In tonight’s alternate universe, our protagonist has hired the third firm for his divorce. To read part III(c), click here.
The firm works fast. By the end of the first day they have sent you an Answer to review. It looks fine. You tell them so.
The next morning, only a few days after you were served the Complaint, they file your Answer and schedule a Rule Nisi for the Judge’s first available date in early-October. They also send out formal questions and demands for documents that your wife will have to answer and produce.
That afternoon, they also send a letter to your wife’s attorney seeking time with your children. “After all,” they write, “both of these parents have equal rights to the children. Rather than engage in a child snatching battle, we should come to some arrangement for visitation. If we don’t hear from you by tomorrow, we will assume you do not want to work this out. That won’t end well for anyone.”
Your attorney advises you to go have lunch with your eight year old and your five year old at their school the next day.
Your wife’s attorney fires back with a letter soon after your lunch. “He is scaring the children by showing up for lunch. They don’t want to see him. He is prone to rage-filled outbursts. Your client cannot visit with the children until we agree upon a supervisor. Also, he must provide support for his family. He is the only one with an income.”
“Outbursts? Never,” you tell your attorneys. Maybe once when she slammed the laptop lid down on my fingers. I was about to check my bank balance. But that was several weeks ago.” “Hmm,” your attorney intones. “How does she act around her cell phone?” “She never leaves it alone. She even carries it to the bathroom. “Do you have the password?” your attorney asks. “No way,” you say. “She says it is a part of her boundary.” Your attorney asks a few more pointed questions.
Your attorney writes back immediately, “Please identify any witnesses to these outbursts. Please provide us with any police reports. Regarding support, your client absconded with all of the family’s money. Can you tell us what she has done with it? Again, we need to hear back from you by tomorrow.”
Tomorrow comes. “The police were never called to the residence. No one but the children and our client witnessed his rages. As a matter of safety, our client removed the money from the family’s account and has it safely secured in a new account under her own name.”
Your attorneys immediately reply: “With no witnesses and no reports, you have no basis to demand a supervisor. The Judge wouldn’t grant it.” Your attorney offers a visitation schedule. “Further, our client will pay child support beginning next month when he gets paid again. For temporary support, we will consent to your client using the marital funds she took to pay normal household bills, over and above that which the child support would cover. We will require an accounting.”
Your attorneys advise you to go have lunch with your eight year old and and your five year old again.
Pretty quickly, a visitation schedule is ironed out. It isn’t close to what you want but it is something for the time being, until Court in three weeks.
The Court date arrives. The calendar is called. Your wife’s attorney announces two hours. Your attorney announces, “30 minutes. Judge, we’ve worked some issues out, but if we could just have a few minutes with you in a pre-trial conference, we could probably work out a few more.” The Judge brings the attorneys back into his chambers.
They emerge. The Judge has expressed that he would thinks you should see your kids every other weekend from Friday evening until Tuesday morning when you would drop them off at school and back home. You have a special set hearing date for mid-November for the two and a half hour temporary hearing your wife’s attorney still claims she needs.
It’s not everything. But you see some progress. You see some light at the end of the tunnel.
You begin to feel that you might survive this divorce after all.
Michael serves our clients throughout Georgia in all of our offices, Marietta, Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Canton, Gainesville and Savannah.