watches everything on t.v., from "The Price is Right" to "One Life to Live." But the question remains: Will you be able to get an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce? You realize that an uncontested divorce would be a lot cheaper. But how can you know which type of divorce applies to your situation? Here are some tips:
First of all, you must know what an uncontested divorce means. An uncontested divorce means that you and Sluggo have worked out all the terms of your divorce, including such issues as property and debt division, along with who gets primary physical custody of little Sluggo, Jr.
But the next part of your answer may not be so simple. In other words, will Sluggo be reasonable and agree to all your terms of divorce? If he will, and if the divorce terms are in a manner which the divorce judge will approve, then you may be able to get a relatively quick, cheap uncontested divorce.
But if Sluggo is unreasonable, or spiteful, then you will need to discuss with your divorce attorney what it will require to drag him from the couch and take him to court, (in a contested divorce).
In short, you have only "one life to live," and whether "the price is right" for you to get an uncontested divorce will probably depend upon whether or not your worthless spouse, Sluggo, will be reasonable and cooperate with you and your divorce lawyer!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Charlie Sheen

It now appears that the third marriage of talented actor
Charlie Sheen has ended in divorce. Various news sources
report that final divorce papers have been filed for Sheen
and wife Brooke Mueller, with whom Sheen has twin sons.
Ms. Mueller will reportedly receive $55,000 per month
in child support, along with cash and property worth
We can all hope that Sheen is addressing whatever issues
he faces, which culminated in the recently reported trashing
of a New York hotel room. We also can all hope that this
talented actor, Ms. Mueller, and their children can adjust
to their new circumstances. After all, divorce is tough on
celebrities, just like it is for everyone else.
Do you believe that celebrities facing divorce and child
custody matters have it even tougher than anyone else?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Randy Travis

Last week, it was revealed that Country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus was getting a divorce. This week, we learned from various news sources that Country music great Randy Travis and his wife-manager, Elizabeth Travis, have also gotten a divorce. One interesting aspect about the Travis divorce is that, according to news reports, she will continue to serve as his personal manager.
After the divorce, here's hoping that he doesn't get booked, (by his ex-wife and business manager), to sing at some run-down truck stop in the middle of Chittlin' Switch, Alaska! Here's also hoping that they will soon overcome any problems between them and that they can, in fact, remain friends and business associates. Could you continue to work with your ex after a divorce?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Billy Ray Cyrus and "Acky Breaky Heart"

Have you heard the news about the divorce of country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus and his wife of 17 years? Sadly, and perhaps ironically, Mr. Cyrus, who, of course, is the father of singer-actress Miley Cyrus, is still perhaps best known for his hit song, "Achy Breaky Heart." I suppose this sad news about this celebrity split-up once again illustrates that the stressors and pressures of Hollywood, (or Nashville), can wreak havoc on celebrity marriages. But it also again illustrates that celebrities generally experience the same types of problems, and "acky breaky hearts," as everyone else. Don't you agree? And I am sure you will also agree that we should all hope that this talented family will soon get past this difficult time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Divorce: Hate, Hurt, and Heal

Look, we realize that we are not psychologists. And we don't pretend to be such. We are simply divorce attorneys in Augusta, Georgia. But generally, we have noticed a pattern which divorcing parties often follow in some, (but surely not all), divorce cases. It often goes something like this:
1. HATE: In some cases, maybe your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," has done some awful things to you. For example, maybe Sluggo has committed adultery, or perhaps he has mistreated you in some other way. Hate and anger are typical human reactions. The point is that, perhaps with the help of a good counselor, or family and friends, you can get past this stage.
2. HURT: In nearly every case we handle, as Georgia divorce lawyers, we also see that one or both divorcing parties often experience hurt and disappointment. Again, this is a normal reaction and, in many divorce cases, only time can help you get over the hurt. But I'm sure you will agree that, again, a good support group can help you get over the hurt of a divorce a lot sooner.
3. HEAL: This should be the ultimate goal for each party to a divorce. No matter what Sluggo has done to you, it is critical, for your physical and emotional health, to look forward, not back!
After all, getting over the hate and hurt, and being healed and happy in your new life, (and being away from Sluggo!), might be the best revenge! Don't you agree!?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Christina Aguilera

Don't you sometimes imagine that celebrities' lives must be filled only with glitz and glamour? But sadly, that is untrue. Haven't we seen, in too many cases, that celebrities often suffer the same sorrows and disappointments that everyone else experiences, too?

