A. The Court

The judge, often referred to as "the Court", is the decision-maker. Show respect for the office of the judge even if you disagree with the particular judge. Be prepared for the possibility that the judge may not share your view or your lawyer’s opinion of what constitutes justice in your case. Some judges are wiser than others, and, being human, they all have good days and bad days.

Never contact a judge about your case. Judges are not allowed to communicate with either party without both parties being present or notified. Any attempt to influence the judge in this way will backfire.

Courtesy to the court staff is also essential.

B. Experts

1. Your side

Early in the preparation of your case, you and your lawyer should have a conversation about what experts may be needed, which ones are available and the merits of the different choices. Once you and your lawyer agree to hire an expert, you should give that person your full cooperation. Unless there is a different arrangement, you are financially responsible for the fees and expenses of your expert witnesses.

If you are sent experts’ reports for your review and comment, discuss them with your lawyer, not with the expert. Conversations you have with your lawyer are privileged and may not be disclosed to third persons. (See Chapter X, Confidentiality.) However all conversations you have with the expert witness and any communications in writing by you to the expert witness may be obtained through discovery by the other side and used in court. You do not have the right to dictate to the expert what the expert’s opinion will be.


Immigration Status Does Not Affect Residency – Padron v. Padron

In Padron v. Padron, the Supreme Court  of Georgia has unanimously reversed a Rockdale County Superior Court judge, holding that "a person’s immigration status does not, as a matter of law, preclude that person from establishing residency for purposes of obtaining a dissolution of marriage."

Ernesto Padron challenged the trial court’s ruling that "it lacked jurisdiction of the case because appellant was not a ‘resident,’ as required by OCGA § 19-5-2."

SOURCE: Supreme Court of Georgia

Preparing for Divorce: Step 4 – Prepare a budget (or two)

Michael Sherman at Alabama Family Law Blog is continuing his series of posts on Preparing for Divorce:

The next step in preparing for divorce is to make two budgets (one that shows the situation in the house before the divorce filing, and one that is your estimated budget for after the divorce).

Most folks don’t like to prepare one monthly budget, so I know I’m asking a lot to suggest that it is helpful two prepare two of them.  There is a method to the madness though.  It is important to know what it costs to run your household currently.  Equally important is to have an understanding of what your costs of living will be after the divorce. Let’s take each in turn.