Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How To Find A Good Divorce Lawyer (Or Did Shakespeare Have It Right About All Lawyers!?)

No, this painting is NOT a depiction of me, Richard H. Goolsby, an Augusta, Georgia divorce attorney!  Instead, you may recognize this as a painting of the ole' Bard himself, William Shakespeare! (Painting as shown on the Wikipedia website).  Of course, some people who have been through a divorce may believe that Shakespeare had it right about all attorneys, when he opined, in Henry VI, (Part 2), that "the first thing we [should] do, let's kill all the lawyers."
So, today, I want to ask you to consider the following simple question: What do you think about lawyers?  If you have been through a divorce, how do you feel about the legal services provided by your divorce lawyer?  How did you find your divorce attorney in the first place?  Was your divorce attorney attentive and knowledgeable?  Did your divorce attorney take sufficient time to meet with you and to prepare your divorce case?  Was your divorce lawyer sensitive to you and your needs in your divorce?
What do you think?  I welcome your opinions and comments here -- in this divorce law blog  -- about lawyers!  Hopefully, not many of you will agree with Shakespeare!  (But please note that, just in case, all comments agreeing with Shakespeare are subject to review by this divorce lawyer prior to posting!) 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Divorce Checklist: Planning For A Divorce

As you know, we are Augusta, Georgia divorce attorneys.  This is a continuing series on the topic of how do you plan for a divorce.  In other words, what are some of the practical things you should consider when planning for a divorce?  In earlier posts in this series, we have suggested that you should gather your financial records, e.g. pertaining to income and retirement accounts.  We have also suggested that you should plan a budget and decide what you want to do with your marital home.  Of course, you should discuss each of these issues with your own divorce lawyer. 
Today, I want to talk a little bit about another idea for you to consider when planning for a divorce:
In many uncontested divorces, the parties can and will agree on how to divide all personal property.  In such cases, neither party may be required to prepare a list of personal property which he or she wants to keep.  But if you want the security of knowing that you, and not your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," will be able to keep your granny's old sewing machine, then you might consider preparing a list of property you get, and then ask your divorce attorney to make the list a part of your settlement agreement.  This may help reduce, or eliminate, mistake or confusion later, about who gets what personal property, if Sluggo decides to break bad on you!
Of course, you probably do not need to put on any checklist that Sluggo gets to keep your mother-in-law!  Some things just go without saying, even in divorce law!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Divorce and Television Shows: "The Exes"

Yesterday, we discussed the new proposed t.v. show, Happily Divorced, which will star The Nanny, (the talented Fran Drescher).
Today, I want to tell you about another new t.v. show about divorce which is also slated to premiere soon.  This program, called The Exes, will star Seinfeld alumnus Wayne Knight, (the infamous Newman!).  According to new reports, the show is about three divorced men who live together in an apartment, across from their divorce attorney, (who will be played by a talented actress, Kristen Johnston, from 3rd Rock From The Sun).
The t.v. program Seinfeld is one of my favorite sitcoms of all time.  The character, Newman, played by Knight, was a classic!  Of course, I am also a fan of Knight because he attended the University of Georgia, around the same time I was there!
Here's hoping that The Exes will be an entertaining show about divorce and that Wayne Knight will have another career hit!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Divorce and Television Programs: "Happily Divorced"

For better or for worse, divorce is a part of our social fabric and culture, including the t.v. programs we watch.  Did you hear about the new t.v. sitcom, Happily Divorced, starring actress Fran Drescher, (The Nanny), which is slated to premiere later this year?  In the new sitcom, Drescher plays a character who is returning to single life after discovering her husband is gay.  According to various news reports, the premise of the sitcom is based upon Ms. Drescher's own life.  As an Augusta, Georgia divorce attorney, and as a fan of Drescher, I look forward to giving this new t.v. show a shot!  How about you?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Celebrity Divorces and Reconciliations: Billy Ray Cyrus and Acky-Breaky Hearts

Did you hear the good news out of Hollywood?  According to various news reports, country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus and his spouse have reconciled and reportedly dismissed their divorce case!  Also, Cyrus has announced that he and his actress-singer daughter, Miley Cyrus, have also reportedly patched up any problems or issues between them and that they are getting along better than ever--better than before their Hannah Montana days, according to Cyrus. 
We have all heard (and discussed here) about so many Hollywood marriages ending up on the rocks.  Here's hoping that this Hollywood marriage and some really nice folks--the Cyruses--will overcome their past "acky-breaky hearts" and find happiness together!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Divorce Checklist: Planning For A Divorce

