Thursday, February 25, 2010

Divorce "Tip of the Day:" Check Your Credit Report

Today's "free" divorce "tip of the day:" If you are going through a divorce, or if you even contemplate filing for a divorce, you should probably consult with your divorce lawyer about the advisability of your running a credit check with the credit bureaus. In other words, before attempting to equitably divide marital debts, it might help you to know how much and to whom you owe money, and also to confirm that your spouse, "Sluggo," hasn't obtained a credit card, (that you don't even know about), with your name on it!
Now, isn't that a scary thought!?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Celebrity Divorces: Benny Hinn

No one, not even a minister or televangelist, is immune from divorce. According to published reports, the spouse of televangelist and faith healer, Benny Hinn, has filed for divorce against him in an Orange County, California court. The Hinns have reportedly been married for over thirty years. As a Baptist minister's son, I can attest that preachers are human and face the same problems, including divorce, that everyone else faces in life. And this is just another example that preachers are human, too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Divorce and Mediation

So, you have filed for divorce and your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," and his divorce lawyer, are refusing, from your perspective, to negotiate a reasonable divorce settlement. What can you do to get a fair result without having to go all the way to a final hearing or trial? One idea which you and your divorce attorney may be required to consider is mediation.
Mediation is a process in which both divorcing parties, (and their respective divorce lawyers), will meet, (with a mediator acting as referee), and attempt to negotiate a fair settlement of all unresolved issues, including child custody, visitation, and property and debt issues. Mediation is not binding, which means that either party may be free to walk away from the mediation table without accepting the result, (provided that the party did not sign, or agree to, any mediation agreement while at the table). Georgia family law judges often require parties to attempt to resolve divorce issues through mediation, before coming back to court for a final hearing.
Mediation may occur in one of two primary ways:
1. Informal or Private Mediation: In this method, the parties may simply informally meet, along with their respective divorce attorneys, and attempt to informally settle the divorce case, or at least some of the issues. The parties may also utilize any neutral party to serve as mediator, or referee.
2. Formal or Court-Referred Mediation: In this alternative method, the parties will meet, along with their respective divorce lawyers, with a specially trained and court-approved mediator, who will attempt to guide the parties through a successful resolution of all outstanding issues. Again, while neither party is required to accept the result, (provided they walk away without signing or agreeing to the mediator's suggested resolution), the family law judge will likely at least require you, (and your divorce lawyer), to attend mediation and attempt such an alternative dispute resolution.
Please be sure to discuss the idea of mediation with your own divorce lawyer. There are no "magic" solutions which will make Sluggo act reasonably about everything! But at least mediation may help lead to a successful resolution of your divorce and without Sluggo driving you crazy during the process!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Divorce and "Free Initial Consultations"

Do you really believe that "the best things in life are free?" Well, sometimes, probably like you, I'm not sure about the truth of that old saying either! But at least, at the Goolsby Law Firm, we still offer a free initial consultation for folks in the Augusta, Georgia area who are seeking information about a Georgia divorce. For instance, every day, we "freely" answer questions from numerous callers seeking information and answers to their questions about divorce in Georgia.
But please beware! Not all divorce lawyers offer a free initial consultation. As a result, it is important that, when you first call a law firm with questions about a divorce, child custody, or other family law matters, you should ask the receptionist about that law firm's charging policy. In other words, you should simply ask, "Do you offer a free initial consultation?" We have heard that some divorce attorneys in our area charge as much as $250.00 for an initial consultation! And that's even if the divorce attorney then tells the prospective client that they won't take their divorce case!
So, even if you believe that "the best things in life" aren't always free, you can be confident that you can still get a few simple questions answered, and a kind word or two, by calling the Goolsby Law Firm, LLC....for free!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Isn't it okay for a divorce blog to take off just one day to focus on something more positive than divorce and destruction?! After all, today is not a day to talk about divorce or Georgia divorce law! Instead, today is a day for all lovers around the world who want to celebrate Valentine's Day!
According to Wikipedia, and other sources, Valentine's Day is named after St. Valentine, a Roman priest, who secretly conducted marriages, even after the cruel Roman Emperor, Claudius II, decreed that there would be no more marriages or engagements for his soldiers. Sadly, the poor priest was discovered, and then beaten and beheaded. We should appreciate St. Valentine! And we should take a day off from divorce!
So, Happy Valentine's Day!
Tomorrow, we can get back to the business of divorce and divorce laws relating to "dumping the chump!"
One question for you to consider: Do you believe that more divorces follow holidays, such as Christmas and Valentine's Day? What do you think?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Uncontested Divorces: More of "What They Aren't!"