For example, multi-talented singer and actress, Christina Aguilera, has just revealed to various news outlets about how difficult her life has been since she filed for divorce earlier this month. Ms. Aguilera explained how hard each day is and how she leans heavily on her family and close friends for support. She also explained that she is motivated to move forward for the sake of her small son.

Doesn't this sound similar to what others experience while going through a divorce?

Hopefully, Ms. Aguilera will soon begin healing and go on to find true happiness. And hopefully, her fans and other members of the public will better understand that celebrities hurt and endure the same problems, with divorces and other issues, which we do. It's not all glitz and glamour, after all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chili Miner Rescue: Who Should You Meet: Your Spouse Or Your Mistress?

The whole world watched and rejoiced over the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners. What a glorious day! But we also witnessed an unusual occurrence! One of the rescued miners was reportedly greeted by his mistress, instead of his wife!
Now, I do not pretend to know anything about divorce laws in Chili. However, I suspect that their divorce courts frown on adultery just as much as divorce courts in Georgia and elsewhere!
What do you think about this situation? If you were a rescued miner, who would you meet: your lover or your spouse? What, if anything, do you think will happen next in this case?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Divorce and "Free Consultations:" What It Means and What It Doesn't Mean!

As you know, we are father and son Augusta, Georgia divorce attorneys. One thing about our family law firm which makes us "special," or at least different, is that we generally provide a "free initial consultation." In other words, we will accept your telephone calls and try to answer your questions about your Georgia divorce for free! Many law firms charge a fee, sometimes as much as $250, before they will allow you to set foot in their front door or answer any questions about your divorce! But we prefer to try to help people by answering a few questions at no cost.
Naturally, we hope to be retained to handle some of these divorce cases. But we still try to help people even though we realize that many of these callers will never retain us to be their divorce attorneys.
But naturally, we sometimes wish that some folks would realize, before they call, that a "free initial consultation" does not apply to every situation! Consider the following examples:
1. DO NOT CALL US IF YOU ARE ALREADY REPRESENTED BY A DIVORCE LAWYER: Look, if you already have a divorce attorney, please call them, not us! I sympathize with you, but it's not my fault that you cannot get your own divorce lawyer on the telephone! Besides, I could have an ethical issue if I even wanted, (and I don't!), to give legal advice to a represented person!
2. DO NOT CALL US IF YOUR DIVORCE IS OUT OF STATE: Please understand that we are licensed to practice law and handle divorces only in the State of Georgia. If you live elsewhere, you should seek the help of a divorce attorney in your own state! (But to be honest, if you do call, since I'm a "softie," I will likely still try to help you find an out-of-state divorce lawyer--for free!)
3. DO NOT CALL US IF YOU ARE A DO-IT-YOURSELFER: Even though our family law firm handles many simple, uncontested divorces almost as cheaply as some of the do-it-yourself divorce kits available online, we are amazed that some people will obtain the kits, get stumped, and then call us and expect us to help them complete their divorce kits -- "for free!" What is even more amazing is that, sometimes in the past, we have actually tried to help them! But we shouldn't be expected to do so, don't you agree!?
Oh, we also don't handle bankruptcy or tax matters, just as we also don't know how to fix your plumbing or carburetor!
In conclusion, if you had an Augusta, Georgia divorce law firm, would you offer a "free consultation?" Do you see the pros and cons? Do you also agree that, just because it's free, it's not for everyone!?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: George Lopez

Did you hear? Apparently, another Hollywood marriage may be biting the dust! According to a Hollywood publicist, the 17 year marriage of comedian George Lopez and his spouse is ending. The publicist also reports that the dissolution will be "amicable," whatever that means in this "not-so-amicable" context! Here's wishing both, (i.e. Lopez and spouse, not Lopez and the publicist), happy, amicable days ahead!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Step Parent Adoption: Surrender of Parental Rights

