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Drug Abuse and Custody Cases: Evaluation and Visitation

Substance abuse evaluations may confirm drug use and recommend treatment, while supervised visitation protects children in cases of ongoing drug abuse.

As discussed in a previous blog, heroin and prescription opioid abuse is an escalating public health crisis that is sweeping across Georgia. As a result, more and more child custody cases involve drug use by one or more parents. This blog discusses additional steps that can be taken by the court to protect the children in these cases.

September 12th, 2017|

Drug Abuse and Custody Cases: Drug Testing

Initial and random drug testing may be performed to confirm allegations of drug abuse and ensure compliance with court orders.

Initial and random drug testing may be performed to confirm allegations of drug abuse and ensure compliance with court orders.
Heroin and prescription opioid use is on the rise across the country and has become a national epidemic. In Georgia, overdose deaths have jumped by 51 percent since 2015, and courts have seen a correlative rise in child custody cases involving drug use by one or both of the parents. Drug testing, either by agreement between the parties or by order of the Court, is one of several steps that can be taken to protect the children.

August 23rd, 2017|

Contempt: Punishment and Modifying a Decree

You can request punishment for contempt, but cannot modify the terms of the final divorce decree.

In Sponsler v. Sponsler, Wife was awarded a rental property as part of the divorce; however, the rental property was titled in Husband’s name. The decree stated that Wife was responsible for the debt on the rental as of March 1, 2009. The decree also required Wife to transfer the debt on the rental out of Husband’s name a short time thereafter.

August 1st, 2017|

Legally Changing a Child’s Name After Divorce

If a court issues an order determining who the legal and/or biological father of a child is, that same court can change the child’s name as it sees fit.

In a recent Supreme Court of Georgia decision, Denney v. Denney, Husband and Wife separated days after getting married. Wife filed for divorce while she was pregnant and when the child was born, she instructed the hospital to list her maiden name as the child’s last name on the birth certificate. The parties resolved all issues in the divorce except the child’s name, leaving this issue for the court. The trial court found that it did not have the authority to change the child’s name.

July 24th, 2017|

Georgia Divorces Involving Out of State Defendants

Even though the defendant lives out of state, in some cases, a divorce can still proceed in Georgia.

In a recently released opinion, Eversole v Eversole, the Defendant, Husband, moved from Georgia to South Carolina less than six months before the Plaintiff, Wife, filed for divorce in Georgia. Wife attempted to have Husband served in North Carolina. When she was unable to serve him, she obtained an order from the trial court allowing her to publish service.

July 6th, 2017|

Pre-Nups, Alimony and Attorney’s Fees

If your pre-nup waives alimony, it also waives attorney's fees.

In Vakharwala v. Vakharwala, the Georgia Supreme Court reversed the trial court's decision to award attorney's fees to a wife under O.C.G.A § 19-6-2. This is the law that allows a party to be awarded fees when there is a great disparity in income or other resources, which would prevent the party without the resources to adequately defend him or herself. In this case, the trial court awarded the wife $60,000 in attorney's fees.

June 29th, 2017|

Divorcing Later in Life

Divorces occurring when the parties are approaching retirement or already retired require unique considerations. In such divorces, the primary focus is most commonly asset division and it is important to consider how each party can [...]

April 6th, 2017|