At the Goolsby Law Firm, LLC, our (father and son) divorce law firm, which is located in Augusta, Georgia, we get telephone calls nearly every day from people wanting to get an affordable, uncontested divorce. So, it bears repeating: Please understand that the following fact scenarios do not make your divorce "uncontested:"
1. Your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," doesn't oppose the idea of getting a divorce, (but he still won't sign the uncontested divorce documents)!
2. It is merely uncontested that, if you have to go to divorce court, you will win!
3. It is uncontested, by everyone you know, that Sluggo is worthless!
Sorry, while you may still get a divorce, in each of these situations, it will probably have to be a contested divorce! And that simple fact, my friends, should be...uncontested!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Celebrity Divorce: Which "Celebrity-Politician" Displayed the Worst Judgment?

Okay, "class," here is your assignment! Yes, you, the blog reader, are invited to consider and comment on the following question:
In your opinion, which of these two celebrity-politicians, Governor Mark Sanford, or Senator John Edwards, has displayed the worst judgment in damaging/wrecking his marriage, based upon published reports? What do you think and why? How can everyone else avoid the horrible mistakes made by these two men? Please try to complete this "divorce class assignment" by Wednesday!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Divorce, Child Custody, Child Visitation, and Parenting Plans

Divorces involving children present special challenges for divorce lawyers and clients. For instance, the lawyers and parties must address questions about child custody, child visitation, and child support, among other issues. Have you ever wondered what sorts of documents are used to deal with such questions? Today, let's just talk about one such legal document: parenting plans.
In all Georgia divorces involving children, our judges generally require the parties to utilize parenting plans. Parenting plans are court-approved documents, or forms, which address most of the relevant issues in divorces involving children. For instance, there are provisions in this form, (for the parties to check off), addressing which party gets primary physical custody, along with whether the parties will have joint legal custody, and when child visitation will occur. The parenting plan form requires great specificity as to issues involving child visitation. The goal is to lock in, very clearly, where the children will be, (i.e. with which parent), for each day of the calendar year and how they will get there and get back home. For example, there are common provisions, such as a holiday schedule, (which can also be checked off), in which the parties may elect to alternate visitation on the holidays.
These are just a few examples of the provisions in Georgia parenting plans. It is important for you to carefully go over the parenting plan in your case with your own divorce attorney.
The ultimate goal of requiring the parenting plan is to require the parties in a divorce with children to agree to as many terms as possible, so that there will be fewer disputes and fewer returns to court down the road. I'll bet we all can agree that any document which helps you avoid divorce lawyers and avoid going back to court is a good thing! And if a parenting plan makes things a little bit easier for children of divorce, then it is a good thing indeed!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Divorce and Bigamy Smigamy!

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have more than one spouse?
Bigamy is really in the spotlight right now, particularly with the advent of the hit H.B.O. television series, "Big Love." Also, if you simply google the word "bigamy," you will realize that criminal cases are being made all over the world against bigamists. For instance, yesterday, it was reported that a Michigan judge jailed a woman for bigamy and gave her six months to straighten it out by getting at least one divorce. That's a wise judge!
In my opinion, bigamy, (or polygamy), is not only morally wrong and illegal, but also a really bad idea! You simply cannot share love like that in the real world. Also, it's difficult enough to become compatible with just one other person. Just imagine if you had to learn to live with snoring, dirty socks in the sink, complaining, and other bad habits from a whole bunch of live-in lovers! And as to those of you who are presently married to one worthless spouse, (the infamous "Sluggo"), can you imagine how life would be if you had two or more Sluggos?! It just wouldn't work! Don't you agree?
So, I agree with the Michigan judge. One marriage partner is enough! Don't wait six months. See a divorce lawyer today!