More people over the age of fifty (50) are divorcing for a number of reasons. These reasons vary from couple to couple. One reason seems to be that people are living longer thereby giving them more time to decide to chart another course for their lives. A second reason seems to be because the stigma of divorce has greatly diminished in recent years. Because the stigma has diminished, it was caused fewer people to be intimidated into remaining in a bad or unsatisfied marriage. A third reason people over the age of fifty (50) are divorcing is that in general, the financial reasons for remaining married becomes less important as people grow older. In general, those over the age of fifty (50) are in a better position to move forward financially without a partner than younger individuals. Tiffany R. Lunn Esq has found in her own practice that she is encountering more people above the age of fifty that are divorcing or interested in divorcing. You can find out more about divorcing over the age of 50 by reading this article in the Chicago Tribune:
The judge has signed the Final Judgement and Decree of Divorce and it has been entered into the court’s records. Now the parties have to decide what their next steps will be. There are a number of things to consider after a divorce and parties should have a plan in place on how they want to approach this new phase in their lives.
Firstly, the parties should make sure they obtain at least one certified copy of the Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce. A certified copy is often needed for any official business where proof of divorce is required so it isn’t not uncommon where more than one copy will be needed. The court oftentimes will provide the parties with one certified copy, but addition copies beyond the first are often a per page fee.
Secondly, read your Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce again so that you are sure to keep up with your obligations and be sure to read any post-divorce document that your attorney may provide to you as a resource. It is important that you keep up with obligations so that you are not facing legal action for contempt, placing your judgment as a parental figure in question or worsening your financial status.
Thirdly, if a child or children are involved, you should make sure that all the necessary child support documents have been received by the appropriate agencies and/or employers, if applicable. Additionally, divorced parents must find a way to co-parent in their newly defined roles as unmarried parents and attempt to make the relationship cordial enough that they can function in a healthy way as pertains to the child (ren) involved.
Fourthly, divorce persons may also want to re-evaluate their circle of friends and acquaintances and determine which ones are healthy and positive and which ones they may need to move away from. Oftentimes, divorced persons have a difficult time with how to correspond with mutual friends of their now ex-spouse.
Fifthly, divorced persons will attempt to make sure that they transfer all assets as dictated in the Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce as soon as possible. When transfers still need to take place it is better to try to get them completed right away so that there is complete finality in regards to joint financial obligations. Doing so will cause less complications.
Lastly, action should be taken to make sure that all important documents are updated. Such documents include Last Will and Testament, insurance policies, power of attorneys, banking accounts, credit accounts and emergency contact information on file with your employer or other agencies/businesses. See our article pertaining to Last Will and Testaments here.
Lunn Law LLC and Tiffany R. Lunn, Esq want you to be aware of the steps you should take after divorce. You should make every attempt to follow your Decree of Divorce strictly and speak to an experienced divorce and/or contempt attorney about the particulars of your circumstances if for some reason you are not able to fulfill your obligations.
Whether we are referring to divorce, child custody, contempt or another type of dispute that may end up in court, the importance of journaling important events as they happen can not be understated. If you have not been journaling important events as they have taken place in your marriage,while co-parenting, or of other contentious situations then you should do so immediately. It can help you in court and also assist your attorney with preparing the strongest possible case for you.
Post written by: Attorney Tiffany R. Lunn
When a court order has been entered commanding certain actions by the parties, it is vital that each party follow such an Order. If one or both of the parties fails to follow the court’s order, he or she can be found in civil contempt. There is no distinction made based on whether the violation is of a jury’s verdict, judge’s decree or agreement of the parties incorporated into a final decree and judgment.
Civil contempt requires a finding of a “willful” refusal to comply with a court’s order. Civil contempt is commenced for an alleged violator to be compelled to obey a court’s order. A contempt action is not a new civil action and merely requires reasonable notice of hearing.
Civil contempt in family law cases have been found in numerous circumstances. A few instances where civil contempt has been alleged are:
1) Failure to pay child support and/or alimony;
2) Failure to sign documents necessary to facilitate the transfer of property;
3) Failure to continue to provide a child with healthcare benefits;
4) Failure to pay attorney fees;
5) Failure to surrender property or allow access to property;
6) Failure to follow child custody and/or visitation orders.
If a party is found in contempt, the judge will decide how the violator can “purge” or relieve him/herself of sanction for violating the court’s order. Sanctions can include, but are not exclusive to, payment of all monies due, unconditional fine and/or imprisonment for a definite period of time.
If a party faces a Motion For Contempt, he/she should discuss their matter with a family law attorney. Particular facts and circumstances may render an alleged violator with a defense.
Post written by: Tiffany R. Lunn Esq
As most know, divorcing can be a very stressful and cumbersome experience. However, there are actions and steps that can and should be taken to make the process easier (See our blog post: Divorce Tips) and there are actions that should be avoided so as to not make a stressful situation worse.
Actions that should be avoided by any divorcing person are:
1) Being Dishonest In Court: You should tell the truth. When testifying, credibility is of the utmost importance. If your credibility is thrown into question, your case can go downhill fast. Let your attorney know of any issues or events that you are “hoping” won’t come up.
