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!