I've been practicing family law for three decades now. That is a long time. When I started practicing, the massacre at Tiananmen Square had just happened, the Berlin Wall hadn't yet fallen, and the world didn't yet have the world wide web.
"You are always on my case!" she screams as she slams her door.
Every year at this time, the Georgia Family Law Bar comes together to study how to improve our practice. Usually, we cover substantive topics such as child custody and alimony and child support and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and 401ks. This is good. This is necessary because it makes us all better lawyers at the substance of our practice.
It was now well into the wee hours of the morning. For far too long now the argument had been little more than, "yes it is" and "no it isn't." They weren't getting anywhere. They weren't going to.
You are finally getting a divorce. Years of trying to manage with her drug addiction, her erratic behavior, her severe mood swings, her on again, off again job status are coming to a close. She walked away and disappeared one time too many. You never knew your camel could carry so many straws but she finally placed the one too many.
Happy New Years. Welcome to 2019 and the new you. Often you hear the phrase "New Year, New You." This notion is meant to inspire change and improvement in the new year, to start fresh. The new year can be just that for unwed fathers. Make 2019 the year you change and improve yourself and your family.
'Tis the season of many, many holidays and all the adherents of all the different holidays seem to share one tradition, they travel to see family. When that family lives in another city, they travel to another city. When that family lives in another state, they travel to another state. And when that family lives in another country, they travel to another country.
Imagine finding out that you have been sued in Federal Court. Imagine that the case involves the most important thing in the whole world to you, perhaps even more important than your own life. Now imagine that, at the same time that you find out that there is a case at all, you also learned that your final trial is only one week away. Welcome to our world.
The terms "co-parenting" and "best interests of the child" are phrases that are part of our daily language in the world of custody and family law. They are also commonly thrown around as weapons between divorcing parents, often without any real tie-in with their intended meaning. As a professor once told our class, they are terms of art, so we should use them artfully!
"But I love my baby! I can't believe he's getting custody! I can't believe that he will be the person making all the important decisions in my child's life! It's like I don't matter at all!"