There was a rule in our home growing up (ok, several rules, but one pertinent to this post): we were not allowed to call someone on the phone after 9pm. Back in those days, there were no cell phones and no texting. If you wanted to call someone, you picked up the phone attached to the wall in your house and called the person at their house, who answered the phone attached to their wall.
She walked out of his office more frustrated with her attorney than she was with her soon-to-be ex-husband. They had finally found a moment away from their new interests and had come to an agreement on everything. The children, the finances (including the credit card debt), the retirement accounts; everything had gotten sorted out. All that was left was to sign the documents and get them to the Court for the Judge's signature. Then they could start to put all of this behind them.
He had finally convinced her to go to counseling. It had taken years and, having been left unchecked, things had progressively gotten worse. After the first child, things eased up a bit. Maybe even got a little better. But more time passed, and things got rough again. She wouldn't go to counseling, but they did agree that they needed time together, just them, and so they took a vacation. That did not solve much, but they were fortunate to have a second child about 10 months later.
I was at the birthday party of a young child in my family yesterday. The little guy turned two years old. Over and over throughout the day you heard the refrain "Can you believe it's been two years already?!?" That refrain will be heard annually on his birthdays and for him, while it will seem to be forever for his next birthday and to be another year older, for the adults who love him, each year goes quicker than the last.
The results are just in and The Manely Firm has four Super Lawyers Rising Stars working tirelessly for our Georgia families!
We all want better for our children. Better educations, better jobs, better options, better opportunities, better lives. It's part of our fabric as human beings. Many of us can look back over the generations that have come before us and track a steady upward trajectory of improvement from one generation to the next, some trajectories more drastic and rapid than others, but in many cases an upward trajectory nonetheless.
"You are always on my case!" she screams as she slams her door.
Last night I had the honor of being recognized by The Mediation Center of Coastal Georgia for having the highest settlement rate for domestic relations cases in 2018. 70% of my cases that were mediated at The Mediation Center resulted in settlements. Mediation is mandatory in Chatham County for contested family law cases in all but the rarest circumstances. That's a lot of cases that did not require a trial to resolve. That's a lot of cases that the parties decided to keep control of their future by coming to an agreement.
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!
"She's done it again! We have a Parenting Plan that sets out the schedule. It's supposed to be my weekend with the kids and here comes some other reason I shouldn't have my weekend. Sure, last month, I needed to switch weekends because I had family coming and they wanted to see the kids, but she's now asked me to switch weekends six times this year and it's only May! And now this weekend, she wants to get the kids 3 hours earlier than she's supposed to! This is absurd!"