Archive for March, 2015

5 Steps of Divorce Mediation | Atlanta Divorce Practice

Posted on: March 24th, 2015

Atlanta Divorce Mediation

In our Atlanta divorce practice, we sometimes have clients who are not able, for a variety of reasons, to come to an agreement on one or more terms of their divorce. When this happens, we can arrange for our clients to try to resolve their disputes through divorce mediation. The two biggest reasons we recommend mediation as a tool is to save money and because anything can happen in a courtroom. If a couple can’t resolve their differences and end up asking a judge to decide, they may not like the terms of the divorce that a judge will set for them.

mediation

The mediation process is often misunderstood. People sometimes don’t realize that it can be a good, cost-effective way for a couple to come to a settlement agreement.

The process is fairly simple:

  1. The couple meets at the mediator’s office and each person is seated in a separate room with their own lawyer.
  2. The mediator, a trained listener, will usually have a brief meeting with the attorneys to get an overview of each side.
  3. He/she then meets with and listens to both parties individually to identify the areas of agreement and disagreement.
  4. He/she will impartially go back and forth to act as a negotiator, often keeping the important issues at the forefront and filtering out the emotions. He/she will try to keep things moving forward in a positive direction so that each party can see that progress is being made.
  5. Any areas of agreement that can be worked out are written up and signed off on by both parties. Sometimes, people leave with a partial agreement and go before a judge to hear and decide on only one or two issues.

Speaking with a client about her recent mediation experience, she described it this way:

My ex-husband can be very intimidating and had been bullying me each time we had to see each other. Mediation took the pressure off of me because I didn’t have to sit face-to-face with him and feel afraid. I had an amazing mediator with a great personality who took the time to really listen to what I needed and why. He asked many questions and was able to calmly reason with my ex-husband. The mediator got him to see the facts of the case outside of the anger he was feeling towards me because I wanted to leave the marriage. Our mediator helped us both understand the reality of what a judge could or would say to us if we were to go to court. As a result, we were able to evaluate our risk and came up with a settlement that we could both live with.

Mediation does have pros and cons, as Joyce Kitchens explains in this video. But because a mediator works for both people, unlike a lawyer who only works for their client, both parties know that they have a person who is trying to work with them to help them. For this reason, mediation usually has a very high success rate and is a tool that we endorse when our clients are not able to come to a resolution.

 


Financial Impact of Divorce on Women| Atlanta Divorce Attorneys

Posted on: March 19th, 2015

Credit CardsAs Atlanta divorce attorneys, we get to assist many women in their divorce cases. They come from a variety of backgrounds and have many different types of living and working arrangements. We work to help them come up with fair and equitable settlements so that they can move forward in a positive direction at the end of it all. But sometimes, especially in the area of finances, divorce can have a significant negative impact on the lives of women.

According to a recent NBC News Feature, women can be at a severe financial disadvantage after divorce for a variety of reasons. Among them are lack of education, childcare expenses, relying on an unreliable ex-spouse to meet child support and debt servicing obligations, and stay at home moms spending too much time outside the workforce when they need to return after a divorce. In addition to these problems, divorce sometimes impacts a person’s credit rating.

How can women prevent such negative consequences? First, check out 5 Things to Consider Before Filing for a Divorce. Then, try to get as much education as you can before you file. Update your resume and find employment before you are in a crisis mode. If you can’t work, try to work as a volunteer so that you will have some recent work experience to put on your resume. Pay any outstanding bills to clean up your credit and start to build your support network with friends and family. Then, call us and set up an appointment for a consultation so we can make a plan to minimize risk and maximize your life, post-divorce.


Is Porn Preventing Marriage? | Atlanta Law Firm

Posted on: March 10th, 2015

Atlanta Divorce AttorneysOur Atlanta law firm does a variety of work including divorce, adoptions, contracts, business and protections for same-sex couples. Many people have heard how painful divorce can be and how the emotional upheaval of the changes that ending a marriage can bring. As a result, some decide not to marry in order to avoid the potential emotional and financial problems. That’s why it surprised us to read that a team of researchers determined that the rise of free Internet pornography is causing the decline in the percentage of young adult males who are married, and may even be contributing to the trend.

Michael Malcolm, an associate professor of economics at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, told an interviewer that he believes this study was a convincing argument. “Pornography increases the alternatives for sexual gratification.”

In addition to the porn meeting a sexual need, people are finding that they can stay home and have their social needs met through video games and virtual works can provide a false sense of gratification that sometimes leads to isolation and a lack of support system.

The problem is being studied by psychologists and sociologists. The consensus is that although the internet is supposed to serve us by making our lives more efficient, it is becoming the very thing that is preventing us from entering into a wide variety of social contracts, including marriage.


Our Atlanta Law Firm Team – Meet Will Davis

Posted on: March 4th, 2015

In our Atlanta law firm, we have the most dedicated professionals to serve our clients. WillDavisWe want to introduce you to the newest member of our staff, attorney Will Davis.

Will, where are you from?

I grew up in Acworth, GA.  I have more or less been a resident of Cobb County for my whole life. I now live in Marietta near the historic Marietta Square, and I enjoy spending a lot of my free time on the Square. All of my family lives somewhere in Cobb County and I enjoy being in close proximity to my nieces, sister, and parents.

Do you have any hobbies or interests?

I enjoy all kinds of entertainment, including television, movies, and theatre. I’m a bit of a trivia fanatic, and I record and watch Jeopardy every night. I love the beach and try to make it there several times a year. I am a huge college football fan, cheering on the Bulldogs and Rebels (hopefully from Athens or Oxford) every weekend in the fall.

What type of work have you done in the past what are your legal specialties?

I began my work as an attorney with the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) in Albany where I practiced in  different civil law areas including family law, wills, housing law, administrative law, and public benefits law. Specifically at GLSP, I provided legal assistance to Spanish-speaking residents of Southwest Georgia. Following my time at GLSP, I worked for a small firm in Marietta where I focused on representing clients in family law and criminal defense matters. At Kitchens New Cleghorn (KNC), I focus on all aspects of family law, wills, and general civil/corporate litigation.

Tell us about your education.

I received my B.A. in Spanish from the University of Georgia in 2006, and I received my Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 2009.

What are you looking most forward to in working at KNC?

I am looking forward to working primarily in the family law arena and learning about new aspects of the law as it relates to LGBT clients. KNC is a respected firm in all areas of practice, and I’m excited to work with and learn from Randy, Jeff, and Joyce.


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