The Atlanta Family Law News Blog - Find an Atlanta Family Attorney

October 2010 Archives

John Ulzheimer, president of Consumer Education for Credit.com, recommends couples keep their credit separate when tying the knot, according to his article at Mint.com. As you can see from the comments, his view is highly polarizing; one commentator said keeping credit separate can lead to "a ton of money fights."

But the author insists that since roughly half of all U.S. couples will get divorced eventually, keeping credit separate can help alleviate future headaches. "While it's easy to co-mingle debt," he said, "it's next to impossible to de-mingle it."

GOP congressional candidate Austin Scott won a court victory on Tuesday as a judge ruled to delay the release of his divorce records until after the Nov. 2 election, according to the Macon Telegraph. Tift Superior Court Judge Bill Reinhardt ruled that the Scott family didn't have enough time to respond to the case.

The hearing is now scheduled for Dec. 6, after the election.

Macon attorney Carmel Sanders is fighting to have the sealed records opened prior to the election and claims the voting public has a right to see what's in the documents.

The new film "Life as We Know It," starring Katherine Heigl, tells the story of Atlanta bakery owner Holly, who gains custody of a baby after a tragic car accident takes the lives of the child's parents, as reported in the Los Angeles Times.

Parents of young children are encouraged to write wills or other estate planning tools, which according to FindLaw allow them to legally assign a guardian to care for their kids in the event of their death. Presumably, the character played by Katherine Heigl was named as the guardian of the child by the deceased parents.

Research by UK organization Saga concluded that one-quarter of over-50 respondents who got divorced blame a lack of sex for the dissolution of marriage, while 28 percent said their partner was "emotionally cold" or distant, according to a press release.

Broken down by gender, the main reason men sought divorce was that their partner no longer wanted sex; the main reason for women was that their husband was emotionally cold.

While the research was based on a survey of 1,900 British divorcees over the age of 50, it has implications for Atlanta couples as well.

Talking Points Memo (TPM) reported on the plight of Austin Scott, Republican nominee for Congress in the 8th Congressional District in Georgia, whose potentially embarrassing divorce records might go public before the upcoming general election. It all depends on whether or not a judge decides to unseal the records.

Democratic activist and blogger Amy Morton, arguing that the public should see those records, has filed a motion to unseal them on Oct. 26, according to the Tifton Gazette. Austin Scott dismissed her efforts as a cheap political ploy:

"This is an act of desperation by a person who is getting beaten on his voting record. He's trying to change the focus of the campaign."

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is not the only professional athlete to fool around while traveling the country. But, with nine children from eight different women, Antonio Cromartie may be among the most prolific, as the New York Post reported. The oldest of the nine kids is five years old.

Maybe he's lost count, since he said he had eight kids when asked last month on HBO's reality television show "Hard Knocks." The point is, this guy gets around.

Two-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Ben Harper filed for divorce from wife Laura Dern, best known for her work in the films "Recount," "Jurassic Park" and "Blue Velvet," the Los Angeles Times' gossip blog reported. Ben Harper is asking for joint legal and physical custody of the couple's children.

While the singer claims they were separated back in January, roughly nine months ago, TMZ cited anonymous sources who said the couple has been living and traveling together and even were intimate together earlier this month. But how would anyone know whether or not they were intimate?

It's not entirely clear why the couple is getting divorced.

Former "Friends" star Courteney Cox and David Arquette have announced their legal separation but aren't yet planning to get divorced, according to a Yahoo News article citing the couple's joint statement to fans and reporters. They have been married for 11 years.

The two met on the set of the comedy/horror film "Scream" in 1995, got engaged three years later and finally got hitched in 1999. David Arquette and Courteney Cox explained in their joint statement that they need time and space "to better understand ourselves and the qualities we need in a partner."

Police said the death of estranged Lawrenceville couple Charles and Tita Hall, who were in the process of a divorce, was a murder-suicide, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Their 12-year-old son discovered his father's body and went to his neighbor's house for help.

It appears to be just another sad case in a long line of murders and suicides related to the stress of divorce and child custody disputes.

The portion of unmarried, opposite-gender couples embracing cohabitation increased by 13 percent in the past year and a half, according to a Forbes blog citing figures from a U.S. Census Bureau report. Rose M. Kreider of the Census Bureau's Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, the report's author, said the change is quite significant.

The recession's impact on employment seems to be main culprit for the shift. The percentage of cohabiting (unmarried) couples where only one partner was employed nearly doubled from 8 percent in 2008 to 15 percent in 2010.

Dabara Houston, ex-wife of Atlanta-area pastor Bishop Eddie Long, said in court documents that the popular church leader had a "vicious and violent temper" and beat her while she was pregnant, according to ABC News. Eddie Long, an anti-gay activist, has been sued by four former male church members for sexual coercion.

He flatly denies the sexual abuse accusations. But while the alleged physical abuse claimed by his ex-wife isn't exactly related, it raises questions about a disconnect between Eddie Long's public life and private life.

And if the spousal abuse allegations are in fact true, it would certainly prove that the pastor has a tendency to exert control over others. I'd be curious to know what the Atlanta divorce attorney representing Eddie Long's ex-wife thought.

The worst recession since the Great Depression has left its mark on virtually every aspect of U.S. society, including child support. But when a noncustodial parent is laid off, has his or her salary cut or otherwise experiences a dip in income, courts do allow you to modify child support.

FindLaw tells us that the most common stated reason for what is known as a modification of child support is "substantial change in circumstances." While most readers would cite a drop in income, it goes both ways.

The Defense Dept. will provide more advice to troops about international child custody issues, according to a report issued by the Pentagon in August, as reported by Stars and Stripes. It's an issue of utmost importance to troops who marry foreign nationals while stationed overseas.

Specifically, the DOD will provide military legal and family support agencies with information on family court systems in Japan, Germany and other countries where U.S. troops are stationed. And the DOD and State Dept. are jointly developing a set of procedures for handling international custody disputes.