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What Is The Best Way Find An Adoption Attorney Near Me?

Posted on: February 11th, 2016

Finding An Adoption Attorney In Atlanta – One only needs to type in the phrase adoption attorneys near me to see a list of law firms pop up. They may or may not have experienced lawyers ready to help guide a client in the adoption process. The most important thing that a person or couple can do when searching for an adoption attorney is to check their level of experience to ensure that the process goes flawlessly.

Adoption

The six types of adoption in Georgia are:

  1. Public or private agency adoptions – this is where the State of Georgia or a licensed private agency places the child with the adoptive parents.
  2. Adoptions by third parties – this is done by someone who is not a stepparent or a relative adopts the child. These adoptions do not involve an agency. This is typically where foster parents or other caregivers adopt the child.
  3. Stepparent adoptions – this is when a stepparent steps in when a biological parent has forfeited their rights to the child and then adopts the child.
  4. Adoptions by relatives – this is when a relative from this child’s extended family (grandparent, aunt, uncle, or a sibling of the child adopts the child. The child may be related to the person adopting the child either by blood or by marriage.
  5. Adoptions by foreign decree – this is when the child has already been adopted in another country. The child must have a valid visa.
  6. Adult adoptions – this is rare but still happens and takes place when the person to be adopted is already a legal adult (over 18).

The next time you start to type adoption attorneys near me, be sure that you remember that a successful adoption begins with choosing the right lawyer. The attorneys at Kitchens New Cleghorn are ready to help you add to your family.

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Four Ways to Run up a Divorce Bill

Posted on: January 19th, 2016

Divorce Bill

Clients at our Atlanta divorce practice often ask for ways that they can keep their divorce bill to a minimum. We do have set fees but there are several things that clients can do to keep their costs down. Our paralegal, Ryan Lee, came up with a list of the top 4 ways that clients often run up their divorce bill and shares tips for how they can prevent that from happening.

  1. They allow their emotions to cause them to lose sight of the big picture: getting divorced and moving forward. They may end up paying a lawyer $2,000 to fight over a $200 painting. It’s not worth it.

TIP: Ask yourself if you’re arguing over something really important to you or are you just frustrated with your soon-to-be ex and just don’t want to let them “win.” Adjust accordingly.

  1. They are unorganized. This comes to light when they submit documents or financial information. If they simply hand us documents with no sorting or organization, then they will be paying us to organize for them, which is much more expensive than if they did it themselves.

TIP: Be sure that all of the documents you turn over to your lawyer are sorted and organized.

  1. They call their lawyer over minor issues, or simply to vent. They forget that they are billed any time they speak to their attorneys or staff, and so some issues they can probably work through on their own without incurring fees.

TIP: You should determine whether it’s something worth involving an attorney, or whether they simply have hurt feelings.

  1. They are unresponsive. Sometimes, clients will avoid attorney calls or e-mails in the belief that if they do not respond, they will not incur fees. However, if an attorney or paralegal calls requesting information, it might be something that can be resolved in two minutes, costing the client only a few dollars. However, if the law firm has to call the client Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. about the same issue, then the client is being charged for each of those attempts to reach him/her and their divorce bill goes up.

TIP: Return all calls from your lawyer as soon as possible so they don’t need to call you again.

Try to stay focused on getting the divorce over with and moving forward so you’re not paying for emotional decisions. You can also rely on your friends and family for emotional support so you aren’t being billed to vent to your attorney. In addition, try to be as organized and responsive as possible. Work with your lawyer to make things go smoothly and remember that your new life is just ahead.


January is Divorce Month

Posted on: January 12th, 2016

Divorce in January

It is a well-documented phenomenon that January is divorce month, seeing an estimated one-third jump in filings when compared to other months in the year. There are many reasons why people decide to seek the advice of an attorney and, ultimately, file for a divorce, in the month of January. In our Atlanta law practice, we notice that our clients have some similarities in why they want to file in January – “divorce month.”