At the Goolsby Law Firm, LLC, as father and son Augusta, Georgia divorce attorneys, we generally offer free initial consultations. As a result, each day, we get callers from all over Georgia who are looking for information about divorce, child custody, adoption, and countless other family law issues. (Of course, you should always consult with your own divorce lawyer about your own particular situation!)
One common issue which we receive calls about involves whether a parent can voluntarily surrender their parental rights. That's right! Can you believe it!? Some folks "out there" actually want to know if they can give up, or avoid, all parental responsibility for their children! Generally, in most cases, we simply tell such callers that you simply cannot "turn over" your kids and avoid responsibility for paying child support!
Of course, each situation is different. In other words, in some situations, a surrender of parental rights is possible and can lead to a positive result. For example, it is possible for a parent to surrender his parental rights if his spouse has re-married and the new step father is willing to adopt the kids and support them. In this situation, the kids will hopefully be taken care of by a new father who will love and support them. The results in this situation can be fantastic!
However, what is your opinion of the deadbeat parents "out there" who, even if they are gainfully employed, simply want to find a way to avoid paying child support? In your opinion, should a parent be easily allowed to surrender his or her parental rights?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Anne Francis: "Honey West"

This past week, (on September 16th), marked the eightieth birthday of a fine actress, Ms. Anne Francis. Ms. Francis went through two divorces early in her career, thus justifying my inclusion of her in this divorce (and celebrity divorce) blog written by an Augusta, Georgia divorce attorney.
Some of you may possibly remember her as one of the stars of the 1956 cult classic movie, "Forbidden Planet." I remember her, as a small boy, from the 1960's t.v. private investigator series, "Honey West." According to Wikipedia and other sources, "Honey West" was the first television series featuring a female private investigator.
Ms. Francis has also been a "first" in another category. Her adoption of one of her children in 1970 was reportedly one of the first adoptions granted to a single person in California.
Here's wishing Ms. Francis a belated "happy birthday" and many more!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Divorce and Mediation: How Much Does It Cost?

In the last post, I extolled the virtues of mediation as a potential solution in many tough divorce cases. But in looking back at the post, I realized that I failed to give you any practical information concerning the costs of mediation. So, here goes!
In my experience as a divorce attorney in Augusta, Georgia, I have used mediators whose fees have ranged between $100.00 per hour to $250.00 per hour. (The latter rate was what a retired judge charged). Other mediators have charged $125.00 per hour. And you must also keep in mind that mediation may, in some cases, take several hours!
In short, while some mediators may be "worth their weight in gold," as I claimed in the last post, when you, as a divorce client, have to pay their bill, it may seem like they cost that much, too!
Please be sure to discuss all aspects of mediation, along with all other costs of your divorce, with your own divorce lawyer.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Divorce and Mediation: A Good Mediator is Worth Their Weight in Gold!

I wholeheartedly believe that, in some intractable, "knockdown-dragout" contested divorces, mediation is the best way to go to get a good result! I also believe that a skilled mediator is worth his or her weight in gold.
A mediator is someone who is trained to help parties in a lawsuit to reach a negotiated settlement. The mediator is supposed to be a neutral, impartial facilitator who can help promote communication and compromise. Put more simply, a good mediator can help get a divorce settled quickly and save both parties a lot of time, tears, and treasure!
In my opinion, some of the best mediators in divorce cases are divorce lawyers or judges. They have the experience to be able to tell the parties about the potential consequences at trial, if they
refuse to settle.
Have you ever gone though a mediation? What do yo think about it? Do you agree that a good mediator is worth his or her weight in gold!?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Divorce "Joke of the Day!"

After a number of serious posts, today, maybe it is time for a divorce "joke of the day!"
Here is an "oldie goldie" that is still a "goodie:"
The divorce court judge told the husband, "After careful deliberation, I have decided to give your spouse $5,000 each month in alimony."
The husband replied, "That's great! Each month, I'll try to give her a few bucks, too!"
From each of us at The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC, (father and son divorce lawyers), to each of you: Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Adultery, Cheating, or Running Around: How Can You Prove "It?"

