In many cases, hiring an attorney can pay for itself, making us extremely
affordable. I'll give you an example.
A couple of months ago, a client came to me to talk about a contempt action
his ex-wife had filed against him. She was seeking $8,000.00 in medical
expenses incurred for treating their oldest son about a year before.
I quickly resolved that the client did not need to pay the $8,000.00. First,
his son had become the age of majority about two years before, so the
client was not responsible for any medical expenses, past the age of majority.
Second, the parties divorce agreement specified that the parties had to
agree on incurrring any medical expense for their children and, if they
didn't, they were to submit the issue to an aribitrator. The ex-wife
had followed none of this protocol; she had just sent the boy off to the
facility. And three, the expenses were not really related to any medical
treatment at all. The facility was really a hyped up summer camp. So we
saved the client the $8,000.00.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
As I discussed the case with the client, I learned that his divorce agreement
imposed $2,500.00 per month in child support for the parties' two
children. The oldest one had "timed out" about two years ago.
That entitled the client to a modfication of his child support. But even
more importantly, the younger child had moved in with the client about
two years ago. That is another reason to modify the client's child
support. The client had continued paying child support because the parties'
divorce agreement simply stated that child support would continue until
both children were of age. One had not yet come of age, so the client
thought he was probably still obligated. He was because a court had yet
to say otherwise, but that would soon change.
But that is only a bit more of the iceberg.
Next, I learned that the client was paying lifetime alimony. He and his
ex-wife had been married for quite some time and, when they divorced,
he was making a significant sum of money and the ex had been a stay at
home mom. The parties agreed upon $4,500 each month until either died
or the ex-wife remarried.
About two years ago, the ex-wife moved a boyfriend into her house. (This
was the reason the younger child had moved out.) According to the children,
both of whom were now living with the client, the ex-wife and her boyfriend
often referred to each other as fiance's and sometimes referred to
each other as wife and husband. They were not getting married because
the ex-wife knew that would cease her alimony.
What she didn't know, and the client didn't know, is that Georgia
provides that living in a meretricous relationship is a statutory grounds
to terminate alimony. But I knew that.
We were off to the races.
First, we stopped child support. That saved the client $60,000.00.
Next, we filed a suit for modification/termination of the
alimony. We engaged in discovery with the ex-wife, her "fiance" and
their bankers. Without going into too much detail about all that we uncovered
(including a lovely picture of the ex-wife taken by her "fiance'"
as she wore her lovely wedding ring, suffice it to say that we had goods
to stop alimony. End of story.
This saved the client approximately $1,620,000.00.
The client was understandably quite thankful of our firm's work. For
our attentiveness and diligence we had saved him a huge sum of money that
he could spend on much better things, like his children.
The client was also quite thankful to his ex-wife for having the audacity
to sue him for $8,000 he never owed. Oops.
You see, we attorneys can be quite worthwhile, and extremely affordable!