I think I need a prenuptial agreement

Posted by William H. Sherman | Mar 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

Many people will not get married without a written prenup in place. A prenup protects men and women from having to give up or lose assets to which they are entitled, assets the other spouse did not help them acquire. Because it offers needed protections, security and peace of mind, many clients tell us it actually helps make their marriage stronger, better, and more loving. It helps alleviate any suspicions. You need to declare all of your assets for the prenuptial agreement to be valid. If assets are not identified, the prenup can be ruled invalid.

DUI: I'm worried about paying my fines

Posted by William H. Sherman | Mar 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

In Dunwoody, like most other courts, you can pay any court-imposed fines and fees over a span of time, usually over a number of months. It would be rare for a court to expect the full payment of fines at one time in a lump sum. Interestingly, under Georgia DUI law, courts can impose a range of fines. One Georgia court might actually impose a fine that is twice as much as another court. And both fines are perfectly legal.

Got a DUI in Sandy Springs, Georgia

Posted by William H. Sherman | Mar 08, 2018 | 0 Comments

The city of Sandy Springs has its own municipal court that handles a variety of charges under Georgia state law, including traffic and DUI charges, as well as local ordinance violations. The prosecutors are led by Bill Riley, whose law firm acts as solicitors for the city. Mr. Riley is also the prosecutor in other jurisdictions. Since Sandy Springs is in Fulton County, if the case can’t be resolved in the municipal court, then it can be sent to the State Court of Fulton County. Jury trials not available in municipal courts in Georgia, so if a jury trial is requested, it must be sent to the state court in Atlanta. The address of the municipal court is: 7840 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30350.

A Last Will and Testament can be legally void and invalid

Posted by William H. Sherman | Mar 05, 2018 | 0 Comments

A Last Will and Testament can be legally void or invalid. A will can be found by a court to be invalid if any of the following are found to have played a part in its origin: threats, fraud, violence, and coercion. A will must be freely and voluntarily made. If it was unduly influenced by anyone or any group, then there may be grounds for it to be held invalid or void.

Divorce: I think I got married in Las Vegas by mistake

Posted by William H. Sherman | Feb 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

We have actually handled several cases in which Georgia residents were “mistakenly” married in Las Vegas. To determine if you were legally married, we’d first ask if you purchased and signed a valid Nevada marriage license. If you didn’t get a marriage license, then you were not legally married. Typically, a couple in Las Vegas will purchase a marriage license, have a wedding ceremony, and then have the person who performed the ceremony file a wedding certificate with the appropriate county office. The wedding certificate proves you are married. If you got legally married then to end the marriage you would need to get divorced, which you can do here in Georgia.

I got arrested for DUI in the morning and I only drank the night before

Posted by William H. Sherman | Feb 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

Getting stopped for DUI in the morning on the way to work is actually not that uncommon. Many people drink alcohol at night and in the morning, since the body has not fully processed or metabolized all of the alcohol, they can still be inebriated. Sometimes they can still be very drunk the night before. On average, the liver can process 1 ounce of alcohol every hour, and it can be detected in the blood for hours (depending on the amount consumed), and in the urine for several days if a sensitive test is employed.

Divorce: I want some of my husband's 401 (k) and child support

Posted by William H. Sherman | Jan 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

Child support in Georgia is based upon the child support guidelines. The guidelines take into account multiple factors, including number of children involved and the incomes of the parties. A 401 (k) is divided in a divorce using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). How a QDRO is split between the parties is often negotiated. Once negotiated, the final agreement would be incorporated in the final divorce documents.

Who determines if I need a QDRO?

Posted by William H. Sherman | Dec 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), the retirement plan administrator is initially responsible for determining whether a domestic relations order is a QDRO (some are not). The Retirement Plan Administrator is that individual or group in a company that is responsible for the management of the retirement plan. That retirement plan can be either a pension plan, a 401 (k), or something else. So it is up to the specific company involved to determine whether there needs to be a QDRO or not to divide a retirement account.

What will happen to my Bitcoins when I get divorced?

Posted by William H. Sherman | Dec 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Under Georgia law, all assets must be disclosed by both parties when getting a divorce. Since Bitcoins are assets because they have financial value (like stocks, bonds, cash, collectibles, real estate, etc.), they must be disclosed when getting divorced. A judge has discretion to divide the Bitcoins during a divorce. Most likely, a judge will usually divide the Bitcoins roughly evenly between the two parties. However, the division of the cryptocurrency can be negotiated by the parties. We have handled a number of divorces with Bitcoins involved (as well as other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, and Dash) and the cryptocurrency has been used when negotiating issues like child support and alimony, and to buy-out the other party’s equity in the marital home.