Whether you call it adultery, philandery, or infidelity, or whether you consider it extra marital sex, cheating, or just plain "running around," "it," by whatever name, has been around since the beginning of time. Also, "it" has likewise been present in virtually every culture and in every part of the world, since the beginning of time. And "it" is not going away any time soon. According to Wikipedia, three recent studies indicate that 10-15% of women and 20-25% of men admit to cheating at some point during their marriages.
"It" is a hot topic on the internet, too. This blog gets more hits from folks looking for information about "how to prove adultery" than any other topic. Sometimes, as a divorce attorney in Augusta, Georgia, I wonder if the number of people in those studies who have admitted to "it" isn't a tad bit low! What do you think?
With that focus in mind, I thought it might be helpful, (to all those inquiring minds "out there" who want to learn more about how to prove adultery in Georgia), to recap about some of the ways to prove your worthless spouse "Sluggo" has been "up to no good!" Consider the following ideas on how to prove "it:"
1. HIRE A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: While it may get expensive, you can always hire a private investigator to get photographs of the two love birds together. While you may be able to get by with less proof, at least in a Georgia divorce, I don't know any divorce lawyer who would turn down such conclusive proof!
2. GET HIS EMAIL/INTERNET ACTIVITY/FACEBOOK POSTINGS: Of course, as we have discussed here before, (along with the fact that you should first consult with your own divorce lawyer), it is imperative that you must first have legitimate access to "Sluggo's" computer information and passwords BEFORE you attempt to get proof of his "fooling around" on the internet. But if you do, this information may, in some cases, be good enough to prove adultery.
3. GET "SLUGGO" TO ADMIT TO CHEATING: An admission by your spouse may, in some cases, also be sufficient to prove adultery.
4. CELL PHONE RECORDS, UNUSUAL PURCHASES, AND GIFTS: While this circumstantial evidence alone might be insufficient to prove adultery, when combined with other proof, it may constitute a sustainable case. Again, discuss each of these points with your own divorce lawyer.
5. "SLUGGO" HAS A STUPID GRIN ON HIS FACE: I am sorry, but proof of this anomaly alone is probably insufficient to prove adultery, in Georgia, or anywhere else!
In short, whether you call "it" adultery, cheating, or being "up to no good," I hope that this post helps all those "out there" who are looking for information on how to prove "it!"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Tiger Woods

Various news reports confirm that the 6 year marriage of world-famous golfer Tiger Woods and his spouse, Elin Nordegren, has finally ended in divorce in a Bay County, Florida courtroom. Much has been already rumored and already written about this relationship. Let's just hope that each of these two parties, (and their kids), can get on with their lives now, without the same intense public scrutiny!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Divorce v. Separation: Some Practical Tips To Consider

Let's assume that you and your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," are definitely headed to "splitsville." The only remaining question, as far as you are concerned, is whether to go ahead and file for a divorce, or, instead, simply to try a separation, (and file a separate maintenance action). What should you do?
As divorce lawyers in Augusta, Georgia, we should tell you, first of all, that each situation is different and that one size does not fit all! In other words, you should sit down with your own divorce attorney to discuss the pros and cons in your particular situation.
But here are some practical tips to consider and to discuss with your divorce lawyer:
(a) If "Sluggo" is presently in a cooperative, "signing" mood, then it might be good to go ahead and get him to sign a generous settlement agreement now;
(b) Why pay for two legal proceedings, (separation and divorce), when you can go ahead and pay for just one, (divorce); and
(c) Going ahead and getting a divorce might give you peace of mind, sooner rather than later.
(a) If you are having health/medical problems, and you are on your spouse's health insurance plan, then this might be a good reason to simply file a separate maintenance action, so you won't lose health insurance coverage; and
(b) If you don't want to have to sell your house right now, because, for example, you want your child to have time to graduate from a particular school, or because the housing market is so lousy in your area at the present time.
Again, each situation is different and this list is not all-inclusive. There are many other factors which might be relevant in your case. Please be sure to discuss the pros and cons of separation versus divorce with your own divorce attorney!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Patricia Arquette

Did you hear the sad news? Hollywood has zapped another marriage. Various news sources report that Patricia Arquette, the star of Medium, and her husband, Thomas Jane, of Hung, have split for good. You might recall that the couple had split once before, at the beginning of 2009, and then had tried to reconcile. This time, the couple appears to be headed for a California divorce court.
In 1993, Ms. Arquette starred in one of my favorite movies, True Romance, written by Quentin Tarantino. That movie has an incredible ensemble cast, including a young Brad Pitt in a minor role.
So, once again, the stressors of Hollywood have apparently claimed another celebrity marriage. Here's hoping that Ms. Arquette will one day find "true romance" again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What are the Signs of Adultery? (Or Signs That "Sluggo" Has Been Up To No Good!)

