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Georgia and International Family Law Blog

Funding the Feud (and Not the Family One)

Practicing in Savannah and Southeast Georgia, the pool of family law attorneys is rather small. I don't know the last time I had a case where opposing counsel in a divorce, modification or contempt was "new" to me. In most cases we go back quite a way in our professional relationship. I try and keep those relationships professional and congenial. Life's too short, and we are going to wind up against each other again and again.

Coming Home

In some ways, I have the sweetest job in the world. I get to help children get back home when they've been taken away from there and I get to help keep children here in the U.S. when they shouldn't be sent away to some foreign country. This is kind of a summary of what the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction is all about and it is a large part of what I get to do every day.

Step by step -- The process of stepparent adoption

When you married your significant other, you knew that he or she had children from another relationship. Making a commitment to another person as your partner often means making a commitment to children as well. Many individuals living in Georgia choose to take it a step further and become the adoptive parent of a partner's biological child.

Creating a family with a partner can be life-changing. When you are ready to make the decision to take on responsibility for a child, there are certain steps you must take. Since you are not the legal custodian of the child, you will need to either obtain consent from the child's other birth parent or have his or her parental rights terminated, and then proceed through the court process.

Michael Manely: Star Maker

At the beginning of the month, I had the distinct honor of being named to the Rising Stars list for the 2018 Georgia Super Lawyers magazine in the practice of family law. Less than 2.5% of eligible attorneys in Georgia are selected for this honor. To qualify as a "Rising Star", an attorney must either be under the age of 40 or have practiced law for less than 10 years.

Emotional Intelligence

Our firm is "Strategic and Intelligent" by design. People often think of strategic as where to position your forces to out-flank the opponent. There is certainly that element in our family law practice, but there are many, many layers and levels of strategy that are at play in most every family law case.

5:00 PM in Courtroom 1200

As the Judge strode back into the courtroom, Suzanne began fidgeting relentlessly. She was ready for this, but at the same time, she was afraid. Calm down and think about a happy moment in your life, Suzanne told herself repeatedly. As the Judge was getting ready to sit down, Suzanne glanced at the round clock on the wall in front of her. It was about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. She knew she only had a split second to reminisce about the happiest moment in her life, but it was more than sufficient.

So Tell Me What You Want (What You Really, Really Want).

If I asked you to tell me what you really, really want, would you know? Have you sat and thought about it? Have you worked through the nearly endless possibilities and parsed the genuine from the artificial, the core desire from the passing fancy, the utilitarian from the egoistic? If you put it all in a pot and boiled it down to its most essential elements, do you know what it would look like.

Wind Chimes

Gentle breezes makes the wind chimes sing beautiful songs. I love chimes. We have quite a few on the property. I love to be near as the breeze blows across them, striking out their melodious tones.

The Superlative Mr. Purvis

I just have to brag here for a moment. The 2018 Super Lawyers magazine just came out and our own David Purvis is recognized as a Super Lawyer in family law. Yes, that Mr. Purvis of Savannah fame. Yes, that Mr. Purvis who is the family law professor at the Savannah College of Law. Yes, that Mr. Purvis who is an Administrative Law Judge for Southeast Georgia. Yes, that Mr. Purvis who has been recognized as the most successful lawyer in Savannah at settling his clients' divorce and family law disputes. Yes, that Mr. Purvis who heads up The Manely Firm's operations for Savannah and all points near. Yes indeed, that Mr. Purvis.

Are drop off issues causing you stress?

Your kids are your world. Like most good parents in Georgia, you want what is best for them. You also want to make sure the divorce process doesn't cause them so much stress that they have trouble moving forward to your new lifestyle as a family. While you understand that several challenges may arise when negotiating your new parenting plan, you're most concerned about visitation issues, specifically the process of transporting your children between homes.

In short, you want to make sure to get everything in writing regarding dropping off and picking up your children. Your former spouse tends to take advantage of such situations as though they are opportunities to cause you anxiety or to provoke you into arguments in front of your kids. This is not acceptable, and you want to make sure you reduce the possibility of such problems occurring as much as you can.

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