2) Being Dishonest or Evasive With Your Attorney: Your attorney can not assist you with something that he or she is not aware of. You should be honest with any issue or event that could have an impact on your divorce. It could be very determinative of how your cases is analyzed. All relevant facts are important. Your attorney is not taking your case to judge you. Your attorney is seeking to assist you in obtaining the best possible outcome for you and/or your children.
3)Making Bad Financial Decisions Based On Emotion: Poor decisions can be based on love, hostility, regret, sympathy, impatience, grief, fear and/or a number of other emotions. However, decisions should be weighed carefully and you should talk over any concerns with your attorney. You should prepare and insist on being fully engaged in your divorce, even when you don’t feel like being.
4)Not Producing Documents or Answering Interrogatories (Questions) As Required: Your attorney can tell you if there are any exceptions that apply to your case, but generally you should produce financial documents and answer interrogatories, as requested. It will make the process of divorce smoother and help you avoid additional fees and court costs that may be sought against you by the opposing party, if you do not comply.
5)Be Uncooperative with a Guardian Ad Litem or Other Court Expert (During Contested Divorce and Child Custody Cases): The expert is involved in your case to assist the Court in reaching a determination. It is not in your best interest to appear uncooperative and make the expert’s duties more difficult to fulfill.
6)Failing to Analyze Your Case Before Settlement: It is often not wise to reach an agreement prior to fully analyzing all the facts and circumstances. That’s why settlement is at its best once each party has disclosed their financial circumstances and an analysis of the case can be completed. By not doing so, there is a greater degree of uncertainty, a higher chance that one of the parties will be seeking post-judgment relief quickly thereafter, and an increased chance of regretting one’s decision.
7 )Picking Your Attorney Solely Based On His/Her Fees: You should pick your attorney based on his/her experience, knowledge, your comfort level and ability to communicate with him/her , their relative attorney fees charged, and their interest in your case. Attorney fees charged should be merely one of many factors to be considered.
8 ) Taking Legal Advice From Friends and/or Family: You must remember that just because someone gives you advice, especially legal advice, that does not mean it is correct. The law varies based on the facts of each individual case and is not to be generalized to apply across the board. You should listen to your attorney and ask questions as they arise. If you would like to obtain independent legal advice (from another attorney) about a particular topic, you should do so. However, it is wise to not talk about the specifics of your case with friends and family for a number of reasons.
9) Concealing and Transferring Property: Concealing or transferring property to avoid equitable division in a divorce is not a good idea. The “unknowing” spouse may be awarded any property subject to such concealment and transfer. The Court, your attorney, and spouse will all likely doubt your credibility.
10) Putting Kids In the Middle of The Divorce: Try to keep your children’s lives as normal as possible. Do not speak negatively about the other parent to your children. Children are not meant to be therapists or counselors. Let them be children and take their time adjusting to the change.
Post written by Tiffany R. Lunn Esq.
Many companies are emerging with a focus on the topic of divorce. Whether it’s helping spouses fund their divorce, helping spouses celebrate their divorce or offering spouses divorce insurance. Some find such companies offensive while others embrace the variety of options. To find out more about these developing trends, see the following: http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/06/one-persons-divorce-is-anothers-investment-opportunity/ .
- Divorce Cakes: 10 Outrageous Confections (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Capitalizing on Divorce – Cashing In on People’s Pain (psychologytoday.com)
Post written by: Tiffany R. Lunn Esq
Divorcing spouses need to use extreme caution when dividing their retirement benefits. Pro-se litigants especially can reap severe consequences by not understanding the importance of having a QDRO drafted for certain retirement plans. Be aware that when a QDRO is needed, it should be drafted with great specificity. Any attempt to not utilize a QDRO when applicable can result in severe financial consequences. Be vigilant.
Post written by: Tiffany R. Lunn Esq.
Couples may decide not to divorce for a variety of reasons. In Georgia, an alternative to divorce is separate maintenance (also referred to as legal separation). A separate maintenance action can address a number of issues such as: custody/visitation, which party will pay for each debt of the parties while separated, and financial maintenance for a party and/or children of the parties while in a state of separation.
The parties should keep in mind that any legal determination or agreement in regards to a legal separation may have an effect on a divorce, if one should later occur. A separation agreement between the parties could also be later utilized, if necessary, to streamline a divorce action and save the parties additional fees and expenses.
The parties cannot remarry while in a state of legal separation and will not be granted a Final Decree of Divorce unless or until they divorce. A legal separation should be taken very seriously. Any agreement should be worded in such a way as to fully address all relevant issues allowable by Georgia law.
Post written by: Tiffany R. Lunn Esq.
Collaborative Divorce is growing more and more popular with spouses that wish to divorce but would like to end their marriage without having a contested trial. Click on the article below to better understand the collaborative process. Depending on a number of factors, it may be the appropriate path for you or someone you know.
Lunn Law LLC and Tiffany R. Lunn, Esq want you to be aware of your divorce rights and all possible choices you may have in proceeding with divorce. You should speak to an experienced attorney about the particular of your case. Collaborative Divorce is not a good choice for all divorcing couples.
Henry County officials are sponsoring a system-wide event called “Parent University” on August 31, 2010 to provide parents with additional tools for child rearing. If your child attends school in Henry County or you know someone whose child attends school in Henry County, find out more details about this event by clicking on the link below.