A couple of posts ago, I began this "series" called a "Divorce Checklist: Planning For A Divorce."  We gave you a couple of tips to consider when planning for a divorce.  Here is another practical tip concerning how to dispose of the marital home for you to discuss with your divorce attorney, as you plan for your divorce from your worthless spouse, "Sluggo!"
Let's assume that you and your spouse own a home together.  In other words, both you and your spouse are "on the hook" to the bank for the mortgage.  The common issue is:  How do you dispose of a marital home when faced with the prospect of a divorce.  There are several ideas for you to discuss with your own divorce lawyer.  For example, if you want to keep the marital home, you should evaluate whether or not you can afford the payments and upkeep, (even when factoring in alimony and/or child support you should receive).  Also, even if you want to keep the house, and kick Sluggo out, you will also need to consider whether or not you are able to refinance the home mortgage into your own name.  In other words, as we have discussed before, the bank doesn't care whether you and Sluggo stay married or get a divorce.  All they care about is that they presently have BOTH of you on the hook for the mortgage.  And they aren't likely to let one of you simply walk away! Therefore, in order to truly get rid of Sluggo, but keep the house, you will need to consider refinancing the house into your own name.  If you can't qualify for a refinance, then you might consider asking a qualifying parent to co-sign with you.  In the alternative, if neither you nor Sluggo want or can't afford the house, then you should discuss the idea with your divorce attorney of selling the house and how to equitably divide the sale proceeds.
Every divorce is different.  Every divorce presents special challenges.  Some of these marital home scenarios might not apply in your divorce case.  Therefore, it is important to emphasize that you should always discuss all the issues concerning how to dispose of the marital home with your own divorce attorney.  Of course, how to properly deal with good ole' "Sluggo" is another important topic of discussion, too!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Military Divorce and Divorce Statistics

According to various news reports, a new study about divorce and the military indicates that soldiers and sailors, (and their spouses), are two to three times more likely to get a divorce than U.S. civilians.  Why do you think this might be true?  In other words, what, in your opinion, are the most common causes of military divorces?  Do you believe it is because of stress, separation, low pay, or other factors?
As Augusta, Georgia divorce attorneys, we are located near Fort Gordon, Georgia.  As a result, we handle a large number of cases involving military divorce.  No matter what the causes of a military divorce might be, as divorce lawyers, we enjoy helping our troops (and their spouses) through this difficult stage of life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Perfect "Divorce Diet"

While the folks over at Women's Health may have some really good diet tips, we, as Augusta, Georgia divorce attorneys, here, at The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC, have another diet idea for you to consider; that is, if you have decided you really, really want a fool-proof diet guaranteed to shed up to 250 pounds! 
This diet "plan" is called the "Why Don't You Get Up, Get Out, and Shed 250 Pounds of Your Lazy, Worthless, Adulterous, God-forsaken Spouse, 'Sluggo,' By Getting a Quick Divorce From His Miserable Hide Today" Diet!
Look, please know that, as divorce lawyers, we realize that divorce is no laughing matter.  As divorce attorneys, we approach each divorce case with appropriate solemnity and respect.  And please also know that we generally try here to give you good, practical divorce tips and information for you to discuss with your own divorce attorney.  But we also want to try to make this divorce blog entertaining, or interesting, as well as informative, too!  So, please understand that this was just a joke, folks! 
What do you think about this diet plan?! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Divorce Checklist: Planning For A Divorce

As divorce attorneys in Augusta, Georgia, every day, we talk with people who are thinking about, or in the process of, going through a divorce.  Of course, you don't have to be a divorce lawyer to realize that it might be helpful, if you are contemplating a divorce, for you to take steps to be prepared for it.  Here are a couple of practical tips for you to consider and for you to discuss with your own divorce attorney:
If you are seriously considering a divorce, then you need to begin gathering all your financial records.  For instance, go ahead and try to put your hands on copies of your house deed, car titles, job earnings statements, (for both you and your spouse), credit card and loan documents, and copies of retirement account statements.  These documents will help you and your divorce lawyer to size up your financial situation, as you plan for your divorce.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce, you also should sit down and plan a budget composed of what your expected monthly living expenses will be following the divorce.  Although some items, such as rent, groceries, or utilities, will be difficult to project, (especially if you are uncertain about where you will live), preparing a budget will at least help you to begin the process of estimating how much you will need to get by on.  Then, you will be in a better position to know how much money you will need to seek when you begin to discuss alimony, property division, and child support issues with your divorce attorney.
Going through divorce is almost never easy.  But I hope these practical divorce tips will help you focus on how to prepare, as you prepare for your own divorce!