How can you tell if your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," is slipping down that one-way path of iniquity, known as adultery?
You might find some answers in a new article in the latest edition of Redbook. There, Dr. Jane Greer, a noted couples therapist, has written an article on how to stop an affair before it starts. She also details some of the warning signs that your spouse may be headed toward the "cheating zone." For example, Dr. Greer indicates you may be facing trouble if you and your spouse are too busy for one another, or if you have put each other too low on your priority lists. Also, if you have thrown in the towel and don't really argue any more, it may be a sign you are facing the prospect of adultery, too.
Check out the Redbook article for other serious signs of infidelity. But that's enough serious talk about divorce and adultery today! As a divorce lawyer in Augusta, Georgia, I have also compiled my own, (more lighthearted), list of "signs of adultery," or "signs that 'Sluggo' is fixin' to be up to no good!" Consider the following:
1. You probably should get suspicious if "Sluggo" has suddenly started watching the t.v. series Jersey Shore and then runs off his mouth about tips on how to treat a lady!
2. You should also keep an eye on "Sluggo" if he suddenly starts taking a bath, brushing his God-forsaken, tobacco-stained teeth, or if he ever asks you to wash his overalls!
3. You might suspect something if "Sluggo" starts making his beloved bird dawg, "Hoss," ride back in the truck bed, instead of right next to him in the cab, so as to keep the seats clean.
4. Finally, you really should get suspicious if "Sluggo" is constantly humming the tune to Elvira and he keeps goin' to eat at the IHOP, where that hot new waitress, Elvira, now works!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Aggressive Lawyering Versus Obnoxious Lawyering: Which Is Best?

In this blog about divorce, I also try to give you some perspective about what it is like to be a divorce lawyer in Augusta, Georgia. Today, I want to give you my opinion about the effectiveness of what I call "obnoxious lawyering!"
I suspect that, in every community of divorce lawyers, there are at least two or three lawyers who equate being aggressive with being obnoxious. In other words, these "obnoxious attorneys" apparently believe that zealous advocacy means being disagreeable about every issue in the divorce, including everything from child custody to who gets the worthless plastic Star Wars cups in the kitchen.
Now, I have several theories about why some of these "obnoxious attorneys" act this way. Can I be honest!? First of all, I believe that a few of these lawyers want to simply drag out the divorce, so that they can bill their clients for a lot more money! In other words, by infecting the divorce case with their own disagreeable personalities, and their own unreasonable demands, they poison the well for everybody and make a quick, fair settlement less likely.
In addition, some of these divorce lawyers appear to lack sufficient life experiences to understand the difference between the important issues and the unimportant ones in a divorce. Also, perhaps some people over-compensate for a lack of self-confidence.
Finally, in my opinion, a few divorce attorneys simply have obnoxious personalities which spill over into their divorce law practices, along with every other aspect of their Scrooge-like existences! Believe me, when their nasty mop water buckets spill, they tend to get everybody around them dirty! And frankly, I believe that obnoxious divorce lawyers more often fail, rather than succeed, for their divorce clients.
So, in my opinion, when you select a divorce lawyer to represent you, it is imperative that you try to size up their personalities, too. In other words, you must decide whether you want an aggressive divorce attorney, who will cleanly fight for the important issues, or someone who will indiscriminately be disagreeable about everything and drag out your divorce with "Sluggo" into the next century!
Doesn't every profession have these obnoxious types? Is that the type you would want for your divorce attorney? What do you think?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Divorce Costs: The Cost of Justice is Always Going Up!

