Friday, April 29, 2011

Divorce, Judicial Discretion, and Square Rocks

On my desk, at The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC, located in Augusta, Georgia, sits this square rock!  (I guess that, technically, the rock would be considered a cube)!  What does a square rock have to do with a divorce-related blog?  Consider the following point.
Although family law judges generally follow guidelines which normally apply to most divorce or child custody cases, it is important to recognize that they also generally retain some discretion to deviate from the norm.  And there is a good reason for this judicial discretion.  Simply put, not all people and not all divorce cases are alike.  Just as most rocks are round, occasionally, you run across one that is square!  For instance, Georgia's child support guidelines might dictate that a parent should pay a certain prescribed amount of child support.  However, a judge is granted discretion to deviate from the prescribed amount if, for example, the parent is temporarily unemployed, or otherwise has lower income.
Frankly, as a divorce attorney, I am glad that judges retain some discretion to depart from the norm.  After all, not all of us rocks are round!  Don't you agree?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Divorce, Dodgers, and Division of Marital Assets

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Have you read the news reports about the interesting issues which a divorce is presenting to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball?  In this case, the divorce involves the Dodgers' owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt.  According to various reports, the McCourts have been fighting, as part of their divorce, over a division of this "major league marital asset."  Now, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bud Seilig, has stepped in, according to reports, and essentially taken over the team.   A trustee will reportedly be appointed to oversee the team, at least while the litigation is pending, or possibly until the team is sold to new owners.
Divorces can get really complicated, particularly in cases in which the divorcing parties have operated a business together.  In this case, the business at issue just happened to be one of the largest, most famous franchises in the world!  Arguably, it would be about as difficult to divide a baseball team franchise as it would be to divide a baseball!  It will be interesting to see what happens next!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Divorce Statistics: Why is the Divorce Rate Going Up Again?

Have you seen the news?  According to various news reports, with the economy (supposedly) picking up again, the divorce rate is also rising again, too.  As Augusta, Georgia divorce attorneys, we had noticed, in our own divorce law practice, that the number of divorces seems to track, or follow, the economy. 
In other words, if you are worried about your job, or your next paycheck, then your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," might not look quite as bad!  But when you feel more secure about your own job situation, then you might be more inclined to "dump the chump!"
What is your opinion?  Is there a correlation between the economy and the divorce rate?  Put another way, do you believe that people tend to stay married longer during periods of economic recession?  Or do hard times breed hard feelings and more divorces?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How To Prove "Sluggo's" Adultery: Hooking Up With His iPhone?

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"Hello, Lover!  It's nice to see you, but I hope you left your iphone at home!"
Will this be the new greeting for folks out there who are committing adultery?  Well, after the news reports came out yesterday about what your iphone can tell about where you have been, everyone, including divorce lawyers, should be wondering about the possible ramifications!
1.  New Reports About Apple's iPhone Tracking Your Location:
More specifically, various news reports indicate that Apple's iPhone4 keeps track of everywhere you go and stores this information in an unencrypted file.  This file can reportedly be easily accessed by any device with which you synchronize your phone!   Why did Apple do this?  We still don't know.  Apple still has not responded to inquiries about why this data is being stored on its hot new phone.  But all of us who are interested in freedom and our right to privacy should be concerned.
2.  Possible Impact on your Right to Privacy and Proof of Adultery:
After all, consider the wide range of possible threats to your privacy.  For instance, if you have a phone, the government, or the police, could determine with whom you have met, or where, even without a search warrant.  And, your worthless spouse, "Sluggo," had better not forget that, in divorce cases, divorce attorneys could more easily determine with whom you have met, and could more easily prove adultery, too!
The point is that, once again, we have seen that technology, in spite of its wonderful benefits, can also represent a threat to our basic freedoms, too.  So, Sluggo, if you are going to cheat, you had better leave your phone at home!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Celebrity Divorce and Theatrics: From Sheen to Cage

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Folks, what is going on with Hollywood actors these days?  This is a humble divorce blog written by an Augusta, Georgia divorce lawyer.  Here, in past posts, we have often dealt with some of the domestic relations challenges faced by various celebrities.  The common theme has been that celebrities often face the same family law problems confronted by ordinary people.  But somehow, it seems to me that, lately, things have really gotten unusually bizarre in Hollywood!
1. The Nicolas Cage Incident:
For example, a few days ago, one of my favorite Hoolywood actors, Nicolas Cage, was reportedly arrested in new Orleans on charges of disorderly conduct and domestic abuse. 
2. The Latest Charlie Sheen Case:
And just yesterday, according to TMZ and other news sources, actor Charlie Sheen and one of his exes, Brooke Mueller, reportedly returned to court to address Sheen's request for a change of custody of their children.  According to various reports, the judge reportedly maintained the status quo, (and left the kids with Mueller), in spite of the alleged reports, or accusations, about drugs involving each of the parties.
Of course, no one really knows what happened in either of these celebrity cases.  News reports sometimes get the facts wrong, don't they?  Also, we should generally accept such "news" reports with a jaundiced eye, anyway.  Don't you agree?
But I'll bet you will also agree that, no matter what really happened in either of these cases, there appear to be some strange "goins on" in Hollywood these days!  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Divorce "Joke of the Day"

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After a serious post about divorce, maybe it is time for another divorce "joke of the day!"  Each time I include a post containing a divorce joke, I feel the need to remind everyone that, as an Augusta, Georgia divorce attorney, I realize that divorces are no joking matter.  But in order to keep this divorce blog from tasting like dry oatmeal every day, I also feel the need to try to spice it up a bit, too!  I promise that we will still focus on providing practical divorce-related tips for you to discuss with your own divorce lawyer.  But here we go with my next attempt to try to make you smile, too!
Divorce "Joke of the Day:"  What famous country music singer's name sounds like two dolls getting a divorce?
Answer:  Dolly "Partin'"
Now, I suppose you will say: When is this divorce attorney going to tell a divorce joke that's actually funny!?  Have a good week!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

