Thursday, July 28, 2011

IRS Announces New Innocent (Or Injured) Spouse Relief Policy

[Photo from Wikipedia]
We are divorce lawyers, not tax lawyers, in Augusta, Georgia.  However, we wanted to pass along to you, (for you to discuss with your own attorney), some information issued by the I.R.S. this week concerning "innocent spouse relief."  This refers to the fairly common situation in which a divorcing spouse, even after they have gotten a divorce from their worthless spouse, "Sluggo," gets zapped by the I.R.S. for back taxes and penalties on income earned, but not reported, by Sluggo.  According to the policy, in some cases, the I.R.S. will not hold the innocent spouse responsible for Sluggo's problems, provided the innocent spouse did not know, nor could have known, about the tax understatement by their ex.

The problem, in the past, for some innocent spouses, has been that there was a two year time limit in which to seek relief based upon this equitable ground.  But now, thankfully, according to I.R.S. notice 2011-70, the two year time limit may be waived!  You can learn more about this policy change by going to or by consulting with a tax professional. 

Again, we are just Augusta, GA divorce attorneys, not tax lawyers!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Uncontested and Contested Divorces in Georgia: Divorce Lawyers And Pro Bono Divorce Cases

As you know, we are father and son divorce attorneys located in Augusta, Georgia, (and the Martinez, Evans, and Grovetown, Georgia areas).  Every day, we handle a number of both uncontested and contested divorces, which involve a number of different issues, ranging from questions about child custody and child support, to child visitation and property and debt division matters.
As divorce lawyers, we also are keenly aware that many of our Georgia divorce clients are going through a difficult time, financially, due to the economy and their divorce.  As a result, we sometimes get telephone calls from prospective divorce clients asking if we would be willing to take their divorce case "pro bono," i.e. for free.
The goal of this post is to attempt to explain why it is difficult for a Georgia divorce lawyer to agree to take a divorce case pro bono, or for free.  One reason is that it really isn't just for free.  In other words, the divorce lawyer would actually lose money, if he or she took the case pro bono.  Let me explain.  Even if the divorce lawyer charges no legal fees, the divorce lawyer would still actually go in the hole, if he or she must dig into their own pockets to pay for the divorce costs, including divorce filing fees, service fees, court reporter fees, guardian ad litem fees, and on and on!
Another reason why divorce attorneys generally don't take divorce cases on a pro bono basis involves the amount of time which some divorce cases take.  In other words, if a pro bono divorce case takes up a large percentage of a divorce attorney's time, over several months, then it makes it more difficult for that attorney to pay the law firm's overhead.  Put another way, time spent by a divorce attorney on a "free" divorce case could have been spent generating funds to pay the office overhead from "paying" cases.  This may sound cold, or callous, but, simply put, like in any other business, if a family law law firm cannot pay its overhead, then it cannot keep its doors open to help anyone!
As a result, in my opinion, generally, it simply is not practical to ask or expect a Georgia divorce lawyer to take your divorce case pro bono.  Instead, we recommend that you seek help from family and friends with the costs of your divorce.  We also suggest that you try to work out some sort of reasonable retainer and payment plan with your divorce lawyer.
We, at the Goolsby Law Firm, LLC, attempt to work with prospective clients concerning reasonable fees and payment plans, whenever possible.  We also offer very affordable rates -- one-half to one-third what some divorce attorneys charge -- especially for uncontested divorces, (even with children).  In addition, we offer free consultations and answer questions from callers about divorce and child custody cases every day!  (Many other divorce lawyers charge a fee for a consultation).  Finally, nearly every day, we also offer practical, tips, "pro bono," in this divorce blog, for you to discuss with your own divorce lawyer -- for free!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Movies About Divorce: Crazy, Stupid, Love

[Photo from Wikipedia]
Are you a fan of The Office's former star, Steve Carell?  If so, you may want to check out his new movie about divorce and the single life, called Crazy, Stupid Love.  The movie opens in most places next weekend.
In the movie, according to Wikipedia, Carell plays a guy who is shocked to learn that his wife, played by talented actress Julianne Moore, wants a divorce.  Ill-equipped for his new singles lifestyle, he reportedly becomes "wingman" to a cool "player," played by actor Ryan Gosling.
Can we be honest here?  Frankly, I am not a big fan of The Office.  But this new movie, which has some fine actors in it, appears to hold promise for a few laughs about an otherwise unfunny topic!
What do you think?  What are some of your favorite movies about divorce?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Shocking Celebrity Separations and Divorces: Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony

[Photo from Wikipedia]
This past week, according to news reports, singer, actress, and American Idol Judge, Jennifer Lopez, and her husband, singer Marc Anthony, have reportedly separated.  Lopez and Anthony, who have been married for seven years, have two children.
Did you know about the amazing charitable work done by Ms. Lopez?  For instance, she is noted for her fine work on behalf of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Hollywood has apparently taken its toll again on another celebrity marriage.  Here's hoping that Ms. Lopez and Mr. Anthony will find happiness again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Divorce, Family Violence, and Bobbitizing It

Family, or domestic, violence is a real problem in this country.  Far too many women, (and some men), suffer immeasurably at the hands of abusive spouses.  As a result, in my opinion, getting a divorce should not be so costly, or difficult, that a spousal abuse victim will feel forced to take the law into their own hands.    
For instance, do you recall the strange 1993 case of John and Lorena Bobbitt?  According to reports, Ms. Bobbitt, after allegedly suffering for years as a victim of abuse and adultery, struck back by cutting off Mr. Bobbitt's penis, which was later re-attached by surgeons.  As you will recall, Lorena Bobbitt was prosecuted, but later obtained a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.  The couple subsequently divorced.
Now, this week, according to news reports, another woman, Ms. Catherine Kieu, of Garden Grove, California, has been charged with torture and aggravated mayhem, after allegedly tying down her estranged husband in a bed and cutting off his member with a kitchen knife.  Unlike Ms. Bobbitt, who merely threw away the detached member, which was recovered and re-attached, Ms. Kieu allegedly tossed her spouse's penis down the garbage disposal and flipped the switch.  The news reports are unclear as to what, if anything, could be re-attached.
Again, these cases illustrate some of the problems of family violence.  Such cases also demonstrate that further violence, or going to prison, is not the answer.  Seeing a divorce lawyer and getting a divorce is a better solution.  Don't you agree?  What is your opinion?

Friday, July 8, 2011

GPS Devices and Tracking a Spouse To Prove Adultery

[Photo from]
Do you suspect that your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," is cheating on you?  But are you unsure how to prove his adultery, or infidelity?  Well, did you hear the news this week out of New Jersey?  According to various news reports, a New Jersey court held this week that a divorcing party who hired a private investigator who helped her prove her spouse's adultery, by placing a GPS tracking device in her alleged cheating spouse's car, did not violate the alleged cheater's privacy rights.
Of course, as Augusta, Georgia divorce attorneys, we strongly recommend that you consult with your own divorce lawyer concerning all your rights and options BEFORE you attempt to prove adultery in this manner!  Privacy and search and seizure laws vary from state to state.  Additionally, as we have also discussed before in this divorce blog, you could get into trouble if you try some questionable tactics.  For example, we have discussed before the trouble which people can get into for hacking into their spouse's emails.
The bottom line:  As television host Nick Cannon warns on America's Got Talent, "PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!"  More specifically, do not try any method of proving Sluggo's infidelity without first consulting with your divorce lawyer about it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Favorite Movies About Divorce: Just Go With It

[Photo from Wikipedia]
Just Go With It is one of my new favorite movies about divorce.  The movie stars Adam Sandler, as a plastic surgeon, who pretends to be going through a divorce, in order to attract a young woman. The movie also stars Jennifer Aniston, who, along with her kids, is enticed by Sandler's character to help him convince the young girl friend that the divorce is amicable.  Aniston's character, a single mom, has already been through a divorce.
Trust me!  "Just go with it" and give this hilarious, well-acted movie a try!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Celebrity Divorces and Separations: Schwarzenegger and Shriver

[Photo from Wikipedia]
According to various news reports, Maria Shriver has finally filed for divorce this week from former California Governor, and actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Of course, we do not need to repeat here again all the salacious information "out there" about the former governor's adultery and love child.  I am sure you are already familiar with it.  This divorce filing appears only to be the latest stage in this ongoing celebrity separation and divorce saga.
One interesting new aspect of this case involves news reports that Ms. Shriver may be entitled, under California law, to an estimated $200 million from the marital estate.  Of course, no doubt, both Schwarzenegger and Shriver will have good divorce lawyers to resolve such issues.  And we can all be confident that divorce attorneys for each side will ensure that neither party will miss a meal after the divorce is final!
The State of Georgia, unlike California, is not a community property state.  However, in Georgia divorces, generally, Georgia judges will nonetheless attempt to equitably divide marital property, if the parties cannot resolve it.
Here's hoping that the former governor and Maria Shriver, and their divorce lawyers, will be able to amicably resolve all the remaining issues in their divorce.