In this blog by divorce lawyers in Augusta, Georgia, we try to offer, as a community service, some good, practical divorce information and tips for you to discuss with your own divorce attorney. We also occasionally talk about celebrity divorces, and even sometimes throw in a divorce "joke of the day," in order to try to keep it interesting!
Today, I wanted to address the topic of divorce court costs. If you plan to divorce your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," then you need to have some idea as to what it might cost! Of course, this list is not exhaustive and not all costs will apply to every divorce. Again, you will need to talk with your own Georgia divorce lawyer to get a full understanding of the "price of justice!"
First, you need to know that, in Georgia, the filing fee recently went up, from $80 to a whopping $205.00! Isn't that terrible!?
Also, the cost of paying a deputy to serve divorce papers on "Sluggo" was recently doubled, from $25 to $50.
In addition, in some cases, you may have to pay for the services of a guardian ad litem, if child custody is at issue. This can also run you hundreds of dollars, depending upon the hours required for the guardian to investigate the case.
Finally, in addition to divorce lawyer fees, in some divorce and child custody cases, you may also have to pay for mediation and court reporter fees, all of which you should discuss with your own divorce attorney.
Hopefully, this list gives you some idea of some of the costs involved in a Georgia divorce. Unfortunately, as you can see, the costs of justice, including the costs of divorcing "Sluggo," keep going up!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Heidi Montag

All right, folks, brace yourselves for some more sad news from Tinsel Town! Yes, another celebrity marriage has apparently bitten the dust! Reality t.v. star Heidi Montag has reportedly filed for divorce from her fellow reality star-husband, Spencer Pratt.
Frankly, even though I watch some reality t.v. shows, I have never seen their MTV show, "The Hills." And frankly, the main fact I knew about her before now is that she has reportedly had a lot of plastic surgeries. (For instance, I didn't know, until I researched it, that she is also a budding singer who also has a clothing fashion line). So, frankly, that's about all I have to say about this celebrity divorce.
Hopefully, both actors will find happiness elsewhere in "the hills" of Hollywood! And hopefully, in the future, Ms. Montag will also successfully avoid the common Hollywood affliction of getting more celebrity divorces than plastic surgeries!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Divorce, Child Visitation, and the Holidays

Look, just because it is the middle of Summer, and just because we are experiencing 100 degree temperatures here in Augusta, Georgia, please don't misjudge me, based on the holiday picture above, by thinking I have suffered a heat stroke! Actually, I just want to use the picture to illustrate a point.
The point is that, in a divorce with minor children, you should generally expect to have to share your children, (with your worthless ex-spouse, "Sluggo"), during the holidays. In other words, it is common in many Georgia divorce parenting plans for the spouses to alternate having the children at Thanksgiving and Christmas. For instance, you may have the little darlings on Christmas day during even numbered years and "Sluggo" will have them during odd numbered years.
But even though your divorce lawyer may be unable to guarantee you will get to see your children on Christmas Day every year, there are a number of ways to work around it, don't you agree? For example, you can celebrate the holiday with your kids on Christmas Eve. And even though it may not always be easy, hopefully, you and your children can still experience happy holidays!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gray Divorce: A Growing Trend

Just because they have recently made the headlines, Al and Tipper Gore certainly do not have the only long-term marriage which is splitting up in this nation today. Indeed, the trend is toward more and more "gray divorces;" that is, married couples over 50 who are seeing divorce lawyers and fiiling for divorce. According to numerous reports, presently, one-fourth of all marriages which have lasted two decades, or longer, are now headed toward divorce court.
If you find yourself in this situation, what are some of the consequences and important things for you to discuss with your own divorce lawyer? Let's focus one just one today: what will happen to the marital home?
First, you should consider who will keep the marital home. Also, if you decide you can't afford the home, then consider how can you get your name off the security deed and, at the same time, how can you get your fair share of the home equity. For instance you may want to discuss with your divorce attorney the idea of either requiring your spouse to refinance the home mortgage, in his own name, (thus eliminating your liability), or simply list and sell the home, (and split the net proceeds).
Of course, many of the issues common to a "gray divorce" will also be faced by younger married couples going through a divorce. But hopefully, with the help of an experienced divorce lawyer, (along with loving support from family and friends), you can, at any age, successfully navigate the same waters, too!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Divorce, Divorce Lawyers, and Stress