How To Find A Divorce Lawyer: Telephone Book v. Internet Advertising

This is another post in our ongoing series about practical tips for you to consider when looking for a divorce attorney.  As most of you know, I am an Augusta, Georgia divorce lawyer who practices law with my oldest son.  Today, let's focus on two ways to find, or select, a good divorce attorney: first, the more traditional route of "letting your fingers do the walking in the yellow pages," and second, the growing trend of searching the internet for a good lawyer.
We talk frequently with clients and with other divorce lawyers about how people find their divorce attorneys.  Frankly, while the trend may be toward searching through various internet advertisements, the good old-fashioned telephone book method still remains a common way in which many people still find their attorneys.  If this is the route you choose to go in finding your divorce attorney, then I recommend that you look for lawyers, (like us), who offer a free intial consultation.  Also, as we have emphasized before, you will still need to actually meet with your prospective divorce lawyer and "eyeball them," in order to ensure that he or she is the best lawyer for you!
Without question, the trend is in the direction of finding a good divorce attorney via the internet.  Most divorce lawyers realize this, too.  As a result, there are an incredible number of internet sites featuring divorce attorney listings, along with specific divorce law firm websites, too.  Frankly, as a practicing divorce lawyer, it makes it difficult to decide WHICH internet divorce lawyer listings we should pay to join!  If you want to see what I mean, then simply google the words "divorce attorneys" and the name of your city!  The list of potential lawyers clamoring for your attention would choke a horse!
But please also again remember this final point:  No matter which method you use to find a good divorce lawyer, you should always first meet with that lawyer and size them up before you retain them to represent you in your divorce case!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sad News About Domestic Abuse and Safe Homes

Did you hear the sad news out of the State of New York?  According to various news reports, a woman has reportedly driven her mini-van into the Hudson River and drowned, along with three of her four kids.  Only one of the children has reportedly survived.  While the reported facts remain unclear, according to reports, this tragedy was allegedly connected to an incident involving domestic violence.  Such incidents are sometimes a tragic part of divorces, too, aren't they?
At the same time, I have been following news reports in my state, the State of Georgia, that shelters for abused women face severe cutbacks, if not elimination, of state funding next year.  As you know, such homes, including fine shelters such as Safe Homes of Augusta, offer abused women an alternative to either staying in abusive situations, or to doing something unfathomable, as perhaps occurred in the New York case. 
Again, no one really knows all the facts in the New York case.  And perhaps we would disagree about possible solutions in some cases.  But hopefully, we can all agree that we need to support shelters for abused women, either through tax dollars, or through charitable donations.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Divorce "Joke of the Day!"

(Photo from

Here's another "oldie-goldie" divorce joke to finish out the work week for you!  How is getting a divorce from a hotheaded spouse sort of like having an inflamed appendix removed? 
In both cases, after the procedure, you feel better, and you also learn that you never really needed the removed part!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Celebrity Divorces: Elizabeth Hurley

Have you heard the news about talented actress Elizabeth Hurley?  According to various news reports, Ms. Hurley has filed for a divorce this week in London from her husband, Arun Nayer.  The couple had married in 2007.  Of course, everyone also remembers Ms. Hurley as the former girl friend of actor Hugh Grant.
Over the years, Elizabeth Hurley has portrayed a number of movie villains, including her portrayal of Delilah, (in Samson and Delilah), and the Devil, (in Bedazzled).  Ms. Hurley has also reportedly been cast as the villain in the upcoming Wonder Woman t.v. series. 
However, in real life, Elizabeth Hurley is no villain!  No one can surpass her heroic work, as a volunteer for various children's charities, and in her noble fight against breast cancer, (as shown in the above recent photograph, taken at a charitable event for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, (see Wikipedia).
As we have seen before, divorce knows no boundaries.  Divorce can strike both the celebrity and the average citizen -- the hero and the villain.  In the case of Ms. Hurley, a real hero, in my book, hopefully, she will overcome her current problems and find happiness.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How To Find A Divorce Lawyer: By "Eyeballing" Them

In the last post, we talked a little bit about the importance of finding a good divorce attorney to represent you in your divorce.  Of course, we are Augusta, Georgia divorce lawyers, so we talk with potential divorce clients every day.  Here are a few important things for you to consider when looking for a good divorce lawyer.
1.  How To Find A Divorce Lawyer, In Augusta, Georgia, Or Elsewhere: 
One divorce client paid me a tremendous compliment recently!  She told me about her efforts to find a good, experienced divorce attorney, here in Augusta, Georgia.  For instance, she had talked with family members and friends and had gotten their input about various Augusta lawyers.  She had also checked out a number of Augusta divorce lawyers' websites.  But then, she did more.  She called us, made an appointment for a free consultation, and met with us.  She then later told me that the primary reason why she had selected The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC to represent her in her divorce was because she had met us and liked us.  In other words, after meeting my son and me, and after discussing some of the issues in her divorce case with us, she felt comfortable that we would be good advocates and a good fit for her!
The bottom line is that, as this case hopefully illustrates, when you are trying to find an attorney, for a divorce or for any other kind of legal matter, it is critical that you actually meet with the prospective lawyer, size them up, and then decide whether or not that attorney is the right attorney for you and your case!  Searching the internet for lawyers, checking their telephone book ads, and obtaining family input may be good for starters, but actually meeting with and "eyeballing" a lawyer is the best way to find the best lawyer for you!