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Attorney’s Fees

Attorney’s Fees – Let them pay your legal bill

In child support modification cases the court may award attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses of litigation to the prevailing party as the interests of justice may require. Where a custodial parent prevails in an upward modification of child support based upon the noncustodial parent’s failure to be available and willing to exercise court ordered visitation, reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation shall be awarded to the custodial parent.

Attorneys do not work for free, and My Cousin Danny is no exception.  However, My Cousin Danny will use every law and Statute to have your Ex pay all or a portion of your legal bill when possible.

In DeKalb County Superior Court, Gwinnett County Superior Court, Cobb County Superior Court, Fulton County Superior Court, and within other Superior Courts of the State of Georgia, a party may be awarded attorney’s fees and costs of litigation in certain instances:

O.C.G.A §19-6-2: Available in Divorce, Alimony, or Contempt action arising out of Divorce or Alimony case. The award is in the Court’s discretion; but the Court must consider the financial circumstances of both parties. An award under this section is to level the economic playing filed and is not for wrongdoing or to punish. This statute is to ensure effective representation of both parties so that all the issues can be fully and fairly litigated.

O.C.G.A §19-6-3(a): Available in Temporary Awards in Divorce or Alimony cases. Allows parties to meet exigencies arising out of domestic crisis pending proceedings for divorce. Fees re within the discretion of the Court.

O.C.G.A §19-9-3(g): Available in Custody cases other than divorce, Modification of Custody or Visitation. Reasonable attorney’s fees and other costs are to be paid in proportions. The Court is not required to consider the Parties’ financial circumstances.

O.C.G.A §19-6-15(k)(5): Available in Modification of Child Support. May award to the prevailing party “as the interests of justice may require.”  Fees shall be awarded if the upward modification of child support is granted due to the noncustodial parent’s failure to be available and willing to exercise court Ordered visitation.

O.C.G.A §19-13-4 (a)(10): Available in Family Violence cases. Must be made in furtherance of the goal of bringing about a cessation of acts of family violence.

O.C.G.A §19-7-50: Available in Paternity. Fees must be reasonable and to be paid in proportions and at times determined by the Court.

O.C.G.A §19-15-14(a): Available in Motion to Set Aside Determination of Paternity. If Motion is denied the Court Shall order costs and fees against the movant.

O.C.G.A §19-6-19 (d) and O.C.G.A §19-6-22: Available in Modification of Alimony. To the prevailing party as the interests of justice may require, or against a person already ordered to pay alimony to help the former spouse in defense of a modification claim.

O.C.G.A §9-15-14 (a): Available in All Cases. In frivolous actions and defenses reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation shall be awarded to any party against whom another party has asserted a claim, defense, or other position with respect to which there existed such a complete absence of any justiciable issue of law or fact that it could not be reasonably believed that a court would accept the asserted claim, defense, or other position.

O.C.G.A §9-15-14 (b): Available in All Cases. The Court may assess reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation in any civil action in any court if it finds that an attorney or party brought or defended an action, or any part thereof, that lacked substantial justification or that the action, or any part thereof, was interposed for delay or harassment, or if it finds that an attorney or party unnecessarily expanded the proceeding by other improper conduct.

Common Legal Questions

How do I file for divorce?

A divorce is initiated by filing a Domestic Relations Case Initiation Form, Summons, and Petition for Divorce with the Court Clerk of the relevant County of the Parties; and paying a filing fee. Once a divorce is properly filed the Respondent (person not initiating the divorce) must be served with process.

How long before I get my license back?

It depends on your past driving history, your age, the class of driver’s license you have and the current charges against you.  As an example, for drivers over 21 years old a second, non-drug-related DUI conviction within five years of the prior conviction will result in DDS will suspending your license for three years.  Call to discuss the specifics of your case.

What Can i drive with a DUI?

Once again, it depends. If your DUI conviction was drug-related (the influence of drugs alone, or alcohol and drugs combined) you face different rules regarding license suspension. For a second DUI-Drug conviction in five years, DDS will issue a yearlong “hard suspension” of your license, meaning that you won’t be allowed to drive for 12 months, period. But if you enter an alternative sentencing program like a DUI or Drug Court, you might be eligible for limited permit.

Can I get 50/50 Custody?

In Georgia child custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right and ability to talk to your child’s doctor, teachers and such. Think of it as the ability to have a say in their life. Physical custody is the person who the child primarily lives with.  Most divorcing parents will have joint legal custody (50/50 custody) of any minor children born of the marriage, while designating one parent as the physical custodian of the child or children.  However, it is possible to have 50/50 joint legal and physical custody.

How much does a divorce cost?

There is no magic answer to that question. Other than everybody paying the same filing fee to initiate a divorce each divorce contains different issues, different disputes and different personalities. The Parties to the divorce have the biggest influence on the final cost of the divorce.  Litigants who are fighting over silverware and toiletries out of spite for each other are likely to spend a larger amount that people who have resolved most of their issues.  High value divorces with stocks, multiple parcels of real property, business or large pre-marital assets will also cost more than divorces with less assets.  Lawyers sell their time. A divorce that takes more hours is going to cost more than a divorce that takes less hours. Let’s talk about your divorce so you will have an idea of the total cost.

Can i leave the state with my kids?

A well drafted parenting plan will cover contingencies and events you might not have though of. Interstate, intrastate and international travel are all issues that should be considered before signing any agreement.  Depending on the facts of your case out of state travel with your children should be permissible with reasonable notice to the child’s other parent. What is reasonable notice? Call me, and lets talk.    

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