As we have discussed before in this blog about divorce and divorce lawyers, divorces can be very stressful for the parties and all others involved. But have you ever considered how stressful being a divorce attorney can be? Can you imagine what it's like to get telephone calls from clients, or prospective clients, who are upset about the prospect of losing a child custody battle, or about the consequences of their adultery, among other problems?
Trust me, I have learned that being a divorce lawyer in Augusta, Georgia can be a very stressful profession! But I really enjoy helping divorce clients and want to continue doing it. That is why I try to exercise regularly. And that is also why, last week, I got away from the office for a much needed vacation!
Regular exercise and vacations may not eliminate the stress of handling divorce cases, but hopefully, I will be better able to cope with all the challenges and be a better divorce lawyer!
Look, I realize that being a divorce lawyer is not the only stressful occupation out there! What sorts of stressors do you face in your job and how do you cope with them?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Sometimes, when it rains, it pours. According to various news reports, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. recently filed for a divorce from his wife, Mary.
Then, that next day, according to reports, police were called to the Kennedy home, where she was allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
Then, a couple of days later, she was charged with a DUI. Now, in fairness, no one outside the family can really know, (or should know), all that is actually occurring here, but clearly the stress of divorce can contribute, in some cases, to other unfortunate events, too. Don't you agree?
Here's hoping that all the parties involved can successfully address and resolve each of these serious matters.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Divorce and Adultery Around the World

As an Augusta, Georgia divorce lawyer, I have offered, in this blog, a lot of practical tips and information about adultery, which you should discuss with your own divorce attorney. In particular, we have discussed some of the serious consequences of cheating, along with some posts about how to prove adultery in Georgia.
Yes, the consequences of infidelity can be significant. For example, you could potentially lose a good shot at alimony. You might even lose child custody in some cases.
However, none of these problems faced by an adulterer in this state can compare to the terrible problems faced today by a 43 year old woman in Iran. Have you seen the shocking news?
According to news reports, Ms. Sakineh Ashtiani faces death by stoning this weekend, following her conviction of adultery. The reports further indicate that she has already served five years in prison and endured 99 lashes for the alleged offense.
In my opinion, this punishment is outrageous! Here's hoping that international pressure will save this poor woman from being stoned to death for adultery. Don't you totally agree? What do you think?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Is Divorce Always Bad For Kids?

Here's some encouraging news about the effect of divorce on children. According to a new study out of Montclair State University, staying together just for the sake of the kids might, in some cases, actually do them more harm than good. Researchers interviewed children of divorce when they were young and then again more recently, after they became adults.
One interesting result of the study is that children who grew up in families with a lot of fighting and conflict fared better if their parents divorced.
Doesn't this result make sense? In other words, doesn't it seem more likely that kids who are exposed to fighting longer will suffer more in future relationships than kids whose parents ended the fighting more quickly with a divorce?
Look, I realize that every situation is different. Also, even though I am an Augusta, Georgia divorce lawyer, please don't mis-interpret this post as a promotion for more legal business! Trust me, there are plenty of divorce cases out there already!
But isn't it good that this study at least offers some encouraging news for parents who feel the need to seek help from a divorce attorney? What do you think?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Divorce: Cuckoos and Cockolds

Did you see the interview with Elizabeth Edwards on the "Today" show? Ms. Edwards is the spouse of former Presidential candidate John Edwards. Of course, we have all heard about his public confession of adultery and about his love child with a former aid. It appears that one of the primary reasons why Ms. Edwards went on the "Today" show was to proclaim her desire to get past her spouse's infidelity and to get on with her life. In the t.v. interview, Ms. Edwards also indicated that she had found inner peace and wanted to shed herself of the "cuckolded" wife image.

I did a little research about the term "cuckold." That's an old term that even we, as divorce lawyers, don't hear every day! As you may know, a cuckold is a married person whose spouse has cheated on them, (either with or without the victim's knowledge). I also learned that the Middle English derivative of the word is "cokewold," which is derived from certain varieties of female cuckoo birds which lay their eggs in other female birds' nests, so that they don't have to raise their babies. But that's enough about "cuckoos" and "cuckolds!"

As for Ms. Edwards, in my opinion, whether you or I agree or disagree with her politics, we should all agree that she is entitled to get on with her life and to shed the cuckold image. Best wishes to her!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Goolsby Law Firm: Check Out Our New Sign!

