Congress urges Supreme Court to overturn DOMA

The United States Supreme Court is to consider whether to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, this legally forbids the federal recognition of same-sex marriage.  Under DOMA, gay and lesbian couples would not receive the same benefits of heterosexual couples such as tax and Social Security benefits. Of those congressmen and senators urging the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA, there are only two representatives from the state of Georgia. President Bill Clinton, who signed DOMA into law, has requested that the United States Supreme Court overturn it.

Arguments will be heard by the United States Supreme Court on March 27, 2013. A decision is not likely until June 2013. The outcome will affect domestic relations law throughout the country and the lives of many Americans.  Read the articles below to find out more about this important issue.

DOMA Challenges

Congress Urges Overturn of DOMA

Post written by Tiffany Lunn, Esq

Phone: 770-492-2974

Published in: on March 13, 2013 at 9:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Georgia Guardian Ad Litems: Their Role In Contested Child Custody and Divorce Cases

In Georgia, a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is an attorney appointed by the Court to represent the best interests of the child/children in a contested child custody or divorce case.  A Guardian Ad Litem is not necessary in every such case.  An appointment usually occurs when one party makes serious allegations about the ability of the party to care for the child/children or when there is a disagreement on who will be the primary custodian.

It is the Guardian Ad Litem’s duty to conduct an investigation into the life of the child/children and provide a report and recommendation to the Court based on that investigation.  If a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed to your case, you should expect some or many of the following to occur: consultations independent of your attorney, home visits, consultations with your attorney, interviews with childcare providers, character witnesses, teachers, and his/her review of various records such as medical, school and/or visitation.

Sometimes, the parties may agree on a particular Guardian Ad Litem, but other times the parties do not get a choice in who the Court appoints. Regardless, you should be cooperative with the Guardian Ad Litem and treat him or her with professional courtesy.  The Guardian Ad Litem is there solely to make a determination of what is in the best interest of your child/children and once that is done, your case is one step closer to being concluded.

Post written by: Tiffany Lunn Esq. of Lunn Law LLC

Phone: 770-492-2974

Published in: on May 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm  Comments Off on Georgia Guardian Ad Litems: Their Role In Contested Child Custody and Divorce Cases  
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Pre-Divorce and Divorce Tips

There are a number of tips that could and should be offered to those considering divorce.  This post is not intended to include all tips, but the following are useful to keep in mind as any divorcing person proceeds in the process to divorce.

1) Gather financial documentation;

2) Get a support system in place (if needed);

3) Have clear objectives in mind for your divorce outcome;

4) Understand that you can not share confidential matters about your divorce with others;

5) If you have children, do not share negative feelings or thoughts about the other parent with your children;

6) Prepare to be active in the divorce process;

7) Open your own bank account(s).  Joint accounts are often problematic;

8 ) If you have children, attempt to create the most stable environment possible;

9) Consider making changes to your Will, Heath Care Directive and/or other estate planning documents; and

10) Get legal representation.  There are various legal considerations and complexities to divorce and every case is different. A legal professional can assist you in this various serious matter for you and/or your children.

Post written by: Tiffany Lunn Esq.

Phone: 770-492-2974

Published in: on April 2, 2011 at 10:01 am  Comments Off on Pre-Divorce and Divorce Tips  
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Child Custody: Parent vs. Non-parent/Third Party

Georgia law designates non-parents/third parties into two (2) groups:  Specified party and Non-specified party.  A specified party includes: a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, sibling or adoptive parent. A non-specified party includes all others.  The importance of these designations in Georgia Child Custody law is based on the difference in legal burden that the court requires by the non-parent via evidence to obtain custody of a minor child when opposed by the child’s parent.

A specified party, listed above, is required to show the court by clear and  convincing evidence that 1) parental custody would harm the child (in order to rebut the presumption in favor of the parent), and 2) the award to the specified party will best promote the child’s best interests.

In contrast, the legal burden of a non-specified party is based upon whether the child custody hearing is an initial determination of custody or a modification.  In an initial custody determination, between a parent and non-specified party, the parent is entitled to custody  unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that 1) such parent is unfit or 2) has lost the right to custody under provisions provided by Georgia law.

In a modification action, where a non-parent has been awarded custody in a subsequent modification proceeding, the parent must show 1) a change of condition affecting the welfare of the child and 2) that awarding the parent custody would be in the child’s best interest.

Post written by: Tiffany Lunn Esq

Phone: 770-492-2974

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm  Comments Off on Child Custody: Parent vs. Non-parent/Third Party  
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Hire Court Reporter For Important Hearings

Litigants are given an option whether to have their hearing transcribed by the judge’s court reporter on the day and time of hearing.  Litigants should strongly consider employing the court reporter in case the  court’s ruling is adverse to their interests and there could later be a desire to appeal.

If there is no transcript of the court proceeding, the court’s ruling is likely to stand, regardless if it was based on legal error.  You may find that the cost of acquiring the court reporter’s services would have been well worth it in hindsight.  For an example, see  Holmes v. Roberson-Homles, S10F0130, http://www.gasupreme.us/sc-op/pdf/s10f0130.pdf.

Post written by: Tiffany Lunn Esq

Phone: 770-492-2974

Published in: on November 14, 2010 at 3:39 pm  Comments Off on Hire Court Reporter For Important Hearings  
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Child Custody Modification and Parent Relocation

Oftentimes, the primary physical custodian of a child may decide to move out-of-state for various reasons and take the minor child/ren with him or her. Such a decision frequently causes great distress for the other parent. A divorce decree routinely has provision where the other parent must be notified a certain number of days prior to any intended move above a specified number of miles.  However, once the required notification has been given that does not prevent the primary physical custodian from moving.

Bodne v. Bodne, 257 Ga. 445, 588 SE2d 728, has been the authority in this area since 2006.  It sets forth that relocation of a primary physical custodian alone cannot constitute a sufficient change in condition to modify custody” The court must consider the best interest of the child and the initial custody award will not always control after any “new and material change in circumstances” that affects the child is considered.  The court will consider the “myriad of factors that have an impact on the child/ren as established by the evidence”. A parent that is seeking to modify custody based on relocation should keep this in mind.

Post written by: Tiffany Lunn Esq

Phone: 770-492-2974

Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm  Comments Off on Child Custody Modification and Parent Relocation  
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Metro-Atlanta Schools

Top Schools in Metro-Atlanta, Georgia

Top Elementary Schools in Atlanta Metro & Georgia
Top Middle Schools in Atlanta Metro & Georgia
Top High Schools in Atlanta Metro & Georgia

Provided at http://schools.ajchomefinder.com/

Click on school name above for specific profile or click on ajc source link.

Post written by: Tiffany Lunn Esq.

Phone: 770-492-2974

Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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