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With the popularity of Facebook and MySpace, communicating on the internet has become the modern wave of our future. Not only are our children texting, emailing, and creating accounts with Facebook and My Space, parents, grandparents, and the like are catching up with the trend. Facebook and My Space are great tools for anyone to stay connected with family and friends. However, it can also serve as your worst enemy when faced with a divorce, or similar domestic action. Word to the wise, be cautious about what you post on these websites, because you never know who may have access to the information.
When I started practicing domestic law in 1985, I was surprised at what actually determined the outcome of a divorce trial. A good fact pattern, the best legal theory, and the most competent attorney did not always win in trial. A case could be lost because of the arrogance of a client. A single statement that appeared false would destroy a clientís credibility and taint their entire testimony.
Few people decide to divorce without a considerable amount of soul searching. It is not unusual to spend many months or years before there is a comfort and confidence level to consult with an attorney. In fact, making the decision to divorce is the biggest of all your early decisions, but only the first of many yet to follow. It may take your spouse months to adjust to the idea of an unwanted or unplanned divorce.
In an uncontested divorce where all documents may be prepared by one spouseís attorney, there are those individuals who will not hire an attorney to review the documents prior to signing them. There is usually a provision in the agreement that states clearly the attorney did not represent them, and they have been advised to seek independent counsel of their own choice prior to signing. Once the agreement is signed and filed with the Court, it is binding.
Uncontested means no contest. It’s just over. No fight. No controversy. No dispute. The judge doesn’t decide anything. You and your spouse and/or attorneys negotiate the outcome of the issues. Less stress, less time, less money. You can move on with your life. Just agreeing to get the divorce itself isn’t enough. You both have to agree on how the assets, debts, house, furniture, and everything else are to be divided. Who gets what?
Many things happen on the road to the courthouse. The longer a divorce goes on, the more it appears to take on a life of its own. Depending on the behavior of the parties, your entire family will be consumed by it. Although friends and relatives will proclaim they will not take sides, it is only a matter of time before they do. Even though they have advice for you on every issue, they will be reluctant to come to court and testify on your behalf. They will give you a lot of advice, but little support. No one likes to be physically involved in someone elseís divorce.
You know more information about your marriage and the behavior of your spouse than anyone. However, do not underestimate the testimony of strong witnesses. They will help the judge understand why judgment should be in your favor.
Don’t just swear to tell the truth, do it. Cases are won or lost based upon credibility. Don’t shade the truth. Judges are looking at everything to form their opinion. If they think you have shaded the truth, they may not look any further.
At the conclusion of the direct examination by your attorney (where you have testified to your side of your case), opposing counsel has the right to ask you questions about your testimony. This is cross-examination. The purpose of cross-examination is to support your spousesí version of the facts and/or to discredit your testimony.
The most important person in your trial is the judge- first, last and always. Never underestimate the power or personality of the judge. This is the individual who can award you custody of your children, or award custody to your spouse. They will dispose of your assets. They determine what happens to your debts and who gets your house.
As abruptly as everything in life ends, so will your trial. When the judge makes his feelings known at the end of a contested divorce trial, it is often difficult to grasp the finality. Itís over. The relief you will feel is yet to come. You should expect to be overwhelmed by a vast array of conflicting emotions. Some judges will rule from the bench with no hesitation.
The topic of same-sex marriage has recently become a major hot-button issue for policymakers and judicial circuits at the local, state, and national levels. While the determination of procedure has remained in the domain of legislatures and courthouses, same-sex couples have continued to create long-term relationships that have resulted in intertwined lives.
Georgia law provides that the measure of damages in a wrongful death case is the full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence.This would be the full value of the life of the decedent "without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived.
The defense of sudden emergency applies only to those acts that occur immediately after the apprehension of the danger or crisis. The defense in not available unless the evidence shows that the sudden peril offered the defendant a choice of conduct without time for thought, so that any negligence in the defendants choice may be attributed to lack of time to assess the situation rather than lack of due care.
Georgia recognizes a common law marriage if the couple was united before Jan. 1, 1997.
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