As many of you know, we are father and son Augusta, Georgia divorce lawyers. (We also practice criminal law, personal injury, and other general litigation). Please check out our new "GOOLSBY LAW FIRM" sign! Because our building is a little below road level, we hope that our law firm's new sign will help new clients find us easier!
We also hope you like our sign!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Divorce "Joke of the Day!"

Look, as divorce lawyers in Augusta, Georgia, we certainly realize that divorce is no joking matter. And generally, in this blog about divorce and divorce lawyers, we try to provide you with a lot of good, practical information and tips for you to discuss with your own divorce attorney.

However, for a change of pace, we sometimes also feature posts about celebrity divorces and, occasionally, like today, we even offer a divorce "joke of the day!"

So, here goes with an "oldy-goldy joke about lawyers:"

How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? Answer: When his lips are moving!

I hope you have a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Divorce and How Friends Can Help

As Augusta, Georgia divorce lawyers, we see how devastating divorces can be. For instance, divorces divide families, create financial hardships, and foment emotional problems.
This divorce law blog is primarily designed to be about Georgia divorce law and divorce attorneys, along with posts about celebrity divorces. We even throw in an occasional divorce "joke of the day!"
But divorces are no joking matter. And since I know, as a divorce lawyer, that, somewhere "out there," someone reading this post may be suffering from the consequences of a difficult divorce, I thought it might be important to take a moment and simply offer encouragement that things can and will get better for you! Please consider reaching out to supportive family members and friends to help you. Please also consider finding a divorce support group at a local church.
Finally, if you are a friend, or family member, of someone who is going through, (or has recently gone through), a divorce, then please consider how you might help them, whether it be taking them to lunch, giving them a hug, or just being there for them!
Divorce can be tough! But things can and will get better for you!
What do you think? What are some other ways people can deal with a divorce? How can you help a friend going through a divorce?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Divorce Statistics: Is the Second Time Around the Charm?

So, you've divorced your worthless, God-forsaken spouse, "Sluggo," and now you believe you have finally met your soul mate. Do you believe a second marriage would have a better chance of success, following a divorce, than a first marriage? Do people learn from their mistakes?'s the sad news! According to the Enrichment Journal, and other sources, 41% of first marriages end in divorce, but 60% of second marriages, and a whopping 73% of third marriages, bite the dust!
I hate to break this bad news to you! But after your divorce, please just be careful about getting hitched again too soon! After all, maybe the new guy just seems good because anything, even a wet dish rag, would seem good after being married to "Sluggo!" What do you think!?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is Divorce Contagious?

Do you believe divorce is contagious? In other words, do you believe that you are more likely to get a divorce simply because a friend or family member is getting one?
Well, as reported by CNN, a new study conducted by Professor James H. Fowler, a political science professor from the University of California, suggests that there is a strong correlation between others getting a divorce and the possibility of your own! In fact, according to the study, the strongest correlation lies between friends. Supposedly, if your close friend gets a divorce, it is 147% more likely that you will get one, too!
So, what do you think about this study? Does the mere fact that your friend may choose to see a divorce lawyer make it more likely that you would be influenced to consider the same thing? Or would you stick with "Sluggo" no matter what your friends do?!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Shania Twain and How Do You Get Your Mojo Back After A Divorce?

As Augusta, Georgia divorce lawyers, we see how devastating divorces can be, both emotionally and otherwise. So, the question naturally arises: How do you get your "mojo," or drive and energy, back, following a divorce?
Perhaps Shania Twain, the incredibly talented singer, offers some good ideas by her example! Following her recent divorce, after her spouse reportedly had an affair with her assistant and friend, Ms. Twain has thrown herself back into her work. She reportedly has a new television program in the works and has even been rumored as a possible replacement for Simon Cowell on American Idol. In addition, she has been spotted in public with the ex-husband of the woman with whom her ex-husband reportedly had the affair!
Now, no one should suggest that you, or anyone else who has gone through a divorce, should follow Ms. Twain's example in every respect! But here's hoping that you, like Ms. Twain, will be able to throw yourself into new activities and get your mojo back!