Divorce: What about our house?

Posted by William H. Sherman | Dec 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

For many people their home is their largest financial asset. And for people with children, it becomes important to help ensure that the kids are comfortable and do not have to relocate from their home during a stressful period. Generally speaking, the issue is handled in three possible ways. The marital home is sold and the profits/equity is divided between the parties. Or, one side buys-out the other side. Of course we have handled the issue in other ways as well, but those three resolutions are often the most frequently used.

Atlanta DUI: I got a DUI going to work in the morning

Posted by William H. Sherman | Dec 04, 2017 | 0 Comments

It is actually common for people to wake-up drunk after a night of heavy drinking. Being drunk in the morning simply means that your body has not processed all of the alcohol that was consumed the night before. Interestingly, alcohol is metabolized (broken down) by the body at a rate of 0.016% per hour. And if you are stopped by a police officer or state trooper, you can certainly be charged with DUI no matter what time it is.

I live in Sandy Springs and I need a divorce lawyer

Posted by William H. Sherman | Nov 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

If you were to file for divorce, since you live in Fulton County, Georgia, you would file in the Superior Court of Fulton County. Divorce actions are brought in a superior court. And the court would be the superior court of the county where the defendant lives. As part of the divorce, we would handle all the related issues like child support, alimony and the division of property. Child support in Georgia is based upon the child support guidelines and can be tricky, but we do a lot of child support work. Alimony is based on a number of factors, including duration of the marriage and the parties’ economic positions. Retirement accounts, including pensions and 401 (k)’s, are oftentimes divided using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (a QDRO), which can be complicated legal documents. We have written many QDRO’s for clients.

Where can I file for divorce in Georgia?

Posted by William H. Sherman | Oct 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

You need to file a divorce in Georgia in the county where the defendant lives. As local divorce lawyers, this is a very common question because many times when a marriage isn’t working out, a party will move out of the marital home, and sometimes this means moving to another Georgia county. Sometimes, though, a spouse does not know where the other party lives. Perhaps the other party has moved to a different county, another state or even to a foreign country. In this case we can sometimes do a divorce by publication. A publication divorce gives the husband or wife the ability to get a divorce from a spouse who has simply left and not provided any good information of their whereabouts.

QDRO: I want to get some of his 401 (k) and IRA when we divorce

Posted by William H. Sherman | Oct 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

If you get a divorce, your divorce lawyer will have to negotiate to get a share of your husband’s 401 (k) and his IRA. Although both are retirement accounts, they are divided in different ways in a divorce. A 401 (k) is divided, or split, using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (a QDRO). An IRA (or Individual Retirement Account), on the other hand, can be apportioned without a QDRO.

DUI: Snorting chocolate

Posted by William H. Sherman | Oct 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

Under Georgia law, you can be charged for and convicted of a DUI if you ingest any substance that makes you a less safe driver. This includes prescription medications, illegal drugs and, of course, alcohol. And if snorting chocolate causes someone to be a less safe driver, they can be charged with a DUI. Snorting chocolate is becoming increasingly popular. And it’s snorted, like cocaine, using fingernails, straws, or paper currency, among other methods. It’s being marketed as a dietary supplement and a major brand name is “Coco Loko.” As it gains popularity, there have been calls from politicians, including Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), for greater regulation.

QDRO: My ex-wife doesn't deserve my 401 (k)

Posted by William H. Sherman | Sep 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

If the divorce requires you to provide your wife with half of the amount of money in your 401 (k) plan, then you need to do so. If you do not, you can be held in contempt of court and face serious sanctions, including jail time. It really doesn’t matter that you think your former wife is undeserving of the funds in the account. We prepare QDROs for clients. A QDRO would be used to split a 401 (k) account. The retirement account can be divided in any manner that is required by the divorce. A QDRO is used to split not only 401 (k)’s, but also other types of retirement accounts like pensions.

DUI: My wife was diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Posted by William H. Sherman | Sep 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

Bipolar disorder affects around 3.5 percent of the population. A characteristic of bipolar disorder is extreme mood swings. Moods can swing from euphoric to severely depressed. Studies have demonstrated that drinking alcohol can often amplify these mood swings. Indeed, people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are more likely to struggle with the symptoms of alcohol misuse. About 45 percent of people with bipolar disorder also have an alcohol use disorder. And if you drink in excess, your risk of relapsing into a manic or depressive episode increases. In cases where bipolar or other mental issues are involved, it can often help a legal outcome if the prosecutor and judge are told that the disorder exists and that it’s being treated.

What factors are important for parental visitation?

Posted by William H. Sherman | Sep 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

Parenting plans vary between situations. Just as no situation is exactly like another, there is no “one size fits all” visitation schedule. Many factors are considered for visitation. Some of these factors are the child’s age; parental mental health; history of child abuse; domestic abuse; alcohol and drug abuse; whether or not the child has siblings who will accompany her or him on visits; prior parental involvement with the child; and co-parenting relationship between the two parents.

DUI: Can alcohol affect women and men differently?

Posted by William H. Sherman | Aug 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

That your wife is a petite woman can certainly influence her ability to absorb and tolerate alcohol. And it may very well account for her poor performance on the field sobriety tests and on the breathalyzer. The enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the stomach is called dehydrogenase, and women have less of it than men. That can contribute to higher blood-alcohol concentrations in women than in men even if they have consumed the same amount of alcohol, or even if the man has consumed more alcohol than the woman. Another possible explanation is hormone levels, which affect the body’s ability to process alcohol. Because of this, many women will experience faster intoxication right before menstruation. Women also generally have a higher percentage of body fat and a lower percentage of water. And the less a person weighs, the more they will be affected by a given amount of alcohol.

Divorce: Do you want to know the bad things my husband will say about me?

Posted by William H. Sherman | Aug 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

A good divorce attorney will find-out from you what bad things your spouse might say about you and what evidence, if any, your spouse has against you. We want to know what material can be used against you. It could be video, audio, texts, emails, pictures or social media posts on websites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. It’s certainly important to inform your lawyer about anything that the opposing side could use against you. We never want to be surprised.

I got a DUI because I drank “some of the hair of the dog that bit me”

Posted by William H. Sherman | Jul 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

You may have reasonable defenses to the DUI charge. And it is possible that the charge can be reduced from DUI to Reckless Driving; or that something egregious was done by the Roswell police and the charges will be completely dismissed. But the defenses you ask about will not help you. The fact that it was not nighttime will not help. A DUI can occur in the morning, afternoon or night. That you were “buzzed” is not a good defense. You don’t have to be “drunk” to get a DUI. Under Georgia DUI law, if you were a “less safe driver” because you drank alcohol, you can be charged and convicted of DUI. We’re happy no one was injured in the accident. But just because no one was injured is not going to assist your case. The fact that you got into an accident gave the police a valid reason to question you and that led to your arrest.

Does Georgia law favor the mother over the father in a child custody fight?

Posted by William H. Sherman | Jul 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

Under the laws of Georgia, the court should do what is best for the child. Often, courts find that that children should have a relationship with both of their parents. Certain judges may prefer the children to be with their mother, but evidence may prove that the mother is unfit; therefore, the father would get custody. Georgia law states, “In all cases in which the custody of any child is at issue between the parents, there shall be no prima-facie right to the custody of the child in the father or mother. There shall be no presumption in favor of any particular form of custody, legal or physical, nor in favor of either parent…” O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3 (a) (1). So there is no preference under Georgia law for which gender receives custody. There are a lot of factors that the court considers when deciding custody.

Did I wait too long to get a QDRO?

Posted by William H. Sherman | Jul 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (or QDRO) is the legal way to divide various retirement accounts, including pensions and 401 (k)’s, when a couple divorces. A QDRO is a legal document that a retirement account administrator requires to split the funds related to the retirement account. It is vital that the QDRO is drafted correctly or else it will be rejected. Just because you have put off getting the QDRO for a number of years doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be done. In fact, we have prepared many QDROs for people who, for various reasons, waited to get the QDRO. While it is certainly better to get them drafted as soon as possible, just because some time has passed doesn’t mean that you can’t do it now.

Divorce: My husband says he loves his life-like, silicone doll

Posted by William H. Sherman | Jul 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

As Georgia divorce lawyers we have actually had several cases where a man has opted to engage in a relationship with a doll and neglect his wife. Sadly, with advances in technology and robotics we expect this to become somewhat of a trend. This has been already noted by family and divorce attorneys in parts of Asia. As for your specific question, your husband’s relationship with the doll is technically not adultery under the laws of Georgia. As the law stands now, adultery is only between two human parties. So even his intimate relationship with “Kaori” would not fall under the legal definition of adultery.

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