Friday, February 25, 2011

Divorce, Child Custody and Parent Selection

After several "entertaining" posts, maybe it is time for me to put on my Augusta, Georgia divorce attorney hat and give you some more "meat and potatoes," or practical tips, for you to discuss with your own divorce lawyer!  Today, let's talk a little bit about parent selection in a Georgia child custody case.
Did you know that, in Georgia, generally, a child who has reached 14 years old may sign a parent selection form and essentially choose with whom he or she wants to live?  Of course, the judge might still potentially ignore the kid's custody selection.  Moreover, the judge will still ultimately decide what is in the child's best interests.  But it is important that you know that, at least in the State of Georgia, parent selection is still possible. 
So, if you are going through a divorce from your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," and your son, "Sluggo, Jr." tells you he wants to stay with you, then you now know to make a beeline down to your divorce attorney and ask him or her about parent selection!  What are the rules about parent selection in your state? 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Favorite Movies About Divorce: Sweet Home Alabama

Okay, okay, I haven't forgotten that this is supposed to be a divorce blog by an Augusta, Georgia divorce attorney containing practical tips and information about divorce for you to discuss with your own divorce lawyer!  But because it's a Monday, I thought it might be more fun to talk today some more about our favorite movies dealing with the topic of divorce!
Today, I would like to nominate the Reese Witherspoon movie Sweet Home Alabama as one of my "Best Pictures" about divorce.  In this 2002 comedy, Ms. Witherspoon's character, Melanie Smoot, returns home to Alabama, from her new life as a New York City socialite, in order to finalize her divorce from the home town boy, played by Josh Lucas.  The movie also features some other fine performances by actors Candice Bergen, Jean Smart, and Mary Kay Place.  
Have you seen this movie about divorce?  What is your opinion about it?  What are some of your other favorite movies about divorce? 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Celebrity Divorces: Billy Ray Cyrus

According to reports from various sources, singer Billy Ray Cyrus has blamed his daughter's (and his) television show, Hannah Montana, for his divorce and for the problems which he believes his daughter, Miley Cyrus, is currently facing.  What is your opinion?  Could the stressors of a t.v. show cause such serious family problems?
At first blush, some might think Mr. Cyrus may simply be making excuses.  However, in my opinion, maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt.  You must admit that being in a Hollywood fish bowl would put stress on any marriage and would complicate raising any teenager.
But no matter what the answer may be, here's hoping that, with good, loving parents like Billy Ray Cyrus and his ex-wife, Tish, their daughter, Miley Cyrus, will avoid the pitfalls being faced by Lindsay Lohan and will mature into a fine, responsible adult!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Be kind and see your Valentine today...or see me, an Augusta, Georgia divorce attorney, tomorrow!
Happy Valentine's Day from The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Celebrity Divorces: Ashlee Simpson

Did you hear the news?  Another Hollywood marriage apparently bit the dust!  According to various news reports, singer Ashlee Simpson, (who is the sister of Jessica Simpson), has reportedly filed for divorce in Los Angeles from her husband, musician Pete Wentz.  The couple, who were married in May, 2008, reportedly have a two year old son.  Ms. Simpson, you will recall, was the hot topic of discussion back in 2004 when her alleged lip synch performance went awry on Saturday Night Live
Here's hoping that this young couple is able to deal with and overcome the various issues in their divorce soon!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Adultery and Divorce: Will You Go to Jail AND to Hell?

Have you ever seen a sign like this one?  The sign pictured above, about the eternal, everlasting consequences of adultery, reportedly appears outside a Texas church.  But laying aside the question of what God will do to you, if you commit adultry, have you ever wondered whether or not adultery constitutes a criminal law violation, too?  In other words, could your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," go to jail, (as well as to Hell), if he cheats, too?
The answer depends, in part, on which state you live in.  In other words, not every state still criminalizes adultery, infidelity, or cheating.  So, you would need to consult with a divorce attorney, (or a criminal defense lawyer), in your state to get a definitive answer to this question.
But I can tell you a little bit about Georgia law.  (As you know, I am a divorce lawyer in Augusta, Georgia.  I also was a state and federal prosecutor before I went into private practice and became a divorce lawyer with my oldest son).  As to cheating and "running around" in the State of Georgia, I can tell you that, based upon my experience as a former prosecutor, while adultery is technically still "on the books" as a crime in this state, it is rarely enforced by prosecutors.
Of course, even if you don't go to jail, you should also know that adultery is nonetheless a fault ground which may have a devastating impact on your divorce, including its potential impact on issues involving child custody, alimony, and property division.  So, please don't read this post and think, for even a minute, that adultery won't cause you, or Sluggo, any problems!  
After all, it might also be your misfortune that your local D.A. may decide to dust off the criminal law books and make you an example by prosecuting you for committing adultery!  As always, please consult with your own divorce attorney about your situation and about the impact of adultery in your case. 
Here's also hoping that Sluggo will straighten up before God or the D.A. get him, too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Celebrity Divorces: Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise

According to news reports, talented actress Nicole Kidman has opened up a little bit about how her 2001 divorce from actor Tom Cruise was very difficult for her.  But one of the things I liked best about her interview is that she did NOT bash, or  "bad mouth," her ex, as many in Hollywood seem prone to do these days about their exes!
As you know, Ms. Kidman has found success and happiness since the divorce from Cruise.  She is currently a nominee for an Academy Award.  Also, she is now happily married to Country singer Keith Urban.  And you would not believe all the incredible charitable work she does!
In short, Ms. Kidman has demonstrated a lot of class and grace.  We wish her and Mr. Urban continued success and happiness!