  1. Couples who have been thinking about a divorce toward the end of the year tend to wait until the holidays are over before they start what can sometimes be a stressful process. This is especially common with our clients who have children. They want their children to have “one last holiday as a family” before they decide to pull the plug. This makes January an ideal time to file for a divorce.
  2. People tend to view the New Year as a time to start with a clean slate. As a new year rolls in and resolutions are made, people are more likely to take actual steps (such as making an appointment to consult with a lawyer) in order to bring about the changes that they feel need to be made in their life.
  3. Holidays can bring about conflict in some marriages. Sometimes, there is a greater amount of stress around the holidays due to travel, family gathering conflicts and the additional financial strain that the gift-giving season can add to already difficult budgets. These events can be the catalyst necessary to end the marriage for already disgruntled partners.
  4. Spending more time with family and friends around the holidays can reveal much-needed support. When people are reminded that they have people in their lives to be a part of their support network, they feel safer making big changes like a divorce. They may also have the time to speak with their support network during holiday visits to let family and friends know of the upcoming divorce plans.

This month, our law office is experiencing a surge of divorce cases. If you are considering a divorce, or are even just wondering the ways that a divorce might impact you, it is important that you speak with one of our attorneys so you will be prepared for possible eventualities. 2016 can be your best year ever.


3 Reasons Why You Need a Prenuptial Agreement

Posted on: November 28th, 2015

Prenuptial Agreement

In past years, the prenuptial agreement carried a stigma with it that made some people believe that the couple wasn’t really committed to staying together. After all, the agreement was to protect assets in the event of a divorce. Today, however, the prenuptial agreement has proven its value and savvy couples are using them to establish expectations before there is ever a conflict. After all, most people wear their seatbelts not because they expect to crash their car that day, but because they’ve learned that accidents (even ones that aren’t their fault) can and do happen.

At Kitchens New Cleghorn, we advise our clients to consider a prenuptial agreement before they get married. There are many reasons to do so, depending upon your assets and unique situation. We would like to offer 3 reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement before you say “I do.”

  1. As part of the process of creating an agreement, you get a picture of your partner’s financial responsibility (or lack thereof). Credit scores, assets, liabilities, debts, insurance policies, property deeds, loans, etc. – they all need to be shared and discussed. A partner who is reluctant to disclose this basic information about their financial picture may be hiding information for a reason. It’s better to know before the wedding than after, when it might be your problem to solve.
  2. A prenuptial agreement can prevent expensive negotiations between lawyers during a future divorce. Things such as asset and debt division, as well as spousal support, can be discussed and agreed upon before the marriage. This can be especially beneficial if one of the partners earns considerably more than the other.
  3. A prenuptial agreement can also establish the terms for the forfeiture of assets as a result of a divorce on the grounds of adultery or cruelty. This can offer peace of mind for the couple that behavioral standards are in place.

When considering marriage, there are some things you should know that could have a legal impact on you in the future. For more information about prenuptial agreements and other similar pre-wedding help, Kitchens New Cleghorn has prepared this informational video for you. When you are ready to start preparing for a more secure future, call us to schedule your consultation.


4 Things to Consider Before You File for a Divorce

Posted on: September 28th, 2015

ducks in a row

There are many reasons why someone may file for a divorce.  Sometimes, a partner has been unfaithful. Sometimes, there is physical or emotional abuse. Sometimes, the couple has grown apart and they just don’t have the same life goals. Whatever the reason, there are 4 things a person should consider before filing for a divorce.

  1. Get your financial ducks in a row. We advise our clients to make sure that they have made arrangements to have enough money to manage until a temporary agreement can be reached with your spouse.
  2. Google yourself and be certain that your public profile is clean. It is prudent to make certain that your social media and online presence doesn’t reveal anything that might be used against you in court. It is also wise not to say anything negative about your spouse on your social media. Take the high road- the view is always nicer up there!
  3. Establish your identity as an individual. When couples have joint accounts, it can be difficult to operate if a spouse decides to take control of it. Consider establishing your own separate checking account to deposit your paycheck. You should also get your own cell phone account so that your spouse cannot easily see who you are calling and texting.
  4. Rally the troops! It is a good idea to build a network of support for the emotional toll that a divorce can take. Consider hiring a supportive counselor to discuss stressful emotional issues with, or be sure that you have a trusted network of family and friends to support you. There are several types of experts that we recommend but the most important thing is to build a support network.

Taking the time to address these things before you file for a divorce may help make your divorce process easier. For more information about the process of filing for a divorce and the divorce process, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.


Which Experts Can Help You During Your Divorce?

Posted on: September 15th, 2015

17737-business-man-hand-pvOur divorce attorneys are accomplished at what we do. In addition to being compassionate listeners who help our clients navigate the sometimes confusing waters of divorce, we also associate with other professionals who can help during a divorce. We have identified some of the most important experts:

  1. A financial expert or forensic accountant can assist in identifying and defining marital assets, and whether there may be separate, non-marital (pre-marital) assets. They can also help to find “hidden” assets that one spouse may have not known about as well as offer specific advice. Sometimes in marriages where spousal roles are “traditional” – with one spouse working full time and the other being the homemaker – the homemaker spouse often is not as familiar with financial matters or marital assets. A financial expert is often able to assist.
  2. A private investigator can sometimes be helpful in finding out specifics about your spouse’s conduct and misconduct. This could include infidelity, drug use, or other behaviors that would have a bearing on the divorce case, especially when children are involved.
  3. A therapist is or mental health counselor can be very beneficial for the person going through the divorce, and possibly even for the children. They can help with attachment/detachment issues, self-worth, making positive choices and dealing with grief.

If you are going through a divorce or plan to, you should start with an expert divorce attorney, such as the lawyers at Kitchens New Cleghorn. You should also consider what other professionals you should recruit to your team based on your anticipated needs. Ask for recommendations and hire the professional that you feel would do the best job for you. Divorce can be difficult so having a team of professionals is a great way to insure that you have all of the support you need until you move into the next chapter of your life.


Kitchens New Cleghorn Continues To Grow

Posted on: August 4th, 2015

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

In our quest to meet the needs of clients in corporate and business law, family law, LGBT law, employment law, estate planning law, and probate litigation sectors, we are pleased to welcome attorneys William T. Davis and Stephen Scriber to the Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC team.
William T. Davis, Attorney

William T. Davis, Attorney

 
William T. Davis, Esq., is our newest Associate Attorney. A lifelong resident of Cobb County, Will’s practice areas include family law, LGBT law and adoption law, as well as general civil litigation. Will is spearheading the expansion of our firm’s adoption law services.  He previously worked for Georgia Legal Services and, later, the law firm of Garrett McNatt Hennessey Carpenter LLC.  Will is fluent in Spanish.
Atlanta Adoption Law Firm

Stephen Scriber, Attorney

 
Stephen M. Scriber, Esq., joins our firm in an Of Counsel capacity, as we add the new practice areas of enhanced estate planning and probate litigation. A graduate of Duke University Law School, Stephen is an accomplished Wills and Trusts practitioner with a passion for protecting all families in their time of need. We are thrilled to add his specialties to our growing list of legal services.

Prenuptial Agreements and Their Importance

Posted on: July 31st, 2015

Prenuptial Agreements

We often have couples who come in to consult with us about prenuptial agreements. Although it doesn’t seem like a very romantic thing to do before a couple decides to marry, we think it saves time, money and heartache on down the road if the marriage doesn’t work out. It’s not a sign that the marriage isn’t going to be strong, it’s a sign that the couple are thinking ahead and trying to resolve potential conflict before conflict ever happens. After all, about half of all marriages end in divorce.

A simple prenuptial agreement is a document that a couple can use to establish property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce. This can be particularly important when one or both parties have accumulated property or money on their own and would like to keep the things that they have earned or inherited in the event of a divorce down the road.

In some case, couples also agree to certain penalties if one of them is unfaithful in the marriage. Because infidelity can lead to divorce, this type of clause in a prenuptial agreement is not uncommon. Actress Sandra Bullock had a prenuptial agreement with her fiancé, Jessie James, which stated that if James cheated on her, he would no longer be entitled to any of her assets. The couple divorced in 2010 after James admitted to an affair with tattoo model Michelle “Bombshell” McGee.

In Georgia, prenuptial agreements are valid and upheld by the courts. They serve as a protective barrier from one person taking from the other what they did not have a hand in helping to produce, thus minimizing legal expenses during a divorce.

When you are getting ready to plan your future with that person you want to grow old with, think about the wonderful life you will have ahead of you as well as any potential pitfalls. Then, consider making an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys to discuss how you can show your love for each other by protecting each other’s assets.


Meet Our Newest Of-Counsel Attorney, Stephen Scriber | Atlanta Attorneys

Posted on: July 25th, 2015

Atlanta Adoption Law FirmOur law firm has specialized in family law, business law, divorce, adoption, and LGBT legal protections by some of the most skilled Atlanta attorneys. In our quest to offer more services to our clients, we are happy to announce a new of-counsel attorney, Stephen Scriber. Stephen specializes in Estate Planning (wills, trusts, tax planning) as well as Probate Litigation.

We sat down with Stephen and had a “Getting to Know You” session so we could help acquaint you with him and his work.

Stephen, where are you from?

I grew up in a military family (Army) and moved around a lot. I was born in Texas and eventually moved to Maryland, Virginia, Texas (a second time), and Alaska before my dad retired. I went to high school in Cobb County and consider the Atlanta-area to be my home.

Tell us a bit about your family/friends.

I am married. My husband’s name is Lance. We live in Atlanta (Edgewood/Candler Park area) with two dogs and three cats. My parents live near Greenville, SC with their dog. I also have an older brother who lives in Oklahoma City. He’s a Linux Administrator for a for a DoD-affiliated web hosting company.

What are your hobbies and interests?

Running, brewing beer, marathon Netflix watching (particularly House of Cards, it is amazing!), building and upgrading computers and playing with the newest gadgets.

What is your education?

I graduated from Campbell High School in 2002, Amherst College in 2006 with a BA in Political Science and History, then from University of Mississippi in 2008 with a Master of Arts, Curriculum and Instruction. Finally, I graduated from Duke University School of Law in 2011, Juris Doctor.

What type of work have you done in the past?

Before law school, I was a high school teacher in Jackson, Mississippi and Byhalia, Mississippi as a member of the Mississippi Teacher CorpsIt was an amazing, stressful experience that really makes me appreciate all teachers and the fantastic work they do on a daily basis.

What clubs or organizations do you belong to?

I’m a board member and the Treasurer of the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia, I serve on the Lambda Legal Atlanta Steering Committee, and am a member of the Metro Atlanta Association of Professionals and the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

What is your legal specialty?

In broad terms, I specialize in estate planning and estate litigation. More specifically, anything related to Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, Probate, Administration, Year’s Support, Will Contests, Trust and Estate litigation, and Asset Protection.

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

I look forward to collaborating and working with an excellent team of attorneys. I am continuously impressed by their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the community. They are some fantastic Atlanta attorneys.

If you would like to know more about Stephen, you can visit his website here: http://scriberlaw.com.

 

 


Gay Divorce in Atlanta

Posted on: July 10th, 2015

Contemplating divorce

We got a call from a client asking for a gay divorce in Atlanta. Then another call came in. Then one came in from a client who had 2 other Atlanta area law firms hang up on them when they asked about getting a gay divorce. We knew this would be coming because gay marriage has been legal in many other states for some time now.

Our Atlanta law firm has begun processing a number of gay divorces since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality last month. Calls came from gay and lesbian couples who had traveled to other states (and sometimes countries) to get legally married where it was legal. As sometimes happens in marriage, people find out that they were not compatible after all and want to divorce. These particular couples were stuck in “marriage purgatory” where they were legally married but not able to obtain a legal divorce in Georgia until the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed it.

Over the past week, we have initiated divorces for several Atlanta area gay and lesbian couples. We remain focused on our clients during what can be a very emotional and stressful time. Our job as their lawyers is to protect their rights and guide them through the process in a confident and knowledgeable way. Whether it is a gay divorce or a straight one, the attorneys at Kitchens New Cleghorn are